Dido, ‘Girl Who Got Away’

The great tragedy of Dido’s career just might be the infrequency with which she actually pursues it. She goes underground for so long — there’s a four- to five-year gap between each of her albums — that whenever she does resurface, she’s forced to spend her time re-establishing where she’s already been instead of moving forward. Which is to say that “Girl Who Got Away” is disappointing as a fourth album and utterly dispiriting as a representation of an artist 14 years removed from her debut. Dido’s voice still ripples with warm resignation, but with the exception of the soft, reflective “Sitting on the Roof of the World” and the frisky wink of the Goldfrappy “Love to Blame,” it’s not clear that that’s enough anymore. Her low-boil singing calls out for the tension of playing against soul-rattling lyrics; instead, her confessionals catalogue the mundanities of daily life, and the light electronica beats and flourishes can’t generate momentum. By album’s end, Dido’s still shaking off the rust. (Out Tuesday) MARC HIRSH

ESSENTIAL “Sitting on the Roof of the World”