Dido, ‘Safe Trip Home’ (Arista)
This is all Eminem’s fault. He took a meek British singer conversant in Sarah McLachlan’s lilting atmospherics, sampled her misty purr on “Stan” (the one about homicidal, copycat fans), and scarred her for life. Dido’s third solo album reveals an unyielding fear of intimacy, her mellow trip-pop (coproduced by Jon Brion) buckling underneath sadness and alienation. “When I don’t believe in love / You’re too close to me / It’s why you have to leave,” she frets on opener “Don’t Believe in Love.” Girl, there’s a couch out there with your name on it.