Build a Problem – dodie: Review & Recommend | FIRST IMPRESSIONS

This post has sort of been a long time in the making! I originally pencilled it in my schedule a couple of months back, but then the album got delayed, so it got pushed back further. And then, to top it off, I was so busy when the album first came out that I didn’t get a chance to sit down and write the post! But now finally, here we are! Obligatory “I am writing this on mobile, sorry if there are any formatting issues” disclaimer. I’ll update this post at the end of the week to edit out any formatting issues when I have access to my laptop again.

This isn’t quite a “first impressions” lot despite the title: some of the songs aren’t new for the album, and the album has been out for a while, so it’s more of an early impressions, but I wanted to stick with “first” because it’s what I’ve used for similar album review posts in the past! So, onto my thoughts.

1. “Air So Sweet”

Brief, but lovely. I really like the imagery in this short song, and it makes a great opening to a debut album. It gives a good feel for the general vibe of dodie’s music, and introduces the themes she often uses

“I run barefoot, shoes at the door”

2. “Hate Myself”

One of the songs released prior to the album, “Hate Myself” provides a real contrast to “Air So Sweet”, and introduces the other side to dodie’s music. Reminiscent of “6/10” from an early EP, “Hate Myself” sees dodie lament about her own insecurities and shyness, and her overthinking. The album also takes its title from this track, and I love when an album is titled after a line in a song rather than having a title track.

“Build a problem that neither of us need/Something wrong with me”

3. “I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You)”

This is one that I really enjoy! Post-breakup dodie meets someone new, but can’t take her mind off her ex. Sometimes, trying to move on only hurts us more.

“I kissed someone because it’s fair/Why do I tell you, would you care?”

4. “Cool Girl”

Another of the single released prior to the album, “Cool Girl” follows in a similar vein to “Hate Myself”, with dodie creating an idealised version of herself, removing her insecurities and becoming a “cool girl”, to please a lover.

“God I swore I wouldn’t play the age-old game/Yeah, I watched you all ask all your lovers away”

5. “Special Girl”

This song has a bit of a dark feeling to it that I really enjoy. It’s not my favourite on the album, but it has a couple of standout lines. Mostly about wanting what’s bad for you and will end in heartbreak, “Special Girl” definitely has a lot for listeners to relate to.

“Twenty four, I still count everyone I kiss/The bitter ones still taste the best”

6. “Rainbow”

This is one I was familiar with before the album came out as a demo/early version was posted on dodie’s YouTube channel a while back. It was never one of my favourites from her channel, but the studio recording has warmed me to it. Perfect for Pride Month, “Rainbow” is a celebration of sexuality, and lovin your own sexuality and finding comfort within it.

“Oh, you’d understand in minutes/And I’d like to think you’d miss it/’Cause so would I”

7. “?”

A lovely little instrumental, the first of two on this album, “?” marks a break in the album. It’s a beautiful piece, performed by a string orchestra, something characteristic of dodie’s music. Short, but sweet.

8. “Four Tequilas Down”

This is one of the lows from the album for me, which is a shame because I feel like it has a particular significance for dodie, given that it’s situated between the two instrumental pieces. Not a skip, but not one that I’d gravitate towards.

“So just hold me like you mean it, we’ll pretend because we need it”

9. “.”

The second instrumental piece, this one is just as lovely as “?”. Another short but sweet little track acting as a mini interlude.

10. “Sorry”

This doesn’t really stand out to me, unfortunately! It’s quite a melancholy track, and it’s just not my cup of tea. The lyrics and melody are nice, but for me the muted production just flattens it.

“And that’s all I am now, and it’s all I can be/Is sorry”

11. “When”

A live recording of this was released on an earlier EP of dodie’s, so I was surprised to see it included on the tracklist. I think in the end I do prefer the live recording, but the strings in this song (both the live and studio) are gorgeous!

“Memories painted with much brighter ink”

12. “Before the Line”

This for me is probably a mid tier track. It doesn’t particularly stick in my mind, but when I revisit it and look at the lyrics, I do like it and enjoy it. It isn’t one that I put on specifically, but when it comes around, I enjoy it.

“I made a promise but I break it every day/It’s not my fault, for I was promised just the same”

13. “Guiltless (Bonus Track)”

Released as a single a while before the album was announced, I’m so glad this got included, even if only as a bonus track. It’s a sad song, but also somewhat powerful, and I never tire of it.

“I’ll carry your burden til the day that you die/Is it real? You believe you’re guiltless”

14. “Boys Like You (Bonus Track)”

Another that was released a while ago like “Guiltless”, “Boys Like You” is an anthem to those boys who mess you around, and yet you can’t resist them. They’re probably the kind of boy that dodie was thinking of when writing “Cool Girl”. Another track that I’ve yet to tire of!

“Oh there’s a name for boys like you/And yet I feel lucky to hear all your lines/I hate that they shake me up every time”

To stop this post getting too long, I’m not going to include the demo tracks on here, but special shout out to “all my daughters” which is my favourite of the demo tracks.

Have you listened to this album? Let me know what you thought!

3 thoughts on “Build a Problem – dodie: Review & Recommend | FIRST IMPRESSIONS

  1. oohh i love listening to dodie so much!! this was such a nice review, and i loved the album so much!! your blog is super pretty!


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