In 1999 Craig David was one of the most-hyped new artists to hit the UK music charts. After enjoying a massive breakthrough featuring on Artful Dodger’s Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta), Craig went on to score a 6x Platinum debut album with Born To Do It in 2000. The album launched him across the world and Craig followed his success to the US, which influenced his second album Slicker Than Your Average. The album sold a fraction of Born to Do It and dwindling sales followed for his subsequent releases.
In 2007 Craig’s fourth album Trust Me started what many critics called the beginning of the end for his career. In the 9 years since then Craig has become more famous for the parody version of him that appeared on Leigh Francis’ TV hit Bo Selecta. In 2015 Craig laid the roots for a massive comeback by featuring on the Big Narstie track When the Bassline Drops, which gave him his first Top 10 hit in 8 years. Building on that, Craig is back with his latest album Following My Intuition, which shot straight in at number one on the UK album chart during its first week of release.
To say that Craig’s comeback has been unexpected would be a bit of an understatement. The music industry had pretty much written the star off but he’d been busy working on music and pulling in big crowds to his popular TS5 nights. It’s pretty safe to say that Craig is back on top and it’s interesting listening to his new album as he’s pretty much back to recording the music that made him famous in the first place.
One of the criticisms that was levelled at Craig after his first album is that he went too American with his sound. Following My Intuition takes the singer back to his garage roots, updating the sound slightly to make it relevant for the recent resurgence of the genre. He even revisits his first solo single Fill Me In on 16 where he adds a new rap and the production is remixed.
Following My Intuition is Craig David back on top and surprisingly with 18 tracks, the album doesn’t really sag. Every track plays to Craig’s strengths and the teenager in me was taken back to the early noughties with many of the tracks on offer here. There’s a real mix of sounds across the record with Craig taking on Reggaton on the highlight Warm It Up, teaming up with Blonde on the 90s house of Nothing Like This, and letting his feisty lyrics do the taking on the minimal R&B of Couldn’t Be Mine where Craig is trying to find out if he’s the father of a lover’s child.
Some of the album’s mellower R&B numbers are its strongest. Got It Good featuring Kaytranada mixes Eastern beats with dreamy vocal harmonies, Don’t Go incorporates drum’n’bass sounds, and Like a Fan sees Craig deliver one of his best vocals on the record as he reflects the tables being turned during a one night stand. My favourite moment on the record is the acoustic-riff driven R&B of What If, which could have been featured on Craig’s debut album Born To Do It.
Following My Intuition is the album many have waited for him to make since the release of Born To Do It. It stays true to his musical roots but most importantly keeps his sound uniquely British. The album is the sound of an artist that has found his groove again, rediscovered his strengths and served up the best collection of songs he’s recorded in years. With a huge arena tour lined up for 2017, there’s no doubt that Craig is heading back to the top and as long as his material is as strong as this, he’ll be enjoying a resurgence for years to come.
Track Listing: 1. Ain’t Giving Up (with Sigala) 2. When the Bassline Drops (with Big Narstie) 3. Don’t’ Go 4. 16 5. Couldn’t Be Mine 6. One More Time 7. Change My Love 8. Nothing Like This (with Blonde) 9. Got It Good (feat Kaytranada) 10. All We Needed 11. Louder Than Words 12. What If 13. Like a Fan 14. Better With You 15. No Holding Back 16. Here With Me 17. Warm It Up 18. Sink or Swim Record Company: Insanity Records Release Date: 30th September 2016