If you know anything about Craig David pre-2015, you’ll know that the nation has been swept by an alarming common error in thinking that he has literally produced no music since 2000. He has. Four whole albums, in fact. But you will also know, that none of them matter. His debut album, Born to Do It, released when David was just 19, was a groundbreaking garage record. I’ve been obsessed with it my whole life, just waiting to hear anything from the caramel-voiced Lothario that was anywhere close to the quality of ‘7 Days’ or ‘Fill Me In’. It appears that since his last album in 2010, David has gone back to the drawing board in order to produce just that.
A bit like our mate Biebs, Craig David has transitioned from guilty pleasure to a reliable regular in clubs and student halls across the nation, all within less than a year. ‘When the Bassline Drops’, released at the end of 2015, is undeniably a massive tune. Enthused with quality garage beats it reawakened a generation of ravers who had been waiting dormant for their divine leader to rise again and invited a new generation to join the movement. Other singles ‘One More Time’, ‘Ain’t Giving Up’ and ‘Nothing Like This’ follow suit. With the help of today’s dance royalty including Sigala and Blonde, Craig David’s chilled out vibe that once filled lounge parties across the UK has been injected with a contemporary energy that turns these songs into huge dance tracks and is responsible for their roaring success on the club scene this year.
Craig david has transitioned from guilty pleasure to a reliable regular in clubs and student halls across the nation
At points on the album it seems clear that David’s “intuition” is pretty sound these days, realising that fans of the Born To Do it days were expecting some recognition. We got it in track ’16’ which remixes ‘Fill Me In’ with Skrillex & Diplo’s genius backing track to JB’s ‘Where Are Ü Now’. It is also blindingly clear that David has lost none of his talent as a rapper, spitting double time about the length of his career and the new chapter 2016 has opened for him. Brand new songs ‘What If’ and ‘Here With Me’ also hark back to the year 2000 and sensual garage love songs; they’re every bit as perfect as ‘Booty Man’ and ‘Rewind’.
But, Following My Intuition isn’t just a solid dance record from start to finish. Elsewhere on the album David shows his diversity as an artist. KAYTRANADA featured track ‘GOT IT GOOD’ showcases a new sound with some very cool production; KAYTRANADA adds a haunting but delicious element to the song. ‘Don’t Go’, on the other hand, is a Drum and Bass number primed and polished for instant radio play – think Rudimental but sexier. And just to mix things up even more, ’Warm It Up’ is an irresistibly sensual reggae-pop song – where is Craig’s Rihanna??
These songs are a testament to the notion that sometimes there’s nothing wrong with sticking to what you’re good at.
‘Couldn’t Be Mine’ and ‘Change My Love’ maintain nineties vibes with classic lyrics about broken hearts and great pop melodies, whereas ‘Louder Than Words’ and ‘Like a Fan’ provide the album’s mellow moments. The latter two tracks are definitely not my favourites, perhaps falling slightly into Craig David circa 2001-2010 territory, however David’s voice is still as impressive as ever – it appears the sands of time have been kind to his vocal chords.
Craig David’s career has spanned nearly two decades, yet the general consensus this year seems to be that it’s just restarting. My Intuition is a cohesive, palatable album. It doesn’t challenge the realms of lyricism or technological experimentation, and yet no one in the mainstream is doing what Craig David does. This album is full of “fuck yeah!” moments, infectious melodies and a little bit of magic. It ticks all the boxes, appealing to generations of ravers old and new, as well as all music lovers. Craig David is still the embodiment of sex (his shivering R&B voice will make you weak at the knees) and he still wears the crown in the world of garage. I think these songs are a testament to the notion that sometimes there’s nothing wrong with sticking to what you’re good at.
See you on the D-Flo Exeter.