Still only 26 years old, Craig David has earned a reputation as one of the UK's foremost talents, as well as one of the nation's most successful musical exports. He's now poised to return with a new album `Trust Me' on November 12th, already being heralded as his finest since the 2000 debut set `Born To Do It'.
`Trust Me' will be previewed by the release of the single `Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)', which combines Craig David's inimitable vocal gift with irresistible funk-infused beats and a sample of David Bowie's classic track `Let's Dance'.
Recorded in Havana, Cuba with producer Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall, James Morrison) and writer/producer/mixer Fraser T. Smith (Craig David, Kano, Beyonce, Plan B, Jamelia), the track `6 of 1 Thing' emphasises how Cuban musical culture influenced his new work, whilst the ballad `Awkward' (highlighting guest vocals from a female west London star-to-be) features some of his most evocative lyrics to date. Other highlights include the infectious hook and insistent rhythms of the title track, and `She's On Fire' which combines sublime bass with Craig's fluid lyrical flow.
Since becoming a global phenomenon with `Born To Do It', Craig David has become a huge UK superstar with two #1 singles (`Fill Me In' and `7 Days') and a further ten appearances in the Top 10. All three of his albums have been chart hits: `Born To Do It' (#1), 2002's `Slicker Than Your Average' (#4) and 2005's `The Story Goes...' (#5).
A multiple-award winner who has earned three Ivor Novello Awards (including Songwriter of the Year and Best Contemporary Song), four MOBOs (one of which was for Best UK Act) and two MTV Europe Awards, Craig David has worked with a talented array of artists including Sting and Artful Dodger's Mark Hill and Pete Devereux. Craig David also recently featured on Kano's Top 20 single `This is The Girl'.
Upon picking up the physical copy of the appallingly-titled, Trust Me, you immediately realise there's something different about Craig David. He's beefed up, lost that goatee and that hat and opted for a sharper suit. Frankly, he's back and he looks the business.
Like a DJ dropping a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, Trust Me opens up with the floor-filling "Hot Stuff". David Bowie's "Let's Dance" has been tinkered with before, but this is its most ear-catching interpretation for sometime, proving that Craig is matching up his sharp image with an equally incisive sound.
The big band pop feel of "6 Of 1 Thing" and "Friday Night" continue to warm you up nicely before the album launches into its soft centre. "Officiallly Yours" is an cheesy instant chart pleaser while "Just A Reminder" possesses a breezy calypso feel, no doubt a flavour of studio time spent in Cuba. "Kinda Girl For Me" - feauturing a motown hook from The Stylistics' "You Are Everything" - also deserves plaudits; if only for the lyric: 'She's so sick like a dope melody/ sitting nicely on top of the beat'. Make no mistake ladies, Craig's still got it going on.
Right on cue, Craig then builds towards a decent finale. The reggae-hip hop mash-up of "She's On Fire" demonstrates his ever-dextrous vocal ability, while his collaboration with Kano on "This Is The Girl" is clean UK hip hop fun, even though its role as the record's final track is confusing.
This album wouldn't be complete without a paragraph dedicated to the hugely impressive "Awkward". With a classic soul feel that hark backs to the Temptations era, slow-pop doesn't come much better. Featuring the dazzling vocal talents of Rita Ora, a 17-year-old discovered by the album's producer Martin Terefe, "Awkward" is evocative and tender in a way that those familiar with Craig's garage days, wouldn't know existed.
The key to Trust Me's immediate appeal lies in the charming powers of David, who uses all eleven tracks to pull you in like a man possessed. It's as if he's on the last date of his life, and he's not going to let this one go awry. 26 years-old and 13 million worldwide sales under his belt, Craig has matured into the real deal for a flagging UK R 'n' B scene. With an album that's a cert to be lavished with awards come 2008, it seems like Craig really was born to do it after all. --Tom Young
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window