August 27, 2005

Review: Craig David's self delusion

This album is a mess. If Craig David had not become a pop star at the tender age of 17 who knows what would have become of him? Soft-spoken hairdresser maybe? Instead he is releasing his third album - and his second dud -after such a promising debut (read my
earlier comments). The Story Goes that Craig wants to be Usher now, worrying about who stole his "Range" from "da club" where the girls have a "vibe so hypnotic." But wait! No! Craig wants to be Vanessa Williams too, loading his record with 8 sloppy, kissy, weepy ballads that all blend together.

You could argue that Usher and Craig steal from one another, but at least we believe that Usher really is a shallow, bling-obsessed player who, despite a dogface, manages to lure in bodacious women nightly at "da club" before he cheats on them with some ho and makes a hit single about it. Song after song on this record is set in clubs and Craig doesn't shy away from phrases like "wit u" - who is he kidding? I wince.

This album is a bit closer to the acoustic pop / r'n'b sound of his brilliant Born To Do It than the last, but it's still a yawner. Occasionally he produces a track that would have sat well on that huge debut. Johnny is a midtempo about a boy who's bullied and can't get his parents to help him deal with it. The single All The Way seems dull at first, but is actually a creamy slice of Craig- everything he does best encapsulated in one song. A great summer tune. The closing ballad is a sweet our-granny-is-dead track (ummmmm hmmmm!) called Let Her Go that's built around a pretty falsetto chorus.

The disasters are pungent. Take 'Em Off is more Urkel than Usher - a total embarrassment. The groaner title Just Chillin' is but one clue to the horrors within: he steals so much from Beyonce that it even starts with that "uh-oh uh-oh uh-oh" bit from "Crazy In Love."

My advice to mama's boy Craig: be yourself. Does anyone believe you are the ladykiller you see in the mirror? Decide on an audience and stick with them - and that's spelled w-i-t-h!

Accept yourself, Craigey, or this story will be ovah.

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