2000 – BORN TO DO IT – “FILL ME IN”
Back in 2000, we were first introduced to Craig David and his unique British flow on his smooth and silky R&B jams. His debut CD, “Born To Do It” has been consistently listed on Best Of lists for Soul albums in the 2000’s. Going 8 times platinum in six different countries, the album was spurred on by 3 mega-hits, “Fill Me In”, “Walking Away” and “7 Days”. The latter was also released as a remix with Fat Joe that only added another market to Craig’s music. It’s hard to pick a favorite but “Fill Me In” was his first single so I’ll go with his debut #1 hit.
2002 – SLICKER THAN YOUR AVERAGE – “RISE AND FALL” (official video)
It’s hard to imagine an album sells 3 million copies as a failure but the sophomore jinx hit Craig David in 2002. Rolling Stone magazine gave it a 3 out of 5, “one of the best subtle R&B records of recent years”. Slicker Than Your Average was solid but didn’t have the big radio hits of the debut. Songs like “You Don’t Miss Your Water (Until The Well Runs Dry)” and “Rise And Fall” with Sting were songs with epic classic soul potential but his label released “What’s Your Flava” as the lead single and it came off as somewhat forced, losing some of the excitement of Craig’s unique vocal talents. Yet, despite the label’s promotional choice, this is a sleeper album that highlights some of the best songs of Craig’s career, a worthy follow-up that lives up to the promise of his debut. Ultimately this was the last great Craig David CD.
2005 – THE STORY GOES – “ALL THE WAY”
Here’s how quick a hot, new artist can fall from the top of the mountain, Craig’s 2005 CD wasn’t released in the U.S. when his label, Warner Bros. didn’t believe in its commercial potential. “The Story Goes” went Top 5 in the U.K. and Australia and later was available digitally in the States. Craig’s third album sounded like a Brian McKnight album with too many sexy, quiet storm songs. The lead single, “All The Way” was too familiar and typical of his R&B peers, lacking the timeless quality that Craig’s early material delivered. Ultimately, the CD was the least successful of Craig’s career.
2007 – TRUST ME – “HOT STUFF”
Recorded in Cuba, Craig’s fourth CD marked the beginning of the end of Craig’s career. On the Billboard R&B album charts, “Trust Me” didn’t even crack the Top 40. Lukewarm sales and the lack of a killer single doomed the album to a quick entry into the discount bin. One song that left a noteworthy trivia footnote was “Awkward” which introduced the world to Rita Ora, a rising songstress in 2012. Another song that instantly grabs your attention is “Hot Stuff” which samples David Bowie and features a remix version that stands up among the best dance tracks in Craig’s career.
2010 – SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED – “FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE”
Craig attempted a comeback in 2010 by jumping to a new label, Universal. Their path to a return to the charts was an album of Motown covers and songs twisting classics like the 4 Tops – “Standing In The Shadows of Love”. It’s hard to go wrong singing songs like “Just My Imagination”, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, and “For Once In My Life” but at the same time, it’s difficult to recapture the imagination of new fans singing chestnuts from the past. Ultimately, Craig’s musical future is in doubt. He’s preparing a 2013 CD with his original producers and working with the Backstreet Boys on their 20th year anniversary album.