Craig David’s fame precedes him: seminal dance hits, a now-successful DJing profile and a largely beloved, if not tolerated, presence: the times of being mercilessly mocked on Bo Selecta really feel long-gone, maybe. His eighth album, ‘22’, is a celebration of the journey up to now, and a revival for his R&B credibility.
Opening with the sultry Jon B-inspired ‘Teardrops’, on ‘22’ Craig David isn’t simply serious about making the storage tracks that made him well-known. As an alternative, he closely focuses on a refreshing R&B sound. Interpolating the well-known R&B basic ‘They Don’t Know’, the mandolin skips round while David is regretful for making his love curiosity upset: “It hurts so dangerous as a result of I would like you / And it hurts ‘trigger they don’t learn about this right here”.
Most intriguing, nevertheless, is when he passes the baton to his proficient pals, outdated and new. ‘21’ is a jubilant ‘00s-esque observe, interpolating 50 Cent’s ‘21 Questions’ with drill’n’b pioneer Isong; ‘Apparent’ is sees him team-up with budding viral celebrity Muni Lengthy as they mirror either side of a relationship falling to items. The flirty guitar’s riff escalates the punchy forwards and backwards, identical to how Monica and Brandy’s 1998 smash, ‘The Boy Is Mine’.
‘G Love’, nevertheless, starring NME 100 alumni Nippa is the spotlight. The duo have been seen collectively as David appears to have taken Nippa beneath his wing, and after touring collectively, there’s clear chemistry. A hazy love observe, the pair commerce strains about their lovers, and Nippa’s cheeky promiscuous strains are a success on the observe: “And don’t fear if I depart along with your cousin / She was within the nook, tryna present me some lovin’”.
Closely counting on the feel-good nature of basic ‘00s R&B – and the Robin S ‘Present Me Love’ home pattern on ‘My Coronary heart’s Been Ready For You’ – Craig David may have dangerously made a gimmicky throwback album. But, in a time when many UK R&B followers are crying out for excellent music and recognition, Craig David not solely feeds that urge for food however makes use of his platform to laud up some stars to look at too.
- Launch date: September 30, 2022
- Report label: BMG Data