Craig David's Following My Intuition: What You Need To Know
When he first emerged at the very end of the 1990s as a guest vocalist on several tracks by UK Garage producer Artful Dodger, Craig David was one of the most hotly-tipped R&B artists the UK had to offer. His debut album Born To Do It featured several hits including '7 Days' and 'Walking Away', hitting the No. 1 spot on the UK Album Chars and eventually being certified 6x platinum, even breaking into the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100; a rarity for British artists at the time and even more so for those in the R&B genre.
Several more albums followed in the 2000s, although he was never quite able to reproduce the success of his debut. Whether it was the influence of Leigh Francis' infamous, kestrel-owning caricature of David on his comedy sketch series Bo Selecta, or simply a case of an artist never quite reaching his potential, the singer's career fizzled out somewhat during the later half of the decade. His last album, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, came in 2010 and was a collection of cover versions; for his last album of original material you have to go back nearly a decade to 2007's Trust Me.
Now though Craig David is firmly on the comeback trail and today he delivers his first album of new material in nine years. It's called Following My Intuition and here's everything you need to know about it...
A little background...
Work tentatively began on the new album around 2014 and it was later that year when a new track, 'Cold', premiered on the singer's Soundcloud page and on his own TS5 radio show. In the ensuing months, David would appear on Kurupt FM's takeover of Radio 1xtra, performing the vocals to his hit 'Fill Me In' over Skrillex & Diplo's 'Where Are Ü Now'. The performance soon went viral and led to various collaborations, including one with Big Narstie that produced the track 'When The Bassline Drops'. In January this year it was announced that David had signed a deal with Insanity Records / Sony and that a new album was due soon.
Who's producing it?
The long list of producers for the new album includes Shy FX, Kaytranda, and White N3rd, among many others, while the track '16' is a co-write between several collaborators including David, Justin Bieber and Skrillex.
Any special guests?
Plenty on the writing and production side of things, but in terms of performances the album features the aforementioned collaboration with Big Narstie 'When The Bassline Drops', while Sigala features on the album's opening track 'Ain't Giving Up', Blonde appears on 'Nothing Like This' and Kaytranda lends his vocal skills to 'Got It Good'. If you're feeling flash and want to splash out on the deluxe edition, you'll find four extra tracks including 'No Holding Back', which features Dutch electro-house DJ Hardwell.
What does it sound like?
The new album is a a bit of a mixture of styles thanks to its long list of producers and collaborators, so there's plenty of scope on offer here. Tracks like 'Nothing Like This' and 'Ain't Giving Up' are big, anthemic pop tunes, but it's on other songs like 'When The Bassline Drops' and '16' that Craig David returns to his R&B and Garage roots and it's here where he really shines. Perhaps the revival of that sound by the likes of Disclosure in recent years helps explain why David is enjoying a renaissance right now, but either way he's very much back on form here.
Does it deliver?
It's fair to say that this time last year not many people would have expected a Craig David comeback album, but credit where it's due: this is is the strongest record he's released in a very long time and it's nice to see him back and enjoying himself again. The other good news is that if you're new to Craig David's and have only latched on to the recent tracks he's put out, there's plenty of back catalogue to explore too.