Craig David, a name that springs up many, many emotions for those familiar with his work. Whether you loved him or hated him back when he was in his prime during the Born to Do It era- we should all admit that he has produced a multitude of tunes that most of us love, either publicly or secretly (don’t be ashamed, you’re not alone).
Following my Intuition is a comeback album that needed to happen, whether you wanted it or not; and I must admit, I wanted it. I mean, I would consider myself to have a fairly broad taste in music, but when people find out about my love for the R&B god that is Craig David, I’m usually-but-mostly-met with a confused stare. “Craig Fucking David?” followed by the “Craaaaig David” from Bo’ Selecta are usually the first words uttered from whoever is in the other end of the conversation, but we all need to learn to accept it.
The Fill Me In / Where Are Ü Now remix was a sign that something was ahead for Craig David, and it was then he announced his comeback and the the release of Following my Intuition. This remix was included in the album with the title 16. I truly had mixed emotions on this track, but it had slowly but surely grown on me. It features Craig both singing and rapping, and features, of course the instrumental from Jack Ü- Where Are Ü Now. Now, I’m not saying it’s fantastic, but it really is one of those guilty pleasures, a phenomenon that is no stranger to Craig David. The album begins with the track Ain’t Giving Up, a proper summer anthem (just what we need for the end of September…I suppose?).
As soon as I heard this, I started to believe it was summer once again, only to look out my window to see only grey skies- who knew Craig David could throw someone into such existential dread? I certainly did not. The instrumental is overly joyous and rich, but it really isn’t anything we haven’t heard before; the marimba percussion track, introduce some bass, claps, drop. But were we really expecting an experimental post-rock avant free jazz opening track? No, no we were not. This is what can only be described as, an absolute banger.
The fourth- and my personal favourite track on the album, Couldn’t Be Mine instantly grabbed me, with the smooth sub bass, along with the hi hats giving a very “cheeky” vibe, for one reason or another. The song is about a girl he had been with calling him, claiming she is carrying his child. A fairly stressful situation I would imagine. It follows his journey of denial, and eventually acceptance that it indeed could be his. With references to Drake, and his debut album Born to Do It. The backing vocals on this track are so elegantly done and remaining quite subtle throughout the song. This is genuinely- whether you despise his music or not- a proper tune through and through. One of his self-proclaimed “R&B bangers”.
One More Time, one of the singles released for Following My Intuition, is definitely a massive throwback to the UK Garage scene. The strings and bass driven drop work along with his voice to produce an undeniably catchy tune. This positive roll throughout the album really sank for me with the track No Holding Back featuring Hardwell, which I can only describe as awkward. The cramped lyrics and instrumental seem so forced into place; along with the organisation of the track itself- it just feels as if the movements within the song are coming out of nowhere. Maybe this is Craig’s experimental exploration I had mentioned earlier, but I can’t make excuses for him, this song simply makes me feel disorientated and uncomfortable.
Following My Intuition is definitely a great comeback album (showing by its number one spot on the charts, many agree, so I don’t feel so alone when it comes to my love of Craig). I have a small collective of (two) people who personally adore Craig’s music, and were not disappointed either; so he must be doing something correctly. And now in 2017, he is venturing on his 2017 FMI Tour- which I will be certainly catching in Belfast in April.