Craig David Following My Intuition Speakerbox / Insanity
At the mention of ‘Craig David’, some people still picture that Bo’ Selecta! sketch: the Avid Merrion caricature complete with marker pen beard, Yorkshire accent and plastic kestrel. It’s full credit to the UK garage crooner that he’s fashioned such a successful comeback for himself over the last 12 months, through hard graft, positivity (he even called the Leigh Francis impersonation “flattering”) and a passion for chart toppers at their most infectious.
Having recently moved back to London after a spell out in Miami, Craig took a portion of his performance at this year’s Rated Awards to spit bars over cult grime instrumental Rhythm ‘N’ Gash, making people wonder what musical direction his sixth studio album might take.
One of the tracks on Following My Intuition is the one that set the comeback wheels in motion. 16 is a recorded version of the freestyle he performed on Kurupt FM’s 1Xtra takeover: that Fill Me In melody over Bieber’s Where Are Ü Now which promptly went viral.
Elsewhere, Craig’s sixth studio album contains fairly bland festival fodder like Ain’t Giving Up ft. Sigala and vanilla d’n’b joint Don’t Go. He’s at his best when he’s doing the garage-meets-RnB sound that popularised him in the first place — tracks like One More Time and What If are remiscent of of the garage posterboy’s Born To Do It heyday.
There’s the Big Narstie collab When The Bassline Drops and slinking neo-soul number Got It Good, which also appeared on Kaytranada’s 99.9%. They show that, while Craig hasn’t gone fully future-facing here, he’s got an eye for picking the right people to work with. Too much can be said for nostalgia, but Following My Intuition is strongest when Craig (re-re-)rewinds it back.