Craig David

The Time Is Now

Insanity/Sony UK/RCA

Feb 06, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Even though his heyday was almost two decades ago, Craig David still possesses the same elements that made him great, proved him a cut above his contemporaries, and the forger of new paths. That is amazing vocal ability, creative translation of underground sounds to the mainstream, and selfie-ready good looks coupled with bring-home-to-mom charmeven if he is a little corny. So why is it that on his recent album, The Time Is Now, David chooses to blend so thoroughly into the generic landscape of disposable pop music, that he is indistinguishable in any way?

David takes the album title's sentiment to heart to such a degree, every song sounds like a cover version of whatever transient entries are currently topping the charts. This carries over to the lyrics as well where on "For the Gram"an ode to Instagram, he actually says, "Now I'm speaking emoji/Wink wink smiley" and the chorus is "Blah blah, blah, blah/Yah, yah, yah, yah." This is not to say that there aren't some sticky moments on The Time Is Now, it's that they have already been done, by Justin Bieber ("Brand New," which also has the obligatory Latin flavors), or by Drake or by another one of his collaborators, like his crony Kaytranada. Or by Bastille, with whom he performs "I Know You," an overwhelmingly signature Bastille song with David functioning as a mere cameo.

With its twinkly movements, "Live in the Moment" hints at something a little fresher, but it's not quite emphatic enough plus JP Cooper's interjections just throw it off-course. "Focus" feels out of place on The Time Is Now with its throwback early '90s house rhythms and diva-ready dancefloor vibes. Meanwhile, David's multiple producers have stripped the music of any soul leaving it cold and detached. On top of that, why would anyone in their right mind think it is a good idea to put Autotune on this man's incredible vocals?

Don't let the staleness of The Time Is Now stop you from checking David out live. The one-man show in which he multitasks as singer, DJ, MC, and dancer is entertaining and unpredictable with him mashing up many of the songs that he's trying to emulate on this album, but executed much better. (www.craigdavid.com)

Author rating: 3/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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j
February 6th 2018
3:32pm

I think your review is a joke. The album is really good and its what most Craig David fans wanted. You should try and be a more objective music journalist. Your grade is such a disgrace and so far from accurate its hard to believe you do this as a job.