Craig David
Trust Me


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
September 2nd, 2008 | 7 replies | 3,848 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Craig David climbs out of a rut by book-ending his 4th album with 2 attention-seeking highlights & filling most other tracks with subtle variation to add complexity. Is it too late to save David from musical oblivion though?

No matter what industry someone is in, there will always be a pivotal stage of one’s career where opportunities will present themselves. In order for the person to progress, they will have to grab that opportunity then and there as such an opportunity may never present itself again. For talented English singer-songwriter Craig David, that opportunity occurred back in 2002 when he could have practically conquered the musical world with the release of his 2nd album ‘Slicker Than Your Average’. Unfortunately that inconsistent and weakness-exposing album failed to live up to the fantastic standard set by David’s debut offering ‘Born To Do It’, due to the edgier cuts simply failing to hit the mark.

Thankfully, ‘Slicker…’ was not a total disaster though, as its highlights made it passable. One such example was considered by some cynics to be a shortcut as David used the distinctive vocal talents of Sting on hit single ‘Rise and Fall’. Well, to put it bluntly, if David were to have taken more “shortcuts” such as this, the album would have been less of a commercial disappointment than it ended up being. Five years and two albums later, David was to once more return to the art of the “shortcut” in order to make a splash in the musical world. In fact, on 4th album ‘Trust Me’, he arguably does so twice with the album’s 2 bookends. But is it too little too late to save David from musical oblivion?

Heavily sampling David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’, 1st single and album opener ‘Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance)’ kicks things off with a bang here in the kind of attention-seeking manner which has arguably been missing from David’s career thus far. Adding a sufficient amount of his own strengths to a classic track from the past, the result is a thoroughly involving and memorable track. Its bookend closer ‘This Is The Girl’ is a collaboration with English rapper Kano where David simply provides the harmonies to the chorus while Kano does most of the work. While this cut is not exactly hip-hop perfection, it fits perfectly on this album by providing excellent variety and further standout attention-getting qualities.

‘Trust Me’ is not all about shortcuts though as is proven by 2nd single ‘6 of 1 Thing’, which nicely continues the momentum provided by the opener via immediately kicking off with its simple, repetitive and contagious chorus that is effectively backed by horns. And therein may lie the major strength of this album as compared to David’s previous 2 releases; The inclusion of subtle musical variations to not only add something new to the artist’s tiring formula, but also to add greater complexities to his songs. Follow-up ‘Friday Night’ also cleverly uses horns to help create a smooth feel-good party anthem, while later on ‘Don’t Play With Our Love’, synths are used to assist a much more vigorous-sounding David attack another dance tune with impressive conviction.

It isn’t just the up-tempo dance cuts where David successfully attempts something different though, as can be seen on the impressive ballad ‘Awkward’. Instead of re-hashing past slower performances that he could perform in his sleep, David gives this song an almost jazzy-like feel to add character and distinctiveness. Also adding David’s trademark smoothness and catchiness, this track is nicely topped off by female vocal accompaniment performed by Rita Ora.

The middle section of ‘Trust Me’ is a little more typical of David’s past, with tracks like ‘Just A Reminder’ being a little too predictable and ho-hum. There is also a tendency to fall into overly corny lyrics at time, such as on the sure to be wedding night favorite (3rd single) ‘Officially Yours’ and the tried and true content of ‘Kinda Girl For Me’ where he spouts out lines like “She’s so sick like a dope melody”. The thing is that David does so in such a personable and likeable manner that it is difficult to dislike too much.

Of course, there are exceptions and not even the most talented vocalist throughout the history of time could save the penultimate ‘Top of the Hill’. Awful lyrics plague what is supposed to be an acoustic and motivational call-to-arms, which isn’t exactly helped by ill-fitting vocals that simply result in an embarrassingly awkward track that should never have been able to make the final album release.

‘Top of the Hill’ aside, Craig David’s strike rate of hits compared to misses is impressive on ‘Trust Me’. Yet it is the fact that he does not achieve this by playing it safe which is the album’s most admirable, and ultimately satisfying, trait. Sufficient variation (whether musical, vocal or structural), is added throughout, while the singer’s trademark strengths are also on show during the majority of songs. It is just a shame that David was unable to pull out some of these cuts 5 years ago when the opportunity to make his mark was there for the taking.

Recommended Tracks: Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance), 6 of 1 Thing, This is the Girl & Awkward.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
2.7
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
badtaste
September 2nd 2008



824 Comments


I salute your one man coverage of Craig David. Solid enough review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks badtaste. It was a tough job but someone had to do it.
Bookmakers had me hurling myself off a bridge at the 3rd album mark, but I gritted my teeth & reached the finish line!

badtaste
September 2nd 2008



824 Comments


Did you find the material difficult(inc. annoying or boring) to review? I find it harder to break down pop-directed/based music to write about, and generally speaking, I find them less easy (or interesting) to read about then say rock or metal genres.This Message Edited On 09.02.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good questions badtaste. As you can probably tell from my overall ratings of his 4 albums, I don't mind Craig David personally, so I was probably more able to fill the reviews better than most others.
This was my closest attempt thus far at attempting to review pop-oriented albums and I generally think you are correct in that they can sometimes be difficult to write about due to musical issues and the sameness of a lot of the releases. I think this is where we attempt to find something else which can be talked about in the review. For example; the artist's mindset, progression from album to album, etc...


AtavanHalen
September 2nd 2008



17927 Comments


You didn't know what to say about my Keating! review, so I don't know what to say here.
I will say that Craig David can suck duck nuts unless he sings Walking Away or dances to What's Your Flava.
Also, what he did to Come Together was a crime against humanity (JewTube it if you don't believe me).

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Please do not rush me. My feedback is of the highest quality and often needs time to be nurtured.
In other words, I have given your Keating review a re-read and come to a conclusion which I have left in the comments section of that review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been thinking that my reviews for Craig David's 4 albums have been longer than all of my others. They sure look it (see above). But I have just realized what it is that makes them look that way. The lack of a User Ratings graphs and other recommended albums on the right-hand side. Just thought I'd mention that for no particular reason.



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