Craig David
Born to Do It


4.0
excellent

Review

by DaveyBoy STAFF
August 25th, 2008 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Excellent debut from this personable & mature 19 year old singer-songwriter whose soulfully smooth voice will result in fans thinking he is singing to them and only them.

It seems that the charts are predominantly ruled by youth these days, the majority of which are acts with very limited talent. You know the ones, those artists who have their songs written for them, their music performed for them and their voices doctored up to mean their first live shows are literally years away. It was not always that way though as it used to be only the most talented of youngsters who made the grade on a consistent basis. Enter 19 year old singer-songwriter Craig David.

After laying down some vocals for UK Garage House act Artful Dodger, David released his debut album ‘Born To Do It’ soon after. The first single released from the album, the memorable, charming and catchy ‘Fill Me In’, reached the top of the UK charts, making him the youngest ever solo male artist to do so. That difficult to dislike tune opens up proceedings on ‘Born To Do It’ and could genuinely appeal to those of all ages. Variety to this mid-tempo contemporary R&B cut is added through David’s pace-switching vocals where he often spouts out lyrics at a mile a minute, yet always remains understandable.

Follow-up ‘Cant Be Messing Around’ includes a more dancey vibe and showcases David’s ability to turn water into wine as he takes a simple chorus and ultimately makes it effectively contagious. You know that when a singer can count to 10 (in 2 seconds) and make it work, that he has to have some kind of appeal and talent! And that talent obviously extends to crooning on ballads also as ‘Rendezvous’ proves next. All the right touches at all the right times make this 4th single a winner, as proven by the fact that it was the fourth consecutive release to make the UK top 10.

One criticism that could be directed at David and his debut album is a lack of versatility, since the remainder of the tracks are arguably variations on the first 3. Smash hit 2nd single ‘7 Days’ is basically an amalgamation of the opening 2 songs as this time David creates a catchy and memorable tune out of reciting all 7 days of the week. While other highlights include the beautiful, yet anthemic, near-perfect pop of 3rd single ‘Walking Away’ and penultimate track ‘You Know What’.

However, David seems unwilling to let fully go and come up with a hell-raising dancefloor anthem or more hip-hop like piece. The closest he gets is with tracks 6 and 8, where sing-along party favorites ‘Last Night’ and ‘Time To Party’ ooze a feel-good nature and contain spoken rap-like breakdowns, while relaying an accessible dancey vibe. Although, it should be noted that most issues of this album also included ‘Rewind’ as it’s closer. This is a remix-like version of a past collaboration with Artful Dodger, which awkwardly ends up like a mish-mashed highlights clip.

Lyrically, it’s pretty much what you would imagine to hear from a young artist in this genre; Love, sex and nights out on the town. At times, these border on cringe-worthy (such as on ‘Follow Me’ where David speedily croons “When I get on top and I make you real hot and you tell me don’t stop”), but the singer’s mature and personable charm seems to dull the pain for the most part. Although, David cannot always perform miracles as his straight-faced attempt to save track 9 ‘Booty Man’ proves!

Musically, it is all pretty much standard programmed contemporary R&B stuff with the occasional impressive use of keyboards, strings and beats. If anything though, the understated nature of the backing music only serves to effectively highlight the true strength of David; His soulfully smooth voice which is almost effortlessly performed in an understandable manner. Character is added via his youth and maturity, meaning he is one of those talented performers who fans will believe is singing to them and only them. No wonder then that this debut album sold in excess of 8 million copies worldwide!

Recommended Tracks: Fill Me In, Walking Away, 7 Days & You Know What.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And here it comes... I was expecting it though!

John, I know you love to sing 'Booty Man' when you are alone!

ohcleverhansyou
August 25th 2008


885 Comments


Fill Me In was awesome, I don't think it's enough to get me to hear the rest though.

morrissey
Moderator
August 25th 2008


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I used to listen to this album a lot in the months after it's release. The singles still hold up. The rest of the album, not at all. And neither did Craig David, apparently.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, now I am unsure if you are being serious or sarcastic John. I suppose if you like Maroon 5, you may just have fooled me.

Michael (OhCleverHansYou), if you liked 'Fill Me In', you should at least like 3 or 4 other tracks here. But the album does go along a little too much at the same pace I suppose.

comity
August 25th 2008


30 Comments


oh hey stupid intro nice job

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amanda (Morrissey), the quality of the album tracks is definitely one of the criticisms aimed at this album and to a certain extent it is justified. However, I do not fully agree as I like tracks 2, 6, 8 & especially 11 (You Know What).

As for David himself, he is still kicking around, if nowhere near as successfully. Furtrher reviews will follow.

JAV
August 25th 2008


3012 Comments


My friend used to play this all the time so I got annoyed with him.

AtavanHalen
August 25th 2008


17920 Comments


Man, I don't care what ANYONE says- Walking Away is an awesome, awesome song.

badtaste
August 25th 2008


824 Comments


Cool review. I've forgotten all about Craig David's music, can't remember any of his tunes at all. The way your review reads, it feels more like a 3.5.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hope you didn't disown your friend just because of that JAV. In all honesty, one thing some of David's songs can suffer from is overplaying and they were indeed flogged to death on radio.

I'm with you Dave, but I don't think 'Walking Away' is the only awesome song here. The fact that it was released as the 3rd single says something about the album in itself.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man, that's the 3rd time I have posted a comment and someone else has done the same at basically the same time.

badtaste, thanks for the positive feedback on the review as I wasn't sure how it was going to go over. It is absolutely freaky you mention that the review reads like a 3.5, because I was going to mention that in my first comment, but I got distracted by trying to work out if ILUVATAR was being serious or not. You are correct that it reads more like a 3.5 because I pick out some deficiencies. However, I believe there to be some (for want of a better word) intangibles which pushes this up to a 4.

I speak of the fact that it is a debut album by someone so young and also because there is a very personable nature about the album as a whole. Finally, the singles are (to use Atavanhalen's description of 1 of them) "awesome".

Some reviewers get around this by rating the album one way in the review and then scoring it differently in their personal ratings, but I am NOT at all a fan of that approach, so it's a 4 for me.

The Sludge
September 2nd 2008


2171 Comments


Lol I think it's funny how formal you are in responding each individual detail people post. Like who talks like that online? haha.

Cant forget, 7 Days still holds the test of time even though Craig David didn't.This Message Edited On 09.02.08

chipit
October 5th 2008


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of best albums of the past decade , one of the best debut albums ever and one of the best R&B albums ever.



Your right atavanhalent, Walking Away is awesome and and so are the vocals.



So many GREAT songs here- Walking Away, Rendevouz, Fill Me In, 7 days and You Know That.

Anyone who doesn't enjoy this album is melodically and rhythmically challenged.



The only album in the UK that has been as good as is this in the past decade is Back to Black by Amy Winehouse.



Oh, Overall this a very well written review, although I don't agree that the album lacks versatility.

7 Days and Fill Me in are not alike musically.This Message Edited On 10.05.08This Message Edited On 10.05.08This Message Edited On 10.05.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, you tell 'em CHIPIT.

If you read that 4th paragraph closely, I sat on the fence a little regarding the lack of versatility. I said it was a criticism aimed at the album... I didn't specifically say the album did in fact lack versatility.

My main concern is the lack of that dancefloor anthem I mentioned, which would have definitely added adequate vareiety.

But overall, thanks for the feedback & it's great to read the thoughts of another person who thinks highly of this.



chipit
October 6th 2008


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your reviews of his other albums are great also. Very fair and well written

None of those albums come close to being as good as this which is a shame.



I don't want to start a racism debate but I just want to say this whole fashionable to insult Craig David thing is racially motivated.



Soon After Born To Do It was released he was probably the most successful UK black artist ever and so began a media campaign to discredit him.



Firstly, he was robbed at the BRITS by that no talent Robbie Williams.

Secondly, the Avid Merrion Merrion parody made David into a laughing stock and the media ran with it.



Merion parodied other celebrities but the parodies of David went too far.

It somehow made some of the public associate him only with that parody instead of the brilliant music on his debut album.

It really damaged the guy's reputation and duped some of the public to believe his music was shit.



You can see the effects here with all these sarcastic and insulting comments and they probably have never listened to the entire album.

At least 4 singles on this album are great and that's rare.

David is a very talented vocalist and songwriter as displayed on this album .

It's kind of sad that's not generally appreciated among the UK public.



This album was and still is very original musically unlike many albums in the past 10-15 years. It's a fantastic album.



Rant over.







This Message Edited On 10.06.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That was indeed an interesting rant. I live in Australia, so I have no idea of most of the happenings you speak of. I don't even know who/what Merion is! I do know how the British tabloids can be though.

Still, as can be seen on my other reviews of Craig David's albums, I simply call it the way I see/hear it & his attempt to infiltrate America on 'Slicker Than Your Average' was misguided. Meanwhile, the less said about 'The Story Goes...' the better.

Thanks for the positive feedback chipit... Mush appreciated.

AtavanHalen
October 6th 2008


17920 Comments


steppin out in da club tonite w/ a FRESHHHH HAIR CUTTT

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2008


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

While you do that ATAVAN, I'm going to be "Walking away... From the troubles in my life..."

AtavanHalen
October 7th 2008


17920 Comments


Shut up, you're Champ Kind; you ain't got no truobles

rocker23472654812314
January 31st 2011


66 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im walking awaaaaaaay



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