Consumer Guide Album
Craig David: Slicker Than Your Average [Wildstar/Atlantic, 2002]
In Britain he's got the dogs of clubland on his faithless black ass--2step made him and 2step will bring him down. Because the Neptunes couldn't fit him into their crowded schedule, the assassination was called off, but really, Sting backing a rewrite of his own fusty tune? And Beatles harmonies, how naff is that? Over here, where we're not sure there is such a thing as 2step anymore (was there, even?), he sweats a different kind of cred, because he's, you know, English. Ignore these irrelevancies. As does happen, the songs thin out, and right, "You Don't Miss Your Water" is an idea whose time has gone. Nevertheless, this gentle, suave, insistent smoothie parlayed his direct lyrics and tricky beats into a strong straight r&b album in a year when contenders Raphael Saadiq and Me'shell NdegéOcello got tangled up in form. He has the voice and he has the mind, and sooner or later he'll have the Neptunes too.