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Craig David - Born To Do It Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 July 2001
Born To Do It,
Wildstar/Atlantic Records, 2002
| Performance 7.5 | Sound 8 |

Image20-year-old British R&B singing sensation Craig David comes to America with a silky smooth voice, tight production and an endorsement from Elton John, arguably the UK’s biggest pop star. "If there's a better singer than Craig David in Britain, then I'm Margaret Thatcher," John said in a recent interview.

At the age of only 18, the Southampton, England-based David became the youngest British male to score a #1 hit, when his debut solo single, "Fill Me In," entered the U.K. charts in the top spot in March, 2000. His album Born To Do It hit American shores in mid-2001, but it’s taken quite some time for American audiences to get hip to this artist.

He may only be 20, but David sings with the same confidence as the elder statesmen of the smooth R&B genre such as Maxwell, Babyface, and R Kelly. Unlike most modern day players, David is a man who likes to take his time when wooing the ladies. He’s so assured in his game that he turned a song about not getting laid on the first (and second) date into the best song on the album. "I met this girl on Monday, took her for a drink on Tuesday, we were makin’ love by Wednesday and on Thursday and Friday and Saturday we chilled on Sunday" he croons on the chorus of "7 Days." Surely if you watch MTV, VH1 or listen to adult contemporary radio, you’ve heard this jam.

Taking a cue from Shaggy, David feels the need to subtly say his name and oftentimes the title of the song while the intro dance beat plays along. It almost seems like a way to get an advertisement out there in case the song is illegally downloaded and traded around the Internet.

The music on Born To Do It features some fairly standard synthesizer and drum beat sounds that are quite common in dance pop music. David is particularly fond of the same synth sound found on the Brandy & Monica hit song "The Boy is Mine." This sound wears out its welcome as the album progresses, but it’s sure to keep the dance floor moving, regardless of the fact that this is not the most original-sounding album.

Born To Do It is a fun and entertaining pop record, but it’s not without its shortcomings. It’s a little disappointing to tell you that the best tracks on Born to Do it are the first two radio singles, "Fill Me In" and "7 Days," but that doesn’t mean the rest of the album is without merit. David has a few signature rhythmic phrases he uses throughout the record that help him to define his sound, but these ultimately left me wishing he had a little more variety to his songs. I’m guessing his songwriting abilities will improve with age and experience. He penned most of the album with his producer and backup vocalist Mark Hill and, although they are no Lennon/McCartney, they are a formidable songwriting duo that shows much potential on this first go-round.

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