CD: Craig David - The Time is Now The singer's re-rewind continues. But are the songs still as g

From The Arts Desk

The Time is Now sees Craig David's career well into its Indian summer. The story of how he got here is well known: back in the early noughties a series of hits like "7 Days" made him the toast of the UK Garage scene. Then comedian Leigh "Bo' Selecta " Francis turned David into a figure of fun. The singer relocated to Miami to become a club DJ. Finally, he returned to the UK and released the Number One album, Following My Intuition.

It wasn't just the latter's sales figures that were impressive. Over the past two years, David has also picked up a MOBO and filled London's 02 arena, showing him to be nothing if not a highly credible artist. And yet the question remains, is credibility really what we want? Like The Time is Now's cheeky cover-art, the album's best songs are those that don't take themselves too seriously.

Three tracks stand out. The single "Heartline" is by turns romantic, cheesy and cheery. Then there's "Brand New", with a latin flavour slighty reminiscent of Shakira. But the most infectious number by some margin is "Get Involved", featuring JP Cooper. In places, it has a kind of Justin Timberlake feel.

Other collaborations are less successful. "I Know You", featuring Dan Smith from beige indie rockers Bastille, builds up to a ghastly, saccharine chorus like something you might hear in an out-of-town shopping centre. At the other end of the musical scale, we find "Live in the Moment" featuring GoldLink, and produced by Kaytranada. The hip-hop production is so exaggerated that, initially, I thought there was a problem with the MP3 file. Not everyone will agree. Craig David's current crop of fans will, no doubt, think such tracks are genius. I suspect they may also enjoy all the nondescript R'n'B filler. But, unless you're passionate about urban flava, you might want to stick to the fun, pop stuff.

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