It’s no secret that Craig David has been enjoying an incredibly successful comeback as of late. The RnB star first made his way into our lives in the early 00’s, drawing us in with iconic hits such as ‘7 Days’, ‘Rewind’, ‘Walk Away’ and ‘Fill Me In’. Whilst he continued to make music in the years that followed, 2016 saw Craig enjoy an incredible resurgence in popularity.
Through his album Following My Intuition, Craig revived the interest of his early fans, whilst gaining a whole new era of music lovers along the way. The album, which features ‘Ain’t Giving Up’ and ’16’, went straight to number one on the UK album chart, marking Craig’s first number one album in sixteen years.
After the success of Following My Intuition, Craig is back with a brand new body of work which proves that he is even stronger than ever. His forthcoming album, The Time Is Now, is bursting with a fusion of genres over an RnB backbone, and a whole host of eclectic collaborations. Its lead single, ‘Heartline’ was released in September 2017, and since then we have heard a small selection of songs from the album, all of which showcase a different side to the artist.
Ahead of its release tomorrow, we bring you a full track-by-track lowdown of what to expect from Craig David’s The Time Is Now.
The Time Is Now track-by-track review
The Time Is Now kicks off with the infectious ‘Magic’, which sets a feel-good tone for the rest of the album. Produced by Tre-Jean Marie, who worked with Craig on Following My Intuition, the track is simplistic yet has a captivating hook. “M for the way you make me feel, A cause you always keep it real, G for the girl that got me good, I C the world the way I should”, croons Craig, delivering his own unique meaning to the word ‘magic’.
Produced by fellow hitmaker Jonas Blue, the album’s lead single ‘Heartline’ was first unveiled back in September last year. The RnB offering is infused with an addictive electronic beat, creating an upbeat track reminiscent of ‘Ain’t Giving Up’. Craig’s voice is particularly golden during the chorus, as he shows off his dedication to his loved one: “All my friends think I’m crazy, maybe I’ve lost my mind, but I put my heart on the line for you”.
3. Brand New
‘Brand New’ sees Craig experiment with a little Latin flavour. The track, produced by BRITs Producer of the Year 2018 Steve Mac, has a slick and sensual vibe to it. We would have liked to heard Craig push the Latin element a little further, however, ‘Brand New’ is still a track that we’ll be losing ourselves in during the summer months.
4. Going On
Armed with an infectious beat, ‘Going On’ captures your attention immediately. It’s almost impossible to stand still whilst listening to the song, especially whilst Craig and an uncredited female sing “I’m going on with you”. Amidst the bopping, there’s also a slow RnB breakdown in the latter half which we love.
5. Love Me Like It’s Yesterday
Continuing with the dance party, ‘Love Me Like It’s Yesterday’ is another catchy offering from Craig. The song is laced with a chirpy chime which gives the track a summery, tropical vibe. Similar to ‘Brand New’, we can definitely picture ourselves playing ‘Love Me Like It’s Yesterday’ on full volume during the summer months.
6. For The Gram
‘For The Gram’ was previously released as an instant grat track, and has the edgiest vibe of the album so far. The track has a strong urban sound and showcases Craig’s rapping skills in parts. Proving that the time really is now, the track is very relevant to the present day in terms of its (slightly cheesy) lyrics. These include: “We do it for the Insta, we do it for the Gram, angles out to take pictures with a body like that” and “When she’s done takin’ pictures, don’t forget the hashtag”. The track isn’t necessarily one of our favourites, however, it’s a ‘take it as it is’ kind of song which we still end up dancing along to.
7. Get Involved featuring JP Cooper
‘Get Involved’ is the first collaboration on the album, bringing together Craig and JP Cooper. This is the collab we were most excited to hear, and needless to say we’re in love with the outcome. The song is a departure in sound for both artists however, the gritty urban vibe works perfectly. There’s something rather haunting about the chorus, “Why I gotta get involved, keep getting involved, getting involved with those games?”, and we’re certain it will be imprinted in your mind for a long time to come.
8. I Know You featuring Bastille
Speaking of unconventional collaborations, we’d never consider putting Craig David and Bastille together. However, since the release of ‘I Know You’ in November, we’ve been hooked on their epic collaboration. Whilst we wish the beat drop would go just that little bit further, the song has such a cool vibe and combines Craig and Dan Smith’s unique styles perfectly.
9. Live In The Moment featuring KAYTRANADA and GoldLink
‘Live In The Moment’ was recently released as an instant grat track. Teaming up with rapper GoldLink (and KAYTRANADA on production), the song is a fusion of soul, RnB and hip hop. Whilst the track is infectious, remaining true to Craig’s recent musical style, ‘Live In The Moment’ also has a slight old school vibe which is reminiscent of his early work.
10. Love Will Come Around
‘Love Will Come Around’ has an air of nostalgia to it and could easily be a track from Craig’s back catalogue. With lyrics such as “A love like yours is hard to come by and every day with you feels like it’s July”, the singer shows off his softer side whilst still delivering a catchy tune.
11. Somebody Like Me featuring AJ Tracey
Back on the urban hype, ‘Somebody Like Me’ features rapper AJ Tracey. It isn’t the most impactful collaboration on the album, however, Craig and AJ’s styles do work together well. AJ performs a lengthy verse whilst Craig delivers a soulful vibe on the RnB heavy chorus.
‘Focus’ is one of the most club heavy tracks on the album, and will no doubt go down a storm during Craig’s TS5 DJ sets. The track manages to maintain an old school vibe whilst also being completely fresh to the ear. If you can sit through the song without having a bop, then you’re doing better than we are. ‘Focus’ is the perfect ending to the standard version of the album.
13. Reload with Chase & Status
‘Reload’ forms part of the deluxe version of The Time Is Now. Teaming up with drum and bass production duo Chase and Status, ‘Reload’ is reminiscent of Craig’s early urban style and has a dirty beat drop. The track is sure to be a hit with Craig’s loyal fans who have stuck around since the 00’s.
14. Talk To Me Pt. 1
‘Talk To Me Pt. 1’ has a hypnotic RnB vibe to it, which allows Craig to serenade us with his soulful vocals. The track is seductive, with the smooth singer pining for some loving from his lady. Part one is fairly uptempo and has a slick groove.
15. Talk To Me Pt.2 featuring Ella Mai
The final album track sees Craig team up with Ella Mai for part two of ‘Talk To Me’. Whilst the first part focused on the chase, the second part sees the two actually get together. Craig and Ella’s voices blend perfectly together. The track has a definite old school vibe and rounds off the deluxe edition on a chilled note.
The Time Is Now proves that Craig’s comeback was far from a fluke. Whilst the album is laden with his classic RnB sound, it’s clear to see that Craig is also happy to experiment with current trends such as Latin. Our standout pick is the incredible JP Cooper collab, ‘Get Involved’. However, songs like ‘Magic’, ‘I Know You’, ‘Love Me Like It’s Yesterday’, and ‘Live in the Moment’ also show Craig at his strongest. Ensuring that the album has something for fans both old and new, The Time Is Now is sure to be another triumph for Craig David.