Every so often I come across an album so confusing I’m forced to convene the Hip-Hop Supreme Court. Comprised of a diverse panel of hip-hop heads, the Court addresses any and all beat and rhyme related matters (check out The People vs. Yung Berg for some precedent). Today I bring before the court English crooner Craig David. At issue is his new album Trust Me, a musical work that contains some pretty dope moments - and moments when I want to throw up in my mouth, sometimes in the same track. Frankly I don’t know …
DJBooth Album Review
Supreme Court: (banging gavel) Court is now in session. It is our duty today to decide whether Trust Me is a enjoyable pop/R&B album, or a steaming hot piece of garbage. Representing the garbage side will be the Hatin Lawyer, and Craig David has chosen to represent himself. Introduce yourself Mr. David.
Craig David: I don’t really think I need much introduction, your honors. This is my fourth album and I’m pretty popular throughout Europe.
Hatin Lawyer: Then how come I don’t recognize you?
Craig David: You probably know me as the guy who sang Fill Me In and 7 Days back in 2001, they were both big hits. I’ve had a relatively successful career since then. You Americans think everything revolves around you.
Supreme Court: The Court is willing to admit perhaps it doesn’t understand your English style, but you’re in an American courtroom and will be judged accordingly. Proceed with your case.
Craig David: For my first piece of evidence I will present Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance), a song built around a David Bowie sample that’s sure to get the ladies moving their hips..
Hatin Lawyer: I object! This song isn’t a sample of Bowie’s Let’s Dance, it’s a straight up copy. All you did is add a few sound effects and a bridge, isn’t there some kind of copyright law against that?
Supreme Court: Let the record show that Hot Stuff is a good song, but the original is better. Continue with your case Mr. David.
Craig David: I still contend I flipped the style from the original. For my next piece of evidence I’d like to submit 6 of 1Thing, a song so huge it sounds like a ten-piece band recorded it. Big horn sections, grooving percussion, you have to admit you were feeling this.
Hatin Lawyer: It’s true the song’s salsa-music vibe is damn good, but those lyrics are terrible. It’s hard to believe you actually used the phrase “six of one thing, half a dozen of another,” as a chorus. What, was “righty tighty, lefty loosey” already taken?
Craig David: It’s a metaphor for a relationship that’s falling apart. It’s not my fault you’re too dumb to figure it out.
Supreme Court: Overruled, write a new chorus and get back to us Mr. David. Hatin Lawyer, it’s your turn to present evidence.
Hatin Lawyer: If the album stuck to dance-friendly music we wouldn’t be here. It’s the slow jams that fail miserably. Top of the Hill might be the least inspiring inspirational song I’ve ever heard. It’s you, an out of tune acoustic guitar and some terrible lyrics. “There was a boy…he knew the dog and the cats and his brother and the maid…” what does that even mean?
Craig David: Fine, so maybe it’s not a classic. But what about Awkward, that’s a beautiful slow song.
Hatin Lawyer: I wouldn’t say beautiful, let’s go with much better. I just wish you could sing something else besides that falsetto, especially on a blues song. Plus guest artist Rita Ora out sings you by a mile.
Craig David: You wouldn’t know good music if it hit you in the face.
Hatin Lawyer: How about I hit you in the face?
Supreme Court: That’s enough Hatin Lawyer, one more outburst and you’ll be removed from this courtroom. We’re ready to hear final arguments, discuss the song This Is the Girl.
Craig David: What’s there to say? Huge bass beat, catchy chorus, it’s an absolute club smash. It may be the best song on the album.
Hatin Lawyer: The beat’s good enough, and I can even live with Kano’s rapping, but the song was from Kano's album! He rhymes, “Old dogs/new tricks/different toilet/same sh*t.” I motion that the court ban Mr. David from ever using a line like that in his work again.
Supreme Court: The Court is not in a position to stop Mr. David from rapping, though it would recommend it. We can only determine that while Trust Me isn’t terrible, we cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone but longtime fans. The court has spoken, case dismissed! (gavel bangs).
Listen to More: Craig David Written by Nathan S.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
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