It is over a decade since Southampton’s Craig David asked us to all “Re-Rewind” and was hailed an overnight ‘Garage God’. A lot has changed since then, with David’s move from cutting edge King to middle of the road has-been. Having released his Greatest Hits back in 2008, many had consigned David to the dumper. But as a new decade dawns, David has landed a new record deal and moved into Motown.
Fifth studio album Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a tribute to those who inspired his own musical dreams. In fine voice, David demonstrates a soulfulness rarely displayed on his earlier recordings. Also evident is a new found determination in his occasionally gravelly groans. Having thrown his heart into his reworkings of classics, he makes Signed, Sealed, Delivered a consistent, enjoyable listen.
David has landed a new record deal and moved into Motown.
However, tribute albums are all well and good but David does little to leave his own mark on the classics. Whilst Rod Stewart managed effortlessly with his smoke-soaked vocal to own both the Great American Songbook and Soulbook , David’s vocal is unable to achieve the same feat. At moments David captures the spirit of Stevie Wonder but he never supersedes the superfluous original.
On Signed, Sealed, Delivered David manages to prove his worth as a versatile vocalist, but often the magic of the music outshines his abilities. Tackling the classics is a challenge for any artist and David manages to rise to the challenge, but fails to really leave his own mark.