Craig David
Slicker Than Your Average
Atlantic Records

Paul Wong
Rating: One star.

Flashback to junior high school dances: gaudy Christmas lights hanging around a gym, principals hovering over eager young students, and raunchy, mind-numbing music blares in the background. This is quite possibly the only place Craig David’s new album, Slicker Than Your Average, belongs. With its perpetually repeating beats and mundane rhythms, only such a pre-adolescent fan base could appreciate David’s second effort.

How can I make such crude statements against this up-and-coming British R&B star? Admittedly, it’s difficult to comprehend the album’s banality when the “hit single” boasts such clever lyrics as “I met this fly girl in a club / went by the name of Pecan Deluxe / This ice cream was high maintenance / When I took her out nearly cost me 20 bucks.”

However, upon even deeper inspection, it becomes more painfully obvious how trite and utterly ridiculous these songs can be. The titles themselves are an experiment in idiocy, such as “You Don’t Miss Your Water ‘Til the Well Runs Dry,” “Eenie Meenie,” and my personal favorite, “What’s Your Flava?”

In the wake of Eminem’s comeback record, David hasn’t failed to exploit his own “nobody appreciates me” lament. The first and title track plays into his previous run-down style with yet another recycled rhythm from his equally terrible follow-up tracks. Though the whiny loss of love routine is overdone throughout the album, the worst feature of Slicker is, without a doubt, the half-hearted attempt at self-pity running rampant here. “So why do imitators wanna bite my style? Eh? You never had a problem at all when I was having woman trouble. Somebody fill me in. Didn’t I serve my time?” This rather random combination of his prior harsh critiques and his “woman troubles” only adds to his shallow appearance and terrible sound.

While Slicker Than Your Average is good for a cheap laugh among schoolgirls, it certainly lacks any other redeeming quality. David would be lucky to grace the play list of the next pre-teen bash.

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