In his 2000 debut album, Craig David merges smooth-soul crooning with a cascade of glistening keyboards, circling guitars, and sophisticated rhythms. Displaying a healthy marriage of current R&B vocal stylings and U.K. club/dance fused beats, David's music skillfully evades feeling robotic and cold, while still sounding pristine and immaculate. As an artist who is in his late teens, he conjures up a personal and revealing work that delves into both his mature sound and youthful attitude. Co-writing and co-producing with Mark Hill of the British garage act the Artful Dodger, David wraps his scorching-cool vocals around a mellow attack of keyboards and drums, while distinctly focusing on romance, relationships, and clubbing. Guitars simmer on "7 Days," a day by day account of an adventurous first week with a woman he magically encounters while in a subway. In "Can't Be Messing 'Round," the performer's razor sharp vocals heat-seek while a keyboard hammers before being covered by a high-sounding whirlpool of strings. With the dance anthem "Time to Party," drums sting and a whispering guitar is faintly heard while he optimistically sings "Friday, payday/Ready to do the things we love." The lyrics do sometimes sound underdeveloped due to David's age, and the music can occasionally lack distinctiveness, yet those two factors do not hinder the celebratory power of Born to Do It. The album features an effortless presentation of limber and carefully articulated vocal talents by the singer that seamlessly glide through the polished collage of songs.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Mercier