Wildstar - 2002 - 64 minutes

There should be a little disclaimer on the cover of 'Slicker Than Your Average' stating, "This album is nothing like 'Born To Do It' and if you're looking for Part 2, you won't find it here". Mr David has to be admired for braving a new sound on this album, even though the formula for the last one was so right that it should have been bottled and sold to all those wannabe MC's that try soooo hard to find their niche. Craig David found his niche and sold it in quantities of millions.

Both the critics and the fans admire his talent – a rare feat – but how do you please both with the second album? 'Slicker Than Your Average' is heavily influenced by the model US R&B sound, and it works fine, but there's a distinct yearning for the two-step garage we all know and love.

First single 'What's Your Flava' is also the first sign of a different sound. The heavy bass line and vocoder sound is not typical for Craig, but it's a superb track and should work on both sides of the water. Title track, 'Slicker Than Your Average' sounds a bit like a Timbaland production. The "biting back" – "They said I wasn’t from the streets…" – is a bit puzzling, considering the majority of media responses were positive but it's an example of the strong US influence on the album.

The latter half of the album enters into the average zone. There's some nice Spanish guitar and beats and even a Sting duet (similar to the Sugababes effort 'Shape', but far inferior), but it's more of an album than a grouping of singles a la 'Born To Do It'. Somewhat surprisingly, many of the tracks were recorded in the UK. David is a quality artist who made a great debut and 'Slicker Than Your Average' should make an equally impressive dent in the charts. The problem's not that he's altered his sound, it's that he can't seem to hold it for long.

David Byrne

Tracklisting: Slicker Than Your Average - What’s Your Flava? - Fast Cars - Hidden Agenda - Eenie Meenie - You Don’t Miss Your Water (‘Til the Well Runs Dry) - Rise & Fall (feat. Sting) – Personal - Hands Up In The Air - 2 Steps Back – Spanish - What’s Changed - World Filled With Love