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Released: 22nd August 2005.

Craig David - The Story GoesRoutinely, a popular artist's third album will allow more creative freedom, personal touches and exploration of new musical avenues. Craig David, however, decides not to abandon his winning formula of mid-tempo grooves and beat-based party jams.

Lead single "All The Way" was a very subtle introduction to the musicality of "The Story Goes". "Hypnotic" showcased early on the record, with a killer hook and fine verses, could have easily eclipsed the success of "All The Way". "Just Chillin'" and "Thief In The Night" all hip-shaking up-tempos would have also served as more easily-marketed lead singles.

Though Craig's smooth vocals glide over the notes effortlessly, sometimes they aren't enough to raise the mid-tempo material above mediocrity. The record notably drags in the middle with "Do You Believe In Love", "Unbelievable" and "One Last Dance" and again towards the end with "Take 'Em Off" and "Let Her Go" - all of which lack the spark of his previous slow jams.

It's not all bad though. "Johnny", a sincere ballad about a boy's troubles with Johnny the bully is undoubtedly endearing. Second single, "Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)", with its eerily cheery tone despite its topic, impresses with an incredibly catchy chorus, even though the production could have been tighter.

This record's club jams are the out-and-out highlights of what could otherwise have been an increasingly difficult listen. Hopefully, Craig David will make the story go a little bit better next time round.

Best track: Hypnotic

Worst track: Do You Believe In Love

* * * (Muzikritik)

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