August 20, 2001 12:00 PM

Craig David (Wildstar/Atlantic)

Is the air conditioner on the fritz, or is Craig David in the house? Coasting into America on the sales of almost 5 million copies of this debut album in Europe, the Southampton, England-bred singer purrs a seductive brand of rhythm and coos that links the dance floor to the bedroom. You probably won’t forget his name, but as a courtesy to those with memory problems he drops it into seven different songs—”Craig David ooh yeah,” and so on.

David, 20, is the poster boy for England’s trend of the nanosecond, a percussive and energized hybrid of R&B, reggae and techno called two-step. But it’s his velvety vocals that really bring the heat to the hip shaking: Every line out of his mouth says come hither—no, hitherer. David also cowrote all of the songs, and though there are plenty of silky club-hopper come-ons, the midtempo “Walking Away” is wistful and filigreed, while the single “Fill Me In” is a playfully worded take on teenagers trysting the night away. David may have made his name in Boogie Wonderland, but he has the goods to stick around long past the last dance.

Bottom Line: Smooth operator

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