After David managed to crack the American music industry with his hit debut studio album, Born to Do It, his musical style began to alter to appeal to the worldwide market on his second studio album. In an interview with ANDPOP's Adam Gonshor, David revealed the inspiration for some of the songs on the album. He was forced to stay in a hotel room for a week following the September 11 attacks in New York City in 2001, and it was this event that inspired him to write the song "World Filled with Love". In the interview, he said, "I was thinking, I'm actually in this world that's filled with madness, with this drama that's going on. Some of the things we were talking about in music, in the big picture, are so trivial...I thought music is a form of escapism, so I used it to write a song hopefully for positive means to say, we are in a world that's filled with love." David also commented that the album title could be looked at in two different ways: "On the one hand, it's coming across like I'm arrogant. On the other hand, it's saying I have a lot more composure on the album." The album was leaked onto the internet prior to its official release, but David was not too bothered as he felt that it "spreads the word".
The album received mostly positive reviews from contemporary music critics. BBC Music's Keysha Davis wrote that "Slicker Than Your Average provides the listener with the opportunity to get into the mind of a truly gifted young star...there are enough club friendly tracks to ensure heavy rotation in the hottest nightspots". However, in reference to his success in the United States, she also pointed out "true fans may be a tad bit disappointed by the new super-slick musical direction".AllMusic's Christina Fuoco gave it a rating of three stars out of five and wrote "Slicker Than Your Average is stronger than the average sophomore effort...it proves that Craig David's abilities are innate". Pat Blashill, writing for Rolling Stone magazine, called it "one of the most subtle male R&B records in a good while" and gave it a 3/5 rating.Blender magazine's gave the album a rating of 4/5 and commented "David moves away from underground two-step...toward a modern, mainstream R&B record. Slicker is full of Timbaland-style production, booty-call ballads and even Spanish guitars. Sometimes being real means revealing the marshmallow within."
Ken Tucker, writing for Entertainment Weekly, gave the album a B– and wrote "David has a voice that's fresh and expressive, so it doesn't bode well that on what's only his second album, he's also an artist already reduced to singing about the burdens of fame."The Guardian's Alexis Petridis wrote "His second album has its flaws, but they are largely generic: when it tries to fit too snugly into the R&B template, it tails off. At its best, however, it is a curiously unique record."