Review Summary: Imagine Dance Wiv Me on repeat.
Around about this time last year mention the name Elliot ‘Example’ Gleave to any Twilight obsessed, Mark Ronson loving troglodyte and you’ll have received a blank stare (well a blanker
stare in any case). Sure you’ll have gotten the odd reply. Mainly from those who were familiar with his mischievous response to Lily Allen’s smash hit with, Vile, but most, despite the fan fare surrounding Example having signed with Mike Skinner’s now defunct The Beats label, were blissfully unaware of his debut What We Made
. What We Made was as UK hip-hop goes pretty fantastic, witty lyrics, superb production courtesy of Rusher (who tellingly does not appear here) all carried off superbly by Example with his tongue-in-cheek persona endearing the listener.
Fast forward to this summer and Example the same man who panned other artists (now seeming greatly ironic) for selling out on The Sell Out
from his 2006 mix tape We Didn’t Invent the Re-mix
, has already had two successful singles from Won’t Go Quietly
. Gone however is the whimsical, and down-right hilarious take on hip-hop exhibited on such songs as You Can’t Rap
or the introspective contemplative forays such as the title track from What We Made
In their place, however, is a collection of songs aimed straight at the Top 40 charts largely with a bouncing club filler –esque electro pop backing, forgettable mid-song rap sections and some down right shameful attempts at singing. All backed by a star-studded cast of various producers including Calvin Harris (already responsible for turning one underground hip hop darling into a bona fide pop star with the same damn formula), pop dubstep duo Chase & Status, and of UK Garage fame M.J Cole, just to name a few.
Productions wise it does not do enough to get by, although the upbeat poppy electro house beats are likely to fill dance floors from your average club to your indie hipster club up and down the land. The severe lack of any real variation, bar attempts at a Dry Your Eyes
/ Wouldn’t Have it Any other Way
recreation with Millionaires
, and the odd discarded wobble bass lent by the likes of Benga on Dirty Face
and Sub Focus on Kickstarts
backing wise it does grow extremely tiresome. Rusher's tasteful samples and lo-fi production are sorely missed on Won't Go Quietly
Lyrically gone is the bubbly charm and wit Example once exhibited, gone is the simplistic but provoking choruses such as: First we made the Wheel/Then we made the Car/Then we made the Bomb/Now it’s all gone wrong, instead replaced with such gems as: You want me to come over I got an excuse/Might be holding your hand but I’m holding it loose, amidst other lyrics dealing with horrible subjects as holiday flings and his sexual prowess (Mike Skinner could surely claim infringement on at least half of this turgid effort). But if you really want to see how dumbed down this whole affair compare and contrast lyrically Posh Birds
on his debut to Dirty Face
. Moving away from panning his peers and the playing down the importance of being ‘street’, Example panders to this crowd with half hearted bragging and poorly constructed misogynistic lyrics to further ad nauseum.
Ultimately Example has truly entered the realm of the mainstream, I caught half of his headline set at a local music festival hoping in vain I’d be treated to some of his early work only to be disappointed. As for those troglodytes I mentioned earlier I observed them simply lapping this all up in their droves. Which I gather was the desired effect Example wanted in the end.
Just don't be surprised if he ends up in some terrible charity single or doing a World Cup song for England in 4 years time with some James Corden flavour of the month type.