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My musical ramblings – gig and album reviews, music news and views

Example: Won’t Go Quietly – album review

Elliot Greaves aka Example

Just to first set the scene, Example is the kind of act that would go down a storm at a baking hot Radio 1 Big Weekend or T4 On The Beach.

Elliot John Gleave has a host of big name producers helping him to pack the punch on Won’t Go Quietly, including Chase & Status, Calvin Harris and drum ‘n’ bass protagonist, Sub Focus. Unfortunately, despite the big names, this oversized collection of 14 ends up being a mish-mash of styles lacking any sort of clear direction and as a result, cohesiveness.

Since his debut, What We Made, in 2007, Example has dropped his rap swagger and proclaims he is now in the ‘dysfunctional electro-pop’ category. Won’t Go Quietly certainly has those hallmarks, exemplary on the title track which is throwaway yet palatable, but is as disposable and catchy as the bubblegum Black Eyed Peas-sound it resembles. The same can be said for Time Machine, a Calvin Harris collaboration that packs more dance-pop-cheese than even the Cathedral City beatmeister himself.

Example has claimed bragging rights for his sharp lyrical wit and aptitude for rhyme, but From Space is more playground rap battle than 8 Mile and features the absolute corker, “I’ve got brand new socks, pack of five cuz’ I’ve been down the shops.” It is familiar Dizzie Rascal/N.E.R.D territory, but with a terrifying Ibiza twist at the end which catastrophically fails where Tinie Tempah may have succeeded.

Released in 2009 as the first single from the album, Watch the Sun Come Up has gentle mellow beats and piano chords which work really rather well, but an uncomfortable rap makes it fall short of the mark.

There are also more than a few flashes of dubstep across the album, although they become more prolific towards the latter half with Sick Note, Hooligan and Dirty Face, with its thick bassline and 90s rave elements.

Banging electro-house track and recent chart hit, Kickstart, is a highlight, with a synth riff that more than makes up for its squidgy lyrics, and there’s even room for Example’s answer to Dry Your Eyes from The Streets with crooner, Millionaires.

The real problem with this artist is that none of the tracks feel like they’ve been written with any real aplomb. Elliot flirts with so many genres that the result is a record which sounds dispassionate and makes him seem like a jack of all trades, master of none.

Won’t Go Quietly does have some high points which have mass consumption written all over them. But for all his confidence and bullishness, Example doesn’t have the bare faced endearing cheek of Dizzie Rascal, he doesn’t have the flow of Eminem, nor does he have the lyrical wit of Mike Skinner; which really rather leaves him in a no man’s land of sorts.

Reviewed for http://www.inoneear.co.uk

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