Release Date: Nov 19, 2012
Record label: Ministry of Sound
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
When talking about the lyrical inspiration for his 2012 album, Elliot John Gleave aka Example mentioned he listened to Kasabian's album Velociraptor! repeatedly, and it shows. Everything here is groovy yet streamlined, most lyrics are brash but not nearly as provocative as the rapper's Twitter account, while hooks are the biggest benefactor as they soar and spin like mid-period Beatles or Oasis tunes played over the most slick EDM beats. Anthem dance-rock gives back to anthem dance-rap on The Evolution of Man, which according to the title track ("I'm the super control freak, and I make it look so sweet/But I lost control of myself, lost control of myself") is really about the evolution of one man: Example.
The problem with this ‘going rock’ business is that nobody ever seems to ‘go rock’ the right way. As pop, rap and dance continue to gleefully trumpet their global commercial prowess over poor old rock’n’roll, there’s been no bloody end of hip-hoppers, poppers and brosteppers lining up to proclaim “Ooh baby, I’m a rock star” and plant their flags into a fat pile of riffs. But from Rihanna to Lil Wayne to Tinie Tempah, the mainstream’s idea of what a rock star looks and sounds like always seems to come either from an ’80s chewing gum advert or from the bottom of Fred Durst’s baggy jeans pocket.
Judging by the readers' comments, Example won few friends in a recent Guardian interview. But the consensus – that the Fulham singer/rapper is an unpleasant hardnut – could be overturned by his fourth album, which is loaded with gloomy soul-searching. It's almost an answer record to his 2011 album, Playing in the Shadows, which partied until it was sick, yielding two No 1 singles in the process.
Few have consummated the marriage of convenience between UK hip-hop, dance music and the charts with more mechanistic vigour – or commercial satisfaction – than chart-rapper Example. His last album, Playing in the Shadows, went to No 1, as did two of its singles. Being this preposterously successful gets people's backs up. Twitter recently witnessed a flame war between the Manchester conurbation and the man born Elliott Gleave 30 years ago.
Versatile London rave-rapper turns more misery into money. Johnny Sharp 2012 “Always gonna live like it’s my last day,” vows Elliot "Example" Gleave repeatedly on Come Taste the Rainbow, the opening track of his fourth album. And if this set is representative of said lifestyle, we must conclude that our hero will spend most of his final hours regretfully reflecting on his excessive drink and drug habits and settling scores against ex-partners.