Review: Example – Playing in the Shadows
Example has had quite the career having tried a range of occupations before becoming a singer, including film-making and even comedy. Having been signed to a record label ever since 2004, his albums ‘What We Made’ (2007) and ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ (2010) failed to make a massive impact on the charts.
Real name Elliot Gleave, Example got his breakthrough in 2010 with his single, ‘Kickstarts’ and has gone on to release hits such as ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me’ and ‘Stay Awake,’ both of which appear on his third studio album, ‘Playing in the Shadows.’
‘Playing In The Shadows’ features solely Example’s voice, with the tracks being produced by Nero, Skream, Brookes Brothers, Michael Woods, DC Breaks, Chase & Status, Faithless, Funkagenda, Feed Me, Laidback Luke and Dirty South.
There are clear similarities between ‘Playing In The Shadows’ and his second album ‘Won’t Go Quietly,’ especially with the opening track ‘Skies Don’t Lie,’ which also acts as a great opening track for gigs and festivals, just like ‘From Space’ did. There are also many references to “listening to the serpent” and the bonus track, ‘Lying To Yourself’ sounds quite familiar to ‘Shot Yourself In The Foot Again.’
As demonstrated through his choice of singles, the rapper turned singer has dropped beats that has had ravers bouncing in clubs across the world and have had well-written lyrics to match. There are plenty of these on the album including ‘Midnight Run,’ ‘Wrong In The Head’ and his next single, ‘Natural Disaster’ – which brilliantly demonstrates Example’s ability to both sing and rap.
Surprisingly, Example manages to pull off some slow-paced songs too. ‘Microphone,’ ‘Never Had A Day,’ and ‘Playing in the Shadows’ are all a nice change in tempo for the album, something that didn’t work so well last time around.
Overall, ‘Playing In The Shadows’ is an excellent album. Example has taken a massive risk using numerous producers throughout his album though this works in his favour, with there being a smooth transition between every track. As for the tracks themselves, there’s no faulting his work as he goes from strength to strength.