British rapper/singer Example has only had a short-yet-successful career, starting back in 2007, which found him pioneering the idea of using “EDM” producers to back his vocal tracks. While artists like David Guetta and Calvin Harris would flip this idea into massive successful dance/pop collaborations over the last few years, Example’s catalog shows him collaborating with house artists like Funkagenda, MJ Cole, Sub Focus, and Bart Bmore. On his fourth LP, he continues that trend, going for current hot producers like Dirty South, Calvin Harris, and Tommy Trash, among others.
With a guest list that also includes names like Alesso, Feed Me, and Zane Lowe, Example’s The Evolution of Man certainly has a lot of star power going for it, yet it doesn’t always equal musical success. Example’s distinctive voice and style overpowers much of the production, and begins to wear on the listener as the album plods along. We find him attempting to recreate “hottest songs in the world” like his past “Changed The Way You Kiss Me”, with songs like “Close Enemies” and “Perfect Replacement” (prod. Feed Me), but the formula becomes redundant very quickly. Like on “Blood From A Stone”, the songs are almost sung as if he were making some profound revelation, when he’s just taking an old adage and penning it into a hook.
“Queen of Your Dreams”, produced by Alesso, also falls flat, as Example’s “whoa-whoas” sound trite, as if they are just filling a void for the sake of doing so. Tommy Trash and Dirty South’s contributions also do little to help, suggesting Example is the problem, as instrumental versions of these tracks might have been fine on their own. The real noteworthy collaboration here is the previously released “We’ll Be Coming Back” with Calvin Harris, which seems to more follow Harris’ formulas than those of Example.
True, Example hasn’t quite had the success is North America as he has in other parts of the world, and from the sound of things, it doesn’t seem like The Evolution of Man is the answer to that riddle.
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