"You all think you've seen me / Never did, it's a Harry Houdini," Elliot "Example" Gleave boasts on the opening track of his second album. He's not kidding either, as the London-based rapper attempts to perform a disappearing act from the hip-hop sound of his previous LP, What We Made, and re-emerge as a fully-formed dance-pop-dubstep artiste. With a little help from some of the best assistants – sorry, producers – in the business, it seems as though he's got everything in place to pull off one of pop's trickiest stunts. But is it all just a case of smoke and mirrors?
Well, there's still plenty of rapping here - even if he does now call it "chat" - but Gleave has undoubtedly focused on making an album for the masses. Prior to release he served up three tasters of his new sound: the laid back, piano-driven 'Watch The Sun Come Up', the electro-stomping 'Won't Go Quietly', and the dubstep-tinged 'Kickstarts'. Collectively they offer a fair and accurate representation of an album that's both bang on trend and surprisingly authentic.
Thankfully, Gleave has kept a few aces up his sleeve, with some of his best tunes still to come. 'Last Ones Standing' is an infectious ode to hedonism with beats frantic enough to perk up any flagging clubber, while his electro-funkin' Calvin Harris collaboration, 'Time Machine', is far from the Dizzee Rascal cast-off one might have feared. However, it's 'Millionaires' - a rare subdued moment here - that's the album's smash-in-waiting. Boasting a timeless-sounding chorus crooned by up-and-coming indie star Jamie Scott, it's the sort of thing that will fit like a hand into a (white silk) glove onto both the Radio 1 and Radio 2 playlists."
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