Elliot John Gleave is an English singer/songwriter/rapper better known by his stage name, Example. Whilst he rose to international fame with his album Playing In The Shadows in 2011, Example has been on the music scene for over 8 years now. Live Life Living marks his fifth studio album, and the first since leaving electronic dance music jaggernaut Ministry of Sound.
Live Life Living is an homage to 90s dance music, with Example listing influences such as The Prodigy, Faithless, Underworld and The Chemical Brothers for this latest album. Next Year falls short of its task as album opener; the track seems to flatline, with the vocal melody needing much more variety. But second single Kids Again picks up the pace, with a melody designed to shine on the dancefloor. The lyrics depict a yearning for youth, whilst delivering a song that executes Example’s trademark style and is instantly recognisable as his own.
Whilst Example stated that he was moving away from rapping for this latest album, the high demand from fans saw him go back and add extra bars to a few tracks. Although in most of these instances, it is obvious these verses are to placate fans rather than to please the artist, and this sees them feel awkward and out of place at times. This is the case in 10 Million People, a track with lots of repetition, a generic melody and the rap verse thrown in at the start.
Many of the songs on Live Life Living do not feature Example’s recognisable tunes; they all blend into one another, becoming a mix of generic tunes and bad melodies. Title track Live Life Living has difficulties with the transitions between the verses and the EDM melodic breakdown, as does At Night. Take Me As I Am has an intense electronica melody, but struggles to remain coherent, often sounding like two completely different songs at times. First single All The Wrong Places sounds far too similar to previous hit Changed The Way You Kiss Me, is disjointed and ends extremely abruptly. Example’s vocals in many of these songs also come across as quite weak and not his best.
But new single One More Day (Stay With Me) gives hope; with a slightly disco vibe and an engaging rap verse, the song is quite catchy and will likely be a hit. Can’t Face The World Alone is the type of track that will tear up the dancefloor for sure, despite its dark lyrics and slight overproduction.
Live Life Living is a bit of a mixed bag from Example, although a bit heavier on the not so great side. Whilst this fifth album has given Elliot a chance to experiment, it perhaps didn’t work out for the best. However it is hard to hide the formulaic production that doesn’t give us anything new, despite Live Life Living’s best attempts.