Example ExampleWon't Go Quietly
All right, so the multitalented Elliot Gleave (who has even taken his first steps as a monologue writer for British television) is not exactly a gifted rapper: that was already clear from his first recordings for Mike Skinner and The Beats label. His rhymes, in fact, can even make you blush, but who needs profound lyrics when the message would be something like, “I want to dance, smoke joints, buy myself a jacket at Uniqlo, get myself some Nikes in Size? , and do the nasty with the first chick to wink at me in the club”? Hell, when the single that gives its name to the album is a eurodance fluff song for discotheques in Lloret de Mar, it’s clear that your standards for judging the guy must be limited strictly to hardcore hedonism. It’s logical to brandish his first album, “What We Made”, and ask yourself what happened to the MC who recorded it three years ago, but if there is one thing that is evident about “Won’t Go Quietly”, it is that Example wants to be the faithful squire of one of his main backers, Calvin Harris (in the production credits, of course) and he tells us that straight up, to our faces, without being bashful. The musician from Fullham achieves his goal by betting on a less 80s, more contemporary sound, but with the same pop aspirations and danceable beat as his Godfather.
I like people who are clear, and who pay no attention to the typical pains in the ass who appeal to integrity. Gleave wants to be the king of the dance floor, he wants to make money, he’s hungry to get on the charts, and he knows what he has to do to get what he wants without becoming a sell-out lacking in credibility. In this context, the 27-year-old Londoner’s second LP is a collection of dance rhythms for the people which, at times, borders on an almost parodied commercialism. “Two Lives,” for example, is so kitsch and teen pop that it sounds like a joke. In “Hooligans (VIP mix)” he does justice to the title and pulls a dizzying blend of electro-eurodance-hardcore for drunks out of his sleeve. What can I say about the gay 80s moment with kitsch synthesisers, beach house bass, and the easy chorus of “Last Ones Standing”? It’s as if Boy George, Erasure and The Streets had recorded a song together! The best thing about it is that even at his most beer-drinking mainstream, the guy manages to forge convincing hits; in fact, it sounds a thousand times better than the countless wanker pieces that you hear at the top of the British charts. Most illustrious example: “Watch the Sun Come Up” is a delicious ball of Ibiza sentimental electro-pop with pasti synthesisers.
Besides, the track list is generous and also contains cuts with pedigree. The R&B ballad “Millionaires” –I love the falsetto in the chorus– is like bringing All Saints and Outkast together. “From Space” is aggressive, poisoned by grime, making an epic mark. “Sick Note” –caught between Dizzee Rascal and 2 Many DJ’s– could play in Fabric or in any beachside bar on Majorca without anybody batting an eye. The album defines its main virtues, above all, in its least dandruff-ridden dance floor passages. Electro-dance, synth-pop, French disco, neo-funk; the blender is roaring hard in pieces like the French and highly-filtered “Loud”, the nervous “Dirty Face” –it could be Mr. Oizo’s reverse hooligan– or the exhilarating “Kickstarts”, with some MGMT-style pianos that knock you out. Effectively: “Won’t Go Quietly” is nonchalantly tacky, it has a POPulist design that is deliciously cheesy, and it smells like the cheap suntan lotion that we put on when we go to the beach in Ibiza. It goes down like sangria at five o’clock in the afternoon, and it’s like the rhythm method: you know that you’ve done wrong, but nobody will take the shag you had with the German girl with the big tits away from you.
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