3/5 Like a Swiss army knife, London pop phenomenon Example is bursting with uses. He’s a rapper, a singer, a rabble-rouser and a bleeding-heart confessor all in one. On his fourth LP, he’ll also kit you out with genres such as dubstep, rock, electro and even emo – sometimes all conveniently mushed into the same song.
As he demonstrated on stage at Creamfields in Abu Dhabi last week, such variety is to be applauded. But again, like a Swiss army knife, he’s just a crude alternative to the real thing. ‘Say Nothing’ wears its U2 influences too strong to take seriously, while the weedy title track isn’t going to threaten Ed Sheeran’s place as the world’s top teenage-tear-inducer. There are highlights – usually when the beats are made by true innovators, such as dubstep pioneer Skream on ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably’. But while Example is brave for packing in so much and giving punters plenty of bang for their buck, he fits the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ a bit too well.