Album: Example, Playing In The Shadows (Ministry Of Sound)

At times, Example's third album gives the impression that this hip-hop malarkey is just too easy for him, spraying out lines that other MCs would give their tongue for.

"I'm unorthodox – go call the cops," he says in the opener, "Skies Don't Lie". But ultimately, he's held back by a lack of thematic imagination rather than verbal dexterity: too many tracks founder on boy and girl on collision course – he's far more interesting in pursuit of his dark side, over Chase & Status's quacking dubstep synths and rippling guitar on "Playing In The Shadow", or Feed Me's beat on "Midnight Run". The anthems of Nero and the Brookes Brothers, "Stay Awake" and "Microphone", provide Example with portentous backdrops for his chest-beating avowals of rebellious extremity, but the album's overall impact is torpedoed somewhat by his too eager recourse to romance.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Skies Don't Lie; Playing In The Shadow; Stay Awake

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