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What We Made (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Packed full of pop culture references, cleverly used samples, and observational humor more suited to the standup circuit than the hip-hop scene, What We Made is a heady, dizzying rush through the inventive and slightly surreal mind of London rapper Elliot Gleave, aka Example. Produced by Mike Skinner and released through his The Beats label, its 13 tracks are a world away from the electro-pop sound he later pursued on breakthrough sophomore Won't Go Quietly, taking in old-school soul on the subversive "I Don't Want To," which turns the message of Etta James' "I Just Want to Make to Love to You" on its head with a witty diatribe against obsessive girls; the doom-laden grime on the title track, which deals with the rather weighty issue of mankind's need for self-destruction, and even musical show tunes, as on the self-deprecating "You Can't Rap," ("you can't rap, you're white and you're from Fulham") whose chorus sounds like it's been lifted from Joseph & His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Indeed, it's the latter's unexpected source of inspiration which defines the album, as Example effortlessly weaves a whole host of unlikely samples into his conversational delivery, whether it's the haunting strings of Kylie Minogue's "Confide in Me"; the warped basslines and harsh beats of "No Sleep for the Wicked"; the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" on the summery chill-out of "So Many Roads," and Irma Thomas' "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)" on the twinkling hip-hop soul of "Care 4 U." Elsewhere, he's joined by an array of guest artists such as Hadouken!'s James Smith, who lends his familiar electro-punk vocals to the Beastie Boys-esque "Milk Your Goat"; the Mitchell Brothers' Teddy on the ska-inspired "Today I Met Myself," and the Natives' Darren Gallagher on the brass-fused "Me and Mandy," while simple everyday topics like going to the cinema and forgetting his girlfriend's birthday card are discussed in his own uniquely entertaining and irreverent manner on "Popcorn and Fisticuffs" and "Birthday Card" respectively. With such an intriguing hodge-podge of sounds, it's understandable why some of his early fans feel aggrieved at his more recent commercial change in direction. While What We Made might not contain the big pop hooks and dancefloor-friendly production of its predecessor, it's by far the more interesting and eclectic of the two. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Pure Genius

After hearing the single Watch the sun come up, I searched for some of his other tracks and boy was I surprised. His lyrical ability is fantastic and his use of catchy samples only enhances the tracks on this album. Stand aside Mike Skinner.


Born: 20 June 1982 in Hammersmith, London, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s, '10s

His initials being E.G., English MC/vocalist Elliot Gleave performed under the name Example. Gleave got his feet wet as an MC while attending Royal Holloway, where he met Joseph Gardner (aka Rusher) and recorded a concept album in the audio booth of the university's film department. "A Pointless Song," one of the tracks recorded there, became Example's first release, a 2004 single on his All the Chats label. A handful of successive 12" singles, as well as an answer song to Lily Allen's "Smile" --...
Full bio
What We Made (Bonus Track Version), Example
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  • €11.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Electronic, Dance
  • Released: 10 September 2007

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