It seems that at some point between 2011-2012, Example took a liking to the darker side of life. The jovial pop hits of 2009’s Won’t Go Quietly have been set aside on The Evolution of Man for an edgier sound, one with sinister elements draped all over it. The new rap-rock backdrop gives Example an opportunity to delve deeper into his own consciousness, giving him the freedom to critically analyze both himself and the world around him – take the chainsaw guitar theatrics of “Come Taste the Rainbow:”
Goddamn I’m cultured
Eat chicks up just like a vulture
I was never like this then I got older
Some say wiser, some say cold
It’s hard not to compare Example’s self-deprecation to lyricists like Eyedea or The Streets or Roots Manuva. He’s got the doomsday approach down pact. His singing does create some separation from his contemporaries, and it does provide a broader scale for him to express himself lyrically, but rapping and singing don’t always mix – especially when it’s coming from the same source.
Here his words seem to be at war with one another, colliding against each other in rudimentary ways, and it works against him for the duration of the album. He seems to be on the brink of collapse one moment, and in the next he’s ready to take on the world, a consistent duality apparent in the opening lines to “Whisper:”
You don’t have to whisper
You don’t have to whisper, no more
Just scream and Ill hear you in heaven
Scream and ill hear you in hell
Example’s inner conflict isn’t a new concept. It’s the foundation for so many creative endeavors. But on The Evolution of Man it comes across as a jumbled self portrait, one that Example hastily put out there. Each song speaks to specific emotions and, yes, the lyrics are clear and concise. But maybe that’s the problem. The lack of creative metaphors and analogies, along with a straight forward delivery, plays out like some sort of shallow confessional.
When contrasting songs like “Crying Out For Help” and “Queen Of Your Dreams” are aligned the dialogue becomes stilted, retarding any semblance of harmony. The album seems rushed and there’s not enough variation to suggest that whatever he’s going through still isn’t lingering. It’s too much too soon.
At best this is a fleeting attempt to regurgitate whatever jagged pill he swallowed months back – a broken relationship, regret, remorse, whatever it may be. It needs at least another year to be flushed out. Example should sit back and think about what’s going on before throwing it all together lest he be tagged a desperate exhibitionist.