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Eminem
Albums

  • The Slim Shady LP
  • The Marshall Mathers LP
  • The Eminem Show
  • 8 Mile
  • Encore
  • Relapse
  • Recovery
  • The Marshall Mathers LP 2








  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    Eminem

    The Slim Shady LP 6 ( 1999 )
    Public Service Announcement / My Name Is / Guilty Conscience / Brain Damage / Paul / If I Had / 97' Bonnie & Clyde / Bitch / Role Model / Lounge / My Fault / Ken Kaniff / Cum on Everybody / Rock Bottom / Just Don't Give a Fuck / Soap / As the World Turns / I'm Shady / Bad Meets Evil / Still Don't Give a Fuck

    Self styled white trailer trash made good? OK, I can live with that I guess. This wasn't actually the first Eminem album. He'd put together something before this which sank without trace, although Dr Dre managed to find out about the guy. If not for Dr Dre, Eminem would surely never have achieved any kind of success. But, we'll give him that. It does take a slice of luck to make it in the music business, after all. So, what does Eminem do across this breakthrough album to fire a rocket up the asshole of the music business? So to speak? Well, he reveals a level of intelligence but this alternates with dumb, shock tactics. Then again, it was said nobody could ever come around in this world of Rock and Roll again that would genuinely shock. It was said everything had been done. Well, nobody had done this before, not quite this. Let's take the lyrics to the famous 'My Name Is' for example. Pretty clever, pretty funny. The music is neither clever nor funny and goes for the lowest common denominator. The song is repetitive, annoying in the extreme..... makes for an OK single. It annoys the hell out of me personally, but I can't do much about that now, can I? 'Guilty Conscience' is a real collaboration with Dr Dre and is an utterly captivating listen. And yeah, you do want to listen, there is a kind of sick fascination with the lyrical content. Something like watching a road accident, you know? Everybody slows down to take a good look. There is one particular problem I have with this album, by the way. There is too much repetition, the lyrical and vocal rhythms are repeated, or at least - not managing to be varied enough to really retain your interest. The lyrics try their best to keep you interested, and they kinda do. But, this is an album that works best in short bursts.

    Highlights? Yeah, there are a few, actually. 'If I Had' is nice and mellow musically and features added female harmonies. Eminem carries on with his usual path, but these particular lyrics are pretty darn interesting and something most people should be able to associate with at some stage in their lives. '97 Bonnie and Clyde' is a combination of the brilliant and the ridiculous in just the one set of lyrics. The music is jaunty and happy quite in contrast with the dark lyrical matter. Interesting stuff, actually. 'My Fault' offers a little variety, lots of funky beats here markedly different to the usual basic formula offered up by the likes of 'My Name Is'. This isn't really a 'musical' album of course, the focus is very much lyrical, but a few more pieces like this would have been most welcome. Upon reaching the final third of the album, having negotiated a number of brief 30 second, 60 second long pieces of speech, taped conversations, etc - we find our friend Eminem carrying on. And on. Nothing 'bad' as such, but this is tiring. I think the main problem is his voice and vocal delivery which simply doesn't vary enough across the album as a whole. The guest vocal spots help on occasion. The beats themselves work OK, but again, not inventive enough, not varied enough. Something like 'As The World Turns' at least includes other things going on, keyboard lines and other effects. Many of these songs could do with a little more 'arranging'. 'Bad Meets Evil' is entertaining and 'funny'. But, it comes right at the end. If you've made it that far in a single sitting, you're a better man than I. Still, there is an intelligence on display here. There is something about the persona and character of the man Eminem that works to make you pay some sort of attention, even if it's only for half an hour, or forty minutes - rather than the albums full hour long length.

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    Readers Comments

    mike_hampton@hotmail.com
    eminems first album is the best, not his last two, and what about infinite his underground album, i would rate his first album 9 1/2 and the rest 7

    Isabelle Esling mathildeesling@yahoo.com
    I totally disagree with you on the point that Eminem would not be successful without Dr Dre. He's a brilliant lyricist and he's been gifted since the beginning.The lyrics of the Infinite song, for instance, are excellent.Jeff and Marky Bass have known Eminem since he was 15.Both stated that he was gifted in rhyming and putting words together. Eminem is the most talented and the realest artist.

    Lice Lice Scabies poboyfresh@aol.com
    While it's fair to say that Dre was responsible for allowing Em's brilliant talents to align in such a way to become successful, there is nothing to indicate that he wouldn't of been picked up by someone else, just as prominent, and still gotten large. I think what was important, was the almost instant validation from the black community when Eminem was embraced by a rapper/producer known for, truely, " keeping it real"...

    Dan danielofcadman@hotmail.com
    I feel in your review you have overlooked what hip hop is about. Repetion is not the same as in a rock song because its more about feelin the music and the beat. Eminem has the most unique rapping voice in the world and everyone needs to be found. The last eminem album was horrible. You got these reviews the wrong way round.

    liam n3al neal_l@hotmail.co.uk
    in eminems firstr albumn he, unlike hes after albums doesnt have many other rapperts exept from dr dre, eminem tells stories in his rapes in this albumn evan though his lyrics aint as long as other songs from differant albums people like this albumm purly because its only eminem rapping no body else

    Rupert Greaser xeernoflax@juno.com
    The biggest stength of this CD, in retrospect, is that it's Mathers' only release (along with, I guess, his atrocious debut) that you don't need an understanding of his media image to enjoy. In some sense the rest of Em's work is just sort of cping with the waves created by this album. He doesn't take himself as seriously here -- at this point he didn't have too much of a reason too, and that's refreshing, particularly for the millions of us who were actually introduced to his work by one of his next two albums. I'd agree about the music, though -- it's not on par with most late-90s hip-hop. "My Name Is" already sounds incredibly dated, particularly compared with the slick and obssessively "with the times" recordings of the next two releases. It's sort of a paradox -- the most geniune Em one can get is accompanied by, overall, his worst music (short of Infinite, of course). It's still a really good CD -- I'd disagree: to really get into it you have to listen to it as a whiol! e album, a mood piece -- I'd throw a seven at it. It always does seem refreshing if you've had too much of his "later" work.


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    The Marshall Mathers LP 7 ( 2000 )
    Public Service Announcement / Kill You / Stan / Paul / Who Knew / Steve Berman / The Way I Am / The Real Slim Shady / Remember Me? / I'm Back / Marshall Mathers / Ken Kaniff / Drug Ballad / Amityville / B Please II / Kim / Under the Influence / Criminal / The Kids

    So, Eminem, volume two? What's different then? Well, first things first, instead of singing about himself so much, he sings about himself even more than he did before, but with a subtle twist! This time, he's singing about his success, his first album, N-Sync, etc, etc. Chainsaws, sucking dick, sluts, killing people. Half of those just in the first two tracks. 'Kill You' is the second song here, and completely fails to either scare me, or inspire me to take anything at all seriously as far as its contents are concerned. Monotony is king. Suddenly though, we're thrown into 'Stan' which is now famous for launching the career of 'Dido'. Nice tune. Shame some guy raps all over the top of it, thanks Eminem. I'm being cruel, sorry. This is one of the best things here, Eminem telling the tale of receiving a fan letter - more myth creating. Eminem loves revelling in his own dirt, loves playing with himself, so to speak. 'Who Knew' has a bouncy bass line, 'The Way I Am' manages to be both a hit single, and a great piece of work. Now this, is scary. I'm not at all sure why, maybe the effect on his voice, the urgency and desperation. The cartoon music at odds with everything. Well, half-cartoon music, half horror music hypnotism. That hardly makes sense I know, but then, this is Eminem after all. Since when did the guy ever 'make sense'? That's not neccessarily a bad thing, by the way. Speaking of cartoon music, 'The Real Slim Shady' is a pure piece of kiddy pleasing, cartoon stupidity. It's quite entertaining for around a minute and a half. Eminem is the most irritating person on earth. In a funny way, I applaud him for that. He makes AN EFFORT to be irritating! It doesn't come naturally, you know - although having the particular 'singing' voice that he does, sure makes it easier. 'Remember Me' has another nice bouncy groove about it although it's more comedy music, ultimately.

    "That's why they call me slim shady, i'm back, i'm back" opens 'I'm Back', funnily enough. It's slow, dirty sounding music with Eminem sounding vaguely interesting on occasion over the top. The title song is good! Yes, it is!! The music is pretty well developed here, Eminem rails against almost everything, and it's fun to hear him do so. 'Drug Ballad'? Ok, then. 'Amityville' opens with deep, heavy bass lines. Good music here for the genre. This album certainly benefits from a more considered production and more developed musical settings. 'Bitch Please II' is a good example of this. I ignore the words on 'Bitch Please II' completely, and dig the groove instead. 'Kim' is rather trying. Hard Rock / Nu Metal drums appear from nowhere, but that's not the real problem. The real problem is the 'comedy' sound effects, the black comedy telling of a rather horrible story and the songs length. 'Kim' runs for six minutes, contains the word 'bitch' quite a few times, ends with a violin type sound and more sound effects, and once it has ended, chances are you'll be rather glad that it has. 'Under The Influence' in comparison sounds like a work of genuis, but it isn't of course. Just a 'regular' eminem song. We've heard this before. "I'm a criminal" is more cartoon eminem, 'The Kids' opens as a clear 'Southpark' thing, how cartoon can you get? But, all told, I can safely give 'The Marshall Mathers' a score of seven. Eminem hasn't changed a great deal here, just got even further involved in his own myth making. The music has changed though, for the better. Not greatly, but you know.

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    Readers Comments

    Paul a.k.a Moses lord_clydek@hotmail.com
    Hey adrian! I lvoe all of your reviews. I gotta say though I liked the Mathers LP better than any of the others though. But hey, that's just me. I'm not gonna call you a dickhead like the other losers do. Keep up the good work!

    Rupert Greaser xeernoflax@juno.com
    In the end, I don't think it's better or worse than the last one. What's gained in musical development is lost in intriguing personality -- not that Eminem isn't intriguing, but Marhsall Mathers is just another homeboy from the streets -- he falls short of the cartoonish fun of the Slim Shady persona. This is an extremely dark and angry CD: one might have thought he'd be a little happier after a multi-platinum seller. Even though the first half is the single-heavy stretch, I think in the end the second half holds up better: "Bitch Please II" is the closest Eminem has gotten to having "street cred" -- what with calling on Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Xzibit so directly. Ever heard the third part? It's available in mp3 with Dre and Snoop removed and DMX, Ja Rule, and Tupac added in. I don't know who spliced it. "Kim" is incredible theatrics -- playing it back-to-back with "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" is your "ultimate Eminem experience" in under twelve minutes. And "The Kids" is probabl! y the best of the lot -- Em's more convincing as a dope-head than a gangsta -- even though it wasn't on most of the original copies of the album. And am I the only one who thinks at least the rhythm to "The Real Slim Shady," "I'm Back," and "Under the Influence" are obnoxiously similar? I'd give it another seven: as a whole structure, it's probably his best album, but it lacks the charm of the previous disc, or the addictive highlights of the next one.


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    The Eminem Show 8 ( 2002 )
    Curtains Up / White America / Business / Cleaning Out My Closet / Square Dance / The Kiss / Soldier / Say Goodbye Hollywood / Drips / Without Me / Paul Rosenberg / Sing For The Moment / Superman / Hailie's Song / Steve Berman / When The Music Stops / Say What U Say / 'Till I Collapse / My Dad's Gone Crazy / Curtains Close

    It seems hundreds of thousands of people heard this album via various internet 'sources' way before the release date, causing Eminem and 'people' to bring forward the release date. All the hoo-ha about this being one of the most downloaded albums ever didn't do much to harm sales, though. It sailed to Number One all round the world and became a best-seller. Who said MP3 file sharing is hurting record sales? It gave Eminem huge publicity! He was also helped by almost uniformly positive reviews across the board for this, his third album proper. And, I can't say I can actually disagree with the across the board positive reviews, although I will throw a note of caution in here. I don't love this album, but I do enjoy it more than i'd ever expected to have done. In a word, it's solid, and whether you loathe, love or despise the merest sound of the guys voice, you've got to give him credit, especially if you don't want to. Listen to what we have here, and you might just say, "yeah, it's not that bad, but I still don't like him" - as one person i've played this record to has said. That's actually a result! Is Eminem turning heads, slowly converting the masses who can't stand anything he's ever done? I used to be such a person. Anyway, i've rambled enough. Ignoring 'Curtains Up', which is just a brief piece of theatre, both the opening songs proper are absolutely fantastic. Really! 'White America' runs for five minutes, has a semi-rock feel about it and absolutely frightening and powerful Eminem vocals. Put simply, it ROCKS! 'Business' is a slick piece of hip-hop, well produced, eminently listenable. 'Cleaning Out My Closet' has some interesting things going on musically, little nice keyboard sounds like a Piano sound, a softer Eminem vocal, a little bit of swearing and talk of "oceans exploding" amid the many rhymes. Astonishingly, given past Eminem albums, track five 'Square dance' doesn't sound like any of the preceeding songs. A thumping groove is the key to 'Square Dance', 'The Kiss' is a little linking track 'skit' of the type that still 'litters' Eminem albums, but then, we can't have everything.

    'Soldier', 'Say Goodbye Hollywood' and 'Drips' are more 'usual' Eminem, and not really essential or neccessary to even be here. He does have a habit of releasing 20 track albums. Why not release, oooh, a fourteen track album? Concise, hard hitting, filler-free? Just a thought. Anyways, 'Without Me' is hilarious and astonishing both. This is truly fantastic stuff, and for me, the best single he's ever released. It's fun, un-serious and bouncy. Very cartoony, but in a good way this time. The video even featured cartoon passages. The man knows what he's doing. He always seems to respond to his critics through his music, and subtle changing of image, a good thing to do. A few further highlights remain on this album, a few lesser moments as well, although the ratio of good to bad is far better than previous Enimem records. 'Sing For The Moment' has a good rhythm and flood of words, 'Superman' is a struggle to sit through, lacking anything much at all music wise, this time. 'Hailies Song' features Eminem actually SINGING! He doesn't do that well, doesn't do that bad, simple as that. A few forgettable songs do clutter the latter stages of this album, which brings me back to my point of 'why twenty tracks?' but what can you do. 'Til I Collapse' is a highlight that explodes from the speakers. 'My Dads Gone Crazy' is a funny piece of comedy Eminem theatre, hard to take seriously, but whatever, it makes me grin. Lyrically it doesn't always have content that is grin-inducing, quite the opposite, but this mixture of the ridiculous, sublime, the ordinary and the horrifying is something Eminem has long attempted. Across the course of this album, he does it better than he has done before. Simple as that.

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    Readers Comments

    Hayley hayleyatthestar@blueyonder.co.uk
    i think, eminem is the best rapper, there is and i think anyone who disagrees with him, is just jelous of his success! no white person can rap like him, i went to see him in concert, and it was fantastic!! yeah maybe he slags everyone off, but thats cause they give him a hard time! he had a crap childhood, and everyone doubted him, but guess what... he proved them all wrong, and he is one of the most well known rappers there is!!!

    Jesse IntermezzOooh@gmail.com
    You like Without Me but didn't care for Superman? Why do you even listen to rap at all? It's obvious that you see Eminem as little more than a two-bit clown, a cable-station comedian. Perhaps if you actually read the lyrics to some of his songs you'd come to appreciate his adept use of rhythm, slant rhyme, alliteration, metaphor, simile, repetition, etc. It's one thing to dislike rap altogether, but your reviews of Eminem's albums reek of a condescending tone. Are you earning community service credit hours for your college applications by deigning to comment on such "cute" attempts at artistry? No one wants to hear your ultimately ignorant opinion.

    Dan dandeman201@hotmail.com
    This review is crap... Plainly Without Me is a funny song made to get everyones attention, before he releases his lyrically genius songs. You can't review an artist unless you are a real fan. I wouldn't even bother trying to review an album by someone i don't listen to because i am bound to find it crap e.g. britney spears. As for a 14 track album... why would you want less. All the songs are great. I feel cheated by an artist if there is not over an hours worth of tracks. Having more tracks shows that he can produce more great songs but still in the mood of the album. why pay the same for half an album. Alot of albums have connecting songs, some just have very long starts, some very long ends.. eminem has skits. This album along with all his other work are amazing. People who say anything bad about him or his albums are prob just being stupid... if it was really crap.. would it sell as many albums, would its follow up album sell as many as it has huh. don't diss wh! at you don't understand.

    Rupert Greaser xeernoflax@juno.com
    "White America" demonstrates how grand his (perceived) influence has gotten at this point: listen to the overdubs on his vocals, like a fkin' army marchin' in back of him. The actual beats are nothing special ("White America" is pitifully simplistic) -- it's the samples that make the record: listen to the sax on "Without Me" compared to the chilish percussion. And I guess he becomes the second major rap artist to capitalise on an Aerosmith song. The rhyme shcemes are also more complex than the content, which is why I don't think this one holds up over time as well as the two before it. "White America" is sort of a microcosm for most of the rest of the disc: like with MMLP he talks about his cultural status without actually adding on to it, and there's no gangsta gangsta slickness (like "Bitch Please II" or "Amityville") to be found anywhere. I'd say maybe a six, maybe a six-.5 based on the fact I've found "Drips" a lot more intriguing last few listens.


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    8 Mile 8 ( 2002 )
    Lose Yourself (Eminem) / I Just Want To Love You (Eminem, Obie Trice, 50 Cent) / 8 Mile (Eminem) / Adrenaline Rush (Obie Trice) / Places To Go (50 Cent) / Rap Game (D12, 50 Cent) / 8 Miles & Runnin (Jay Z, Freeway) / Spit Shine (Xzibit) / Time Of My Life (Macy Gray) / U Wanna Be Me (Nas, Wanksta, 50 Cent) / Wasting My Time (Boomkat) / R.A.K.I.M (Rakim) / That's My Nigga For Real (Young Zee) / Battle (Gangstarr) / Rabbit Run (Eminem)

    I haven't watched the film, so don't ask me about it, please. What I have done is listened to the soundtrack, obviously. I say obviously, partly because if I hadn't I wouldn't be sat here reviewing it, but mainly because Eminem appears to have taken the next logical step. Acting? Well, perhaps not very logical and perhaps Eminem will or won't become the Elvis Presley of Rap - who knows? Still, he appears to have reached another plateau in any case. The music he contributes here, just four of the sixteen songs actually - also can be seen as another level for him. 'Lose Yourself' is serious, seriously good and demands respect. Not, "respec, yo!".... just.. serious respect. Losing any of the cartoony elements he's had in the past, 'Lose Yourself' rides along a tight rhythm and Mr Mathers, just, astonishes.... over the top of it. 50 Cent is a name i've had mentioned to me, a man of reality it seems. His own reality, maybe! But that's splitting hairs. The second Eminem track here is a collaboaration with 50 Cent and Obie Trice, the latter name of which I know absolutely nothing at all. 'I Just Want To Love You' is pleasant enough I suppose, a softer musical moment, if that's at all possible to imagine. Much better is the second Eminem tune 'proper', the title track. It lives with 'Lose Yourself' and yeah, it appears that Eminem is at some sort of peak. Which bothers me, actually. Has he missed the opportunity to make his masterpiece? In another couple of years, he might not be sounding this good. Fast forward to the closing track of this '8 Mile' soundtrack and we have a wired Eminem over sampled strings, ticking and a hell of a lot of dark, eerie and effective atmosphere. Good stuff.

    So, what else is here? Macy Gray sounds very out of place amongst these rap guys with her synthetic music and dirty rasp of a soul voice. Big rap-names such as Jay Z and Xzibit contribute solid material, 'Splitshine' from Xzibit especially standing out. 'Places To Go' proves why 50 Cent has, at the time of writing, risen to become one of the very biggest names in rap. To be honest, his contributions here are the only ones that really live alongside those of Eminem. 'Rap Game' is credited to 50 Cent and D-12 and is fairly humourous then alternately serious. Pretty catchy song, tho. Oh, I mentioned the Macy Gray song, didn't I? Well, the sweet soul of 'Wasting My Time' by Boomkat does work here, simply because it's so accomplished, especially vocally. Smooth stuff indeed. Overall, though.... this soundtrack to '8 Mile' is just a pretty neat thing to have around. Soundtrack albums don't always work and rarely sound cohesive. At the end of the day, this is a various artists compilation. The presence of Eminem adds a little to the equation, 50 Cent does his customary thing and Boomkat appears to be a name to look out for.

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    Readers Comments

    Jonathan R jorseveare@aol.com
    I don't get it-this is the worse thing he's done. I find he's always better when it's just him and dre. Why don't you like the cartoon image-it's a persona that works. Here he dodesn't have it and as a result it just collapses. In other words he's now trying to be serious. Sure it's rocky but he's a rapper right? This is a very average compilation esp. when you compare it to the More Music From 8 Mile which features Biggie et al and is a must for any hip hop fan. The best rap comp I've ever heard. Don't buy this one though.

    MJ mj10_24@hotmail.com
    Y'know, if I ever met "the white rapper", I would give him a challenge. I would say "I challenge you to publish one full length song with no cuss words and see if you can sell it." I bet he couldn't, and I think that makes him a poor musician.

    Jesse IntermezzOooh@gmail.com
    MJ: I think that you would be sorely disappointed. If you read the lyrics to Eminem's songs you'll find that he has a large vocabulary. I'm pretty sure that his excessive use of curse words is the result of preference, not necessity.


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    Encore( 2004 )
    Curtains Up - Encore version) / Evil Deeds / Never Enough / Yellow Brick Road / Like Toy Soldiers / Mosh / Puke / My 1st Single / Paul (skit) / Rain Man / Big Weenie / Em Calls Paul (skit) / Just Lose It / Ass Like That / Spend Some Time / Mockingbird / Crazy In Love / One Shot 2 Shot / Final Thought (skit) / Encore/Curtains Down

    Genius and stupidty in equal measures, that's 'Encore'. The CD Sleeve includes all sorts of clues that this is the death of Eminem. The encore, then he gets shot down, killed. He's dead. That's the idea, anyway. Thus, an album with moments of brilliance mixed in with moments of utter base stupidity. He gets lazy at times, other times lazily inspired. The single 'Just Lose It' has a naked Eminem walking down a street and a lyric quoting almost eveything else he's ever down. Crowd pleasing? Well, yes. It became his biggest hit yet, dispite its lowest common demoninator stupidity. Yet, such is the allure of the Eminem character. 'Just Lose It' is almost a perfect synthesis of everything he's ever done. It appeals to all reaches of his fanbase. The "hur hur hur hur hur" section is sheer dumbness, yet the entire effect is intelligent catchiness. Other tracks fare equally as well. You know, we ignore the skits, we ignore such tracks as 'Puke', which opens with the sound of punking then continues on from that in a very unsatisfactory style, yet that is eminem. One moment of good-ness. 'Like Toy Soilders' should surely be a single, the sampling of the late 80s Martika hit works very well indeed. The hook is catchy as hell, the rap and lyrics are good. This is an eminem moment that works completely. The martika hook sounds haunting in amidst his rap parts.

    There are other highlights. 'Ass Like That' totally appeals to the audience of today. Whereas most artists try for subtle melodies and lyrics, eminem is obvious and base. Simple melodies, funny lyrics. The thing is, simple melodies work. That's what people actually want. And you know, I can't think of anything to say in particular about the vast majority of the tracks here, except that Eminem has gone backwards in one respect and forwards in another. Artistically, he's reached backwards to the musical hooks that first attracted people to him. Lyrically, we have a mixture of the intelligent and the incredibly dumb. Yet, the album is incredibly well produced, albeit, incredidbly well produced candy-floss.

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    Readers Comments

    Dan danielofcadman@hotmail.com
    Adrian please dont just throw 7.5 ratings at anything. Just becuse he is famous, its well produced, doesnt mean it deserves that. What makes a good artist is change and growth in each and every album. From the slim shady Lp to 4 albums later its the same exact tired out bollocks. I see his videos with him standing there throwing his arms about, still talking about HIMSELF his wife, his mum, his kid. I liked him alot, but he has fallen from hero to villin. I just got NaS first album "Illimatic", that is great hip hop. PLEASE review some classics and leave the POP alone.

    Frank webmaster@artisto.org
    Hi, just found you through google. I'm not much of a critic, but i think 'Encore' to be a big disappointment. If there is a next album, I hope eminem would stick to using his lyric power and good beats, rather than trying to create those funny noises, and mimmic other people, and in the process sound unappealingly silly! I love songs like 'My Name Is', 'White America' and 'Soldier'. This is what makes an Eminem album worth buying. I'm scared to death...what if, on his next album, Em announces that he is gay? :)) lol!

    sean sekham@gmx.de
    the disregarded 'puke' and all the immature kidding around on most of the tracks just reflect the mood the album is supposed to have. i personally think that puke is one of the best on the album, and if you would have followed eminem's path (from the inside and not on the surface) you'd find that this direction is a perfect progress showing his intentions of how to handle his position in the business and the business itself. it's just a big 'fuck it' (like breaking with seriousness and attitude poser's vibes) and a 'fuck you' to all those taking offence whereever they can. i personally find the review too distant - like you would find it in a conservative magazine. but: big up for the reviews in general. (what about eminems 'infinite' though?)

    chrisse chrisse_hesketh@hotmail.com
    well eminem is klass and in his songs yeah he may talk krap in songs such as just lose it and kids but he also uses his power to say that he loves his daughter tell his story and let the hole world know wat he thinks about bush i absalutly love eminem he is so good and i may not be able to listen to his cd turned up becuz of bad words (im only 12 and i live in ireland) but he really makes scence and can make a strange situation seem funny

    meli sweet_princess69_@hotmail.com
    heyal,,,i rekon eminems a champ, hes not only a mad az rapper but if u do listen to alot of his songs,,behind the swearin and the grotty vid cliips , theres a story and i meen hu doesnt simg about THEMSELVES i meen for gods sake delta goodrem sings ONLY bout her stupid cancer and stuf and everyone is soo over that but shes stil famous getin top ratings,, and his newest song mockinbird is gr8 i think its one of his best yet. ok sure his just lose it is like all bout mj and hi vid clip is prety gros ,but its funi and diferent and i think he ahs a talent that pplp jsut dont recognise,, i meen u try rapping like that and makin up songs as good and as fast as he does. a wel i just think u gota look beyond his imperfections and realise he is a really good artist that has stayed up top for sooo much longer than so many utha artists, newyaz i think his albums alrite a few songs i dont like but again sum are really good,,newayz luv yas al{ even if u said bad stuf bout eminem:P} meli

    rachael hiskid817@yahoo.com
    i totally disagree em is an awesome rapper and anyone who doesn't like him just cause he's a white rapper has some seriuos issues his cd's are the only one's i can listen straight through without having to skip around to find a good song i mean some are better than others but there all good that's because unlike some artists i can think of em puts his whole heart and soul into his music he doesn't make a couple of hits that we hear on the radio so we think there good and then we go out and buy the album and the rest of the cd is pure crap he puts 100 and 10 % into everything he writes evn if he does have a bit of a mouth if u can get past that( i did and iam a catholic)he's really a good artist

    ben benmello@smartneighborhood.net
    Eminem used to be my favorite rapper. Until his album "Encore". He is'nt the same as he used to be. Now he just acts like the father to his daughter. He pretty much threw away his alter ego Slim Shady. Now he just plays stupid and way to much like a retired dad in his songs. Before he was the Controversal/Hardcore rapper. It seems as if he completely changed after "The Eminem Show". Songs like "Puke, Ass Like That, Big Weenie, and Just Lose It", are a disgrace to Hip Hop. I personally hope his next album is different than Encore. BUT don't get me wrong. Every other album of his deserves a 9 or higher.

    Jude Bolton spikeedogmangowoof@hotmail.com
    The autobiographical Yellow Brick Road is probably my favourite song here, and the Dr Dre collabo Encore is also sufficiently 'tight'. Plus, I agree that the chorus sampling on tracks like Crazy In Love and Like Toy Soldiers is well-done, showing that he, or his co-producers, (who knows which is responsbile for most of the ideas) haven't lost all their musical smarts. But the sequence from Puke to Big Weenie is not only by far the worst stretch music to appear on an Eminem record, it's also totally unexplicable. Just who is he trying to appeal to in these songs? Those who enjoyed his work on the 8 Mile Soundtrack ought to be completely embarassed. It's a return to his goofy Slim Shady era, sure, but minus every bit of the lyrical wit and rhyming complexing of those earlier days, replaced instead by bars of (literally) jibberish and an overabundance of bodily function references. Come to think of it, Yellow Brick is probably the only track I am likely to return to on this alb! um, it's the sole track where I'm actually interested in what Eminem has to say. 5/10

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    Relapse( 2009 )
    Dr. West / 3 a.m. / My Mom / Insane / Bagpipes From Baghdad / Hello / Tonya / Same Song & Dance / We Made You / Medicine Ball / Paul / Stay Wide Awake / Old Time's Sake / Must Be The Ganja / Mr. Mathers / Deja Vu / Beautiful / Crack A Bottle / Steve Berman / Underground

    It's been five years since Eminem apparently retired yet now he's back with 'Relapse' in true hip-hop comeback tradition. Well, Dre and Eminem have produced something here that sounds ten years old. There's little to no attempt to evolve the Eminem sound or even any of his lyrical concerns. I mean, we've put Iraq to bed yet Eminem still pipes his bagpipes in Bagdad. Still, something must be working because 'Relapse' sold a million copies worldwide in its first week of release. It was also all over the pirate downloading sites like a rash so going someway to prove that people still want to buy albums even with the easy availability of pirated/free copies out there. Eminem may be a dick, but he still commands the loyalty of his fanbase. Seventy two minute long albums test the loyalty of his fanbase, or at least, it tests my patience and loyalty. The good tracks are sprinkled throughout lots of other tracks that are no more than treading water. 'Underground/Ken Kaniff' is the very last track and almost the first one that seems to containe some genuine and directed anger. Eminem is almost always more persuasive when is drops the cartoony stuff and the comedy raps and concentrates and pushes himself to release a message. Well, 'Crack A Bottle' is also a highlight, it was released as a single and arrives eighteen tracks in. This could either be seen as a sign of Eminem consistency or Eminem playing silly buggers or Eminem pacing the album out with the highlights consideredly spaced to prevent too much boredom.

    'Same Song And Dance' is an unexpected highlight, it ditches the usual Eminem sound for repetitive yet sophisticated beats and a softer atmosphere than allows melody and story to come through. 'My Mon' is utterly predictable Eminem material but heck, he does this kind of (by now safe) controversy very well. Drugs, behaving badly - it's all her fault. Well, duh.

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    Recovery( 2010 )
    Cold Wind Blows / Talkin' 2 Mysel / On Fire / Won't Back Down / W.T.P. / Going Through Changes / Not Afraid / Seduction / No Love / Space Bound / Cinderella Man / 25 to Life / So Bad / Almost Famous / Love the Way You Lie / You're Never Over / Untitled

    A white rapper from Detroit who we'd all thought had given up. In his effort to regain critical ground lost in recent years, 'Recovery' uses a variety of producers and the overall tone is more lo-fi and dare I say it, less radio-friendly. Having said that, this album has been blaring out of many a car radio during the recent and rare sunshine we've had here in the UK. He still holds a massive sway among his audience and the aptly named 'Recovery' is the one that delivers what it promised to, critical rehabilitation. Well, some critics won't have the time of day for Eminem and never really did apart from that period where he was the biggest artist on the planet and not to give him some cred would have appeared churlish. 'I'm Not Afraid' and second single 'Love The Way You Lie' (which features Rihanna) have both hit top five in the UK, neither rank as classic Eminem singes. The former is much to be expected and the latter seems to be a Rihanna song featuring Eminem rather than the other way round. The album has shot to number one though, all very much buisiness as usual.

    'Won't Back Down' which features additional vocals from Pink is rap/punk almost in places, certainly in terms of ferocity, at any rate. Eminem does take the majority of this album very seriously and he's generally got an awful lot to say. In terms of pure rapping ability/performance, this set is one of his finest moments, perhaps his most impressive since the '8 Mile' soundtrack. Sure, 'Cold Wind Blows' opens the set rather than a more obvious choice such as 'Not Afraid' but such commercial decisions, or lack of them, are refreshing for someone who doesn't need to chase sales any more. It's a decent track with suitably heavy beats and a very busy Eminem alongside a decent hook. 'WTP' meanwhile we've heard before from Eminem far too many times, even if this is put together well enough. 'Going Through Changes' merges Black Sabbath's ballad 'Changes' with Eminem rap to uneasy effect. 'Space Bound' picks up the pace with a haunting female vocal through the chorus and Eminem on fire through the verses. A mid-paced song that's actually one Eminem song I would like to be a single, it's got class. The percussive crunch of 'Cinderella Man' continues this quality and 'You're Never Over' has speedy clicks, booming drums and more good hooks, a well crafted track. Sure, there's always going to be those who can't listen to 67 minutes of Eminem but for my money this is one of his better efforts, indeed a recovery.

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    Readers Comments

    Vincent London
    I'm sorry but although I agree with the majority of your reviews, SSLP was soo much ebtter than Recovery and Relpase but together, neitehr deserves more than a 4-5. You should base your rap album reviews on the lyrics alone, as that is what rap should be, ts basically modern poetry. Emienm lost all his lyrical punch lines and fluidity, his clever word plays and nice refrences which make you think, he wants himself as a martyr just so he can sell albums. SSLP and MMLP were great lyrical masterpeices and Eminem SHow was also gogod and Encore was decent, but I am sorry but neither REcovery or RElpase, with the exception of a couple of good punch lines is worth what MMLP or SSLP were worth.

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    The Marshall Mathers LP 2 7 ( 2013 )
    Bad Guy / Parking Lot (Skit) / Rhyme or Reason / So Much Better / Survival / Legacy / Asshole / Berzerk / Rap God / Brainless / Stronger Than I Was / The Monster / So Far... / Love Game / Headlights / Evil Twin

    I'm not a rap expert or especially down with hip-hop, yet in the 21st century Rap and hip-hop are firmly part of the mainstream and viewed as part of the pop music scene and not just as works over poetry over beats, or really in any purist rap form. Some say to this day that Bob Dylan is all about the lyrics, in which case, why bother with the music at all? Like it or not, Marshall Mathers 2 is going to be judged both lyrically and musically and on the combination of the two. 'Rhyme Or Reason' for example lifts wholesale The Zombies summer of love 60s classic 'Time Of The Season' over which eventually Eminem has plenty to say, yet without any musically innovation or danceability (for want of a phrase) this just comes across very badly and fairly amateurish. It's the kind of wholesale lifting of a bassline (even complete with the vocal oohs and aaahs at the end of each phrase) that an artist like Eminem shouldn't have to rely upon. The opening 'Bad Guy' on the other hand is exactly the kind of thing Eminem has always done when, lyrically he revisits 'Stan' and includes a line about making a sequel to his critically best regarded work just to get the fans to buy, of course, it's a cynical view others may have that in fact he's defending. The first verse contains some classic Eminem lyricism, it flows well and the repeating themes of the music evoke suitable darkness. The final verse on the other hand is a little shouty of the sake of it seemingly and not written as well, but for a seven minute track 'Bad Guy' is a statement of intent for the entire LP. It's more Dr Dre than 'Rhyme Or Reason is Rick Rubin (both are listed as co-producers of this album) thankfully. 'Rap God' I enjoy for the beats and the lyrical flow but not for the musical content - in terms of flow and the technical skills he displays as a rapper, this is second to none, but should you want to read the lyrics on their own they don't stand up and contain several questionable phrases but then again, this is Eminem, he never was a saint and his public persona will always play up to other people's criticism of him, like 'hey - you wanted fuel for the fire? Well, here it is. '

    'Asshole' should have been a hit, it features a chorus sang by a female, a particular Eminem trick in order to appeal to radio. Naturally, the lyrics might cause Radio to avoid the thing like the plague, yet this is a well-produced piece with a musical and lyrical edge. On the other hand you have 'Headlights' featuring Nate Russ. - a slow intro well sang by Nate before Eminem spills out lyrics apologising to his mom for dissing her in earlier songs. You could say this track treads old-ground or you could equally say it cleverly ties together long running themes Eminem has dealt with throughout his career. Nate gets lots of airtime during the opening and closing segments of the track in particular and really proves himself as one of today's music scene's better pop vocalists. 'Monster' features Rihanna and has sold trillions of copies, topping the US Billboard singles charts - it's modern pop with a catchy hook that Rihanna sings and what else can you say - it sums up music in 2014/2015 production wise touching on dance as well as hip-hop and naturally what now is called pop music. I'm hoping Rick Rubin doesn't work with Eminem again though - his production credits for this album include the old school 'Bezerk' which is aiming to be some kind of modern rock/rap crossover and sounds confused more than anything else. 'Rhyme Or Reason' we've already touched upon leaving 'So Far' and 'Love Game' - ten minutes of music borrowing on Rick's favourite 'straight' music of the past - record scratching, samples - etc, etc. 'Love Game' is a particularly bad offender largely revolving around a sample of the Wayne Fontana hit 'The Game Of Love'. Some respite and fun can be had however with Eminem and Kendrick Lamar rapping towards and against each other. I guess I prefer Eminem's darker material - the '8 Mile' era - when the cartoon character he was in danger of becoming was shed aside and where he earnt the acclaim of non-genre critics and fans.

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    this page last updated 01/08/15


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