Since Eminem’s arrival on to the mainstream in 1999, his career has been highlighted by his lyrical prowess, on off marriage to Kimberley, wrangles with his mother and the frequent comical abuse of celebrities in his lyrics.
Albums such as The Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP and Eminem Show, have been described as inspiring, genius and thought provoking with the prior going down as one of the best debut rap albums of our generation.
Unfortunately the past couple of years haven’t been too good to Mr Mathers. Both the 2004 release Encore and last year’s Relapse album both draw similarities of a man defecating into a CD box and then charging £9.99 for it.
His lyrical prowess that we’d known and been accustomed too had disappeared, highlighted by Relapse selling a fraction of what its predecessors sold.
However as a new decade dawns it appears that Eminem has taken stock of the criticism of his past albums. Gone are the impersonations; gone are the trade mark celebrity insults (aside from a brief mention of Elton John) and gone are the skits that we’ve become accustomed to.
What are we left with?
A more mature Marshall Mathers, who has focussed on his battle with drug addition, his daughters, the death of his close friend proof and seems intent on reaffirming why he is the greatest rapper of our generation.
From the intro, it’s a frank recollection of his time out of rapping. “Talkin’ 2 Myself”, discusses his dependency on drugs, his struggle at achieving his lyrical highs and how the desperation for recognition led to him contemplating an unwarranted attack on fellow rappers.
“Seduction” is a complete change from the Eminem norm, describing his ability and confidence to woo and seduce any given women. The Haddaway sampled “No Love”, is a return to form of Eminem as we know him. Far from holding back he proclaims he still is the greatest whilst also sticking two fingers up at those who doubted him.
We get a brief insight into Eminem’s feelings of fame and how it hasn’t quite lived up to expectations on “Almost Famous”, whilst also taking a look at the turbulent relationship that existed between him and Kim in his next single release “Love The Way You Lie”, featuring Rihanna.
Unsurprisingly the last track is a dedication to his friend Proof who was shot in a bar altercation in April 2006. Eminem attributes a lot of his success and over coming of obstacles to this man, so it’s no wonder why he spends time discussing his difficulty in moving on in “You’re Never Over”.
As we’ve seen with Drake’s “Forever” and Lil Wayne’s “Drop the World”, Eminem hold’s no punches and has the ability to turn a good track into a great track to which he has followed through in this album. Samples galore from the likes of by Black Sabbath to R.E.M coupled with guest appearances from Pink, Kobe (who sound’s remarkably like Lenny Kraviz) and the aforementioned; lead this to be the sole contender for Rap Album of the year.
Despite Recovery being leaked two before official released, forums and record insiders are still predicting first week sales of between 500,000 and 1 million units. I for one am sticking my neck out and predicting sales in excess of 1 million whilst it’s almost odds on to scoop the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. So Lil Wayne reassess your career whilst your behind bars and Drake enjoy the fame whilst it lasts, because the King is Back… and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere!
• 1. Cold Wind Blows – 7/10
• 2. Talkin’ 2 Myself – Eminem & Kobe 8.5/10
• 3. On Fire 7/10
• 4. Won’t Back Down – Eminem & Pink 6.5/10
• 5. W.T.P. 7/10
• 6. Going Through Changes 7.5/10
• 7. Not Afraid 9/10
• 8. Seduction 8/10
• 9. No Love – Eminem & Lil’ Wayne 9/10
• 10. Space Bound 8/10
• 11. Cinderella Man 8.5/10
• 12. 25 To Life 8.5/10
• 13. So Bad 8.5/10
• 14. Almost Famous 8/10
• 15. Love The Way You Lie – Eminem & Rihanna 8.5/10
• 16. You’re Never Over 8/10
Review by Frank Ikenye
Eminem’s latest album: Recovery, is now avialble to purchase at many retails outlets including Amazon and can be purchased here