Eminem – Recovery Review

Editor’s note (Allan): This post was created in 2010 and was not published out of error. Out

of respect for Spencer here is the post today.

When I reviewed Eminem’s last album, Relapse, I was less than impressed with the Detroit rapper’s insistence on creating loathful shock songs instead of focusing on himself. Apparently he was just as disappointed with such a sub-par effort. Enter Recovery, a seventeen song, heart-wrenching, soul-baring tour de force. Eminem tackles real issues with his own life and his own past behavior in honest and poignant songs.

The album is a swirling mix-and-match of cocky, angry, funny, and introspective feelings. The album opener, ‘Cold Wind Blows’, is angry and funny. The next song, ‘Talkin’ 2 Myself’, is honest. A few tracks later, ‘W.T.P.’ is cocky and funny. And so on. The angry songs are typical Eminem, if not quite as heavy as the rapist fantasies loaded onto Relapse. The funny and the cocky songs aren’t bad, but they’re really just comic relief from the real meat of the album. When Em gets serious and truthful is when the genius really shows through. Cuts like ‘Going Through Changes’, ’25 To Life’, and ‘Love The Way You Lie’ explore different aspects of the rapper’s own experiences or feelings, and they do so with brilliantly flowing lyricism. The stories are thought-provoking and realistic, and it’s nice to hear someone rap about something other than drugs, money, or strippers.

In both the honest songs and the less serious ones, Eminem is still as clever as ever, and wordplay is rampant. In ‘Won’t Back Down’, he raps, “girl shake that ass like a donkey with Parkinson’s.” It gets a bit more serious in ‘Love The Way You Lie’: “But you lied again, now you get to watch her leave out the window, guess that’s why they call it window pain.” Regardless of the mood of the song, Eminem’s lyrical skills don’t suffer, and he’s always going to have something clever to say.

For anyone who was as disappointed in Eminem’s last two efforts, this is a must-listen. As he says in ‘Talkin 2 Myself’, “Them last two albums didn’t count, Encore I was on drugs Relapse I was flushin’ them out.” He raps later on the track that “the new me’s back to the old me.” And he’s right. This is by far the best thing to come from post-retirement Eminem, and maybe one of the best mainstream rap albums of the best few years.

Eminem – Talkin 2 Myself
Eminem – 25 To Life
Eminem – Love The Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna)

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