Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP


4.5
superb

Review

by Liam USER (6 Reviews)
February 24th, 2008 | 43 replies | 6,735 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Rarely has an underground album come out and taken the whole world by storm. ‘Nevermind’ was that album of the 90’s; Eminem’s ‘Marshall Mathers Lp’ is the ‘Nevermind’ of the 21st century. The album has gone 9 times platinum in the U.S. and proves the motif ‘shock sells’ to be true.

As you would expect from the title, this album is a much more personal album than ‘The Slim Shady LP’, which concentrated on the exaggerated persona which he had created with ‘Slim Shady’. The songs are much darker, lyrically as well as musically, but Eminem’s black sense of humour and irony are still very prevalent. Lyrically the songs focus on the hypocritical parents of America, the critics who slated his first album and his rise to fame.

The album opens with ‘Public Service Announcement 2000’, which harks back to the intro found on the ‘Slim Shady LP’. In true Eminem fashion, he pokes fun at the listener and tries to be as offensive as he can to critics and ‘concerned’ parents. This is probably the best of the 4 skits found on the album which are nearly all unnecessary, especially ‘Ken Kaniff’ which is just lewd for the sake of it. The other 14 tracks (or 15 depending on which version you have) contain some of the finest rap of the 21st century.

It’s still surprising today that this album was, and still is, as successful as it was. Nearly all of these tracks are controversial and completely non – commercial. In a world dominated by songs by artists such as Britney Spears, ‘Stan’, a tale of a psychotic fan kidnapping and killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend because his idol Slim Shady wouldn’t reply to his letters, seems more than a little out of place.

The album as a whole is a lot more mature than its predecessor. Songs such as ‘Who Knew?’ show Eminem on his best performance lyrically, criticising the hypocritical nature and double standards of many American parents. ‘The Way I Am’ shows his disgust at the record labels for trying to make him censor his work and he also discusses the pressures of fame and the lack of privacy as a result. Compare these to songs such as ‘My Name Is…’ and you can really see how far Eminem came along as a rapper in the space of a year.

Some of the highlights are truly spectacular, such as the song ‘Kim’ which doesn’t contain any rapping at all, just heated arguments which result in Eminem strangling the ‘Kim’ (his ex - wife in real life) putting her into the boot of his car and burying her in the woods. The most amazing thing is that you actually sympathise with him rather than her. The ‘song’ musically consists of a piano playing in the background with a slow funeral-esque drumbeat and apocalyptic violins driving the song forward. If there is one song to hear from this album, it is this one. It really is the most under-rated song of Eminem’s career, which is a crying shame. It puts most metal which claims to be ‘intense’ to shame.

The production on the album is brilliant. Dr. Dre is credited with most of it, along with Mel-Man although it is the ‘Bass Brothers’ or ‘F.B.T. Brothers’ as they are credited here which really helped Eminem to come into his own as a rapper, having been there from the early days of his career. Dr. Dre was indeed important to Eminem’s career and has produced nearly all of his hit singles but the record company really used him as a marketing tool. The beats on this album are extremely good. From the sparseness of ‘Kill You’, which allow Eminem’s rapping to take centre stage to the incredibly catchy pop – beat of ‘The Real Slim Shady’ Dre did a superb job at producing this album.

Eminem raps about a variety of subjects on this album, from fantasising about killing his wife to the effect he has on children. His trademark irony is here in shed loads, such as on ‘The Real Slim Shady’ where Eminem pokes fun at the pop music industry was initially reviled by fans for being too ‘poppy’. They obviously didn’t get the joke. Eminem really was on the best form of his career lyrically for this record. Tracks such as ‘The Way I Am’ (the first track where he gets the sol credit) contain many complex-rhyming patterns. Here Eminem raps over the sound of church bells about people, including producers and overzealous fans that are putting too much pressure on him to top previous successes. He also lashes out at the media who seem to follow him everywhere looking for some controversy. The chorus line to the song nods to the Rakim song called ‘As The Rhyme Goes On’.

The album is not completely flawless. Many of the guest performances on the cd, such as Bizarre’s drag the overall quality down. Bizarre was never up to the standards of other people who perform on the cd so his inclusion on it remains a mystery to me. However on songs such as ‘Bitch Please II’ where Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, X-Zibit and Nate Dogg perform, they complement the songs greatly which they should do. As I’ve mentioned already the skits are also out of place and could easily have been left off the album.

With this album Eminem would be shot to dizzying heights of success and because of this, in my mind, he could never repeat the quality and intensity of this album. Maybe he no longer felt the need to exorcise his inner–most demons after this tour–de–force of emotion, or he simply didn’t have as much to worry about after this album.

I am giving this album a 4.5 rating. While an amazing piece of work overall, the quality isn’t maintained throughout. If Eminem had been more ruthless and cut out some of the guest performances and skits I feel the album really would be faultless. Nearly everyone has heard of this cd. However, if you haven’t, you really are missing out on a record that has helped shape the musical tastes of a generation.



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user ratings (2868)
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4.3
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other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mendigo
February 24th 2008


2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review.
though "Eminem’s ‘Marshall Mathers Lp’ is the ‘Nevermind’ of the 21st century." doesn't seem much like a reputation to me ;)
I'm not very fond of hip-hop in general, but sometimes I wonder if I should get this.

combustion07
February 24th 2008


5352 Comments


Its actually not bad, you might like it.

Putrefaction
February 24th 2008


59 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man. You really should get this. I wasn't much of a hip hop fan until I got this but I'm big into it now. Nearly everyone can enjoy this cd so I'd say go for it :wink:

Poet
February 24th 2008


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like Toy Soldiers is easily Eminem's best song, but there are some good tracks on this one too.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2008


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How was this album underground at all

gasmaskman
February 24th 2008


1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still can't believe this really blew up as much as it did...
You should definitely get it if you even remotely like hip-hop or rap.This Message Edited On 02.24.08

Ire
February 24th 2008


41763 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought I had rated this, good review.

Dublindrummer91
February 24th 2008


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The comment above,

'Like Toy Soldiers is easily Eminem's best song'

Sorry but like toy soldiers is perhaps his worse ever piece. Its for those who dont listen to rap and enjoy something that wont reck there head. Worst possible comment that could have been made. Re-think it and go through old albums like infinite.

Back to the review though
Fantastic review, really professional, thanks

HighandDriving
February 24th 2008


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

His best album, fuck Infinity, almost ever track on this bad boy is stellar.
I was just listening to this yesterday in my garage smoking with my highschool buds, brings back good memories.
I also really want to give this a classic rating.

BallsToTheWall
February 24th 2008


44305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Favorite song has to be Rock Bottom. Kim as well is a great tune. Intense is too lenient to explain it really. Great album, I still like a lot of songs on here. Great album but I like his previous album just a bit more.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you don't like this then there's something wrong with you. Simple as that.

Poet
February 24th 2008


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you don't like this then there's something wrong with you. Simple as that.


Easily agreed upon.

The Way I Am is my favorite lyrically on here.

skullcrusher149
February 24th 2008


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ Marshall Mathers is my favorite

Putrefaction
February 24th 2008


59 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really like Who Knew? It's probably my favourite lyrically off the cd.

wakeupdead
February 24th 2008


2208 Comments


Eminem’s ‘Marshall Mathers Lp’ is the ‘Nevermind’ of the 21st century
the year 2000 was when this was released. That was still the 20th century. lol

Putrefaction
February 24th 2008


59 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Technically, that is the start of the 21st century, is it not?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah 2000 was the start of the century

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2008


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Kim is the best rap song I've heard ever.

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

BallsToTheWall
February 24th 2008


44305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree Electric. I pretty much grew up on this album and the Slim Shady LP. Speaking of, I need to catch up on quality some rap.This Message Edited On 02.24.08

Putrefaction
February 24th 2008


59 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BallsToTheWall, you should definitely pick up 'Both Sides Of The Brain' by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and 'The End Of The Beginning' by Murs if you want some quality rap.



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