Eminem
The Eminem Show


2.5
average

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
July 9th, 2005 | 231 replies | 65,468 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Eminem - The Eminem Show
Released 2002.
EMI Records.
#317 on Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums Of All Time
It's pretty hard to overestimate just how big Eminem's first two albums were. If Eminem had only released The Slim Shady LP, he still would have been pretty massive, if only because Dr Dre had found his muse once again. Even so, after that, he went on to release The Marshall Mathers LP, a commercial monolith, and a modern masterpiece. One of the biggest and most acclaimed hip-hop albums of all time, it turned Eminem into the biggest and most visible star on the planet.

Where do you go from there? Well, there's this thing in music called 'the difficult third album'. Although Eminem technically debuted with Infinite, he only settled into the persona and sound with which we identify him now on The Slim Shady LP, and Infinite was little more than a glorified demo tape, made by an promising emcee waiting for a decent producer to discover him. So, effectively, The Eminem Show can be considered his third album. In most people's eyes, and certainly in those of the media, it was anyway. And the crux of the 'difficult third album' is media pressure. After two albums establishing your sound, where can you go from there?

Some artists choose to experiment with their sound. Radiohead's OK Computer, for instance, or The Clash's London Calling. Then again, some simply try and stick with the sound they already had. The Eminem Show definitely falls into the latter category. Aside from "Hailie's Song", where Eminem sings rather than raps, there's nothing here that Eminem hasn't done before. Except, that is, for producing large chunks of the album himself. An attempt to distance himself from Dre and achieve autonomy? Possibly. More likely, he was responding to jibes that a cracker like Eminem wouldn't be shit without Dre. The sad fact, though, is that Eminem isn't as good a producer as Dre, or Jeff Bass (another frequent collaborator, who contributes only one co-production here on "Cleaning Out My Closet" ). Here, especially, his productions feel like Master P offcuts.

But, aside from this, The Eminem Show is business as usual, right down to the letter. Just like "Kill You", "White America" ends with 'I'm just playing, you know I love you.' The Paul Rosenburg skit is repeated. The first single still sticks out like a sore, silly thumb. Relations with his mother weren't exactly improving on "Cleaning Out My Closet" (at this point, it was beginning to sound like Eminem was beating a dead horse). And D-12 once again show up towards the album's end for a song that would have been better placed on one of the group's albums ( "When The Music Stops" ).

The offshoot of that is that you cannot help but compare this to Eminem's other albums, which meant that this was revealed pretty quickly as far and away Eminem's worst effort so far. Because once you scratched beneath the surface, you realise that Eminem is seriously coasting here. Hell, he gets comprehensively out-rapped by Obie Trice on "Drips", and by Dr Dre on "Say What You Say". As a matter of fact, props to Dre's ghostwriter here, because when he disses Jermaine Dupri, he drops probably the best rap on the whole album.

Quote:
Fuck Jermaine!
He don't belong speaking mine OR Timbaland's name
And don't think I don't read
Your little interviews, and see what you're sayin
I'm a giant, and I ain't gotta move 'til I'm provoked
When I see you I'ma step on you and not even know it
You midget
Mini-Me with a bunch of little Mini-Yous
Running around your backyard swimming pools
Over 80 million records sold
And I ain't have to do it with ten or eleven year-olds....
In defence of The Eminem Show, Eminem has at least stepped up his targets - Jermaine Dupri and Canibus (attacked on "Square Dance" ) represent slightly tougher obstacles than Cristina Aguilera and N*Sync, anyway - and if a new rapper released this album, it'd be seen as an average, if promising debut. But by Eminem's standards, this is mediocre at best - packed with filler, executed with a lack of care and effort, and seriously missing the wit and intelligence that made The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP so great. The highlights of the record are still as good as you'd expect from Eminem, but for every "Sing For The Moment", there's 2 or 3 of "'Till I Collapse" and "Soldier".

And the worst thing? He got even worse from here.

Within The Genre - 3.5/5
Outside The Genre - 2/5

Recommended Downloads -

White America

Such a great opener. I remember hearing this for the first time, and being convinced that this album would be even than The Marshall Mathers LP. If the year before the release of The Eminem Show had been marked by the media waging war on Eminem, this is Eminem fighting back, dissecting his image and impact to find out why he's become such a phenomenon. It's typical Eminem territory, but it still sounded fresh here. If Mosh had sounded anything like this, Encore wouldn't have been such an embarrassment.

My Dad's Gone Crazy
Ah, how we long for the days when Eminem's sense of humour hadn't gone totally AWOL (my life will be officially 500% better if I never hear "Ass Like That" again). Hailie sings the chorus - gimmicky? Sure, but it just about works. Dr. Dre's production throws everything but the kitchen sink at the song, but in a surprisingly subtle way - I didn't even notice the theremin until reviewing this just now.

Sing For The Moment
Apparently sampling Aerosmith's 'Dream On' heavily (it actually features Joe Perry himself), this remains Eminem's greatest self-produced moment. This marks the first and only point on The Eminem Show where Marshall has anything unique to say - it is to The Eminem Show as "Like Toy Soldiers" is to Encore. Eminem here simultaneously pays tribute to the rap artists that helped him through his childhood, and acknowledges the fans that hold him in the same regard.

Further Listening
Eminem - The Slim Shady LP
Kurupt - Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey




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user ratings (2115)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
July 9th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Why is it converting ") into ;) when I never used a semicolon?

Zesty Mordant
July 12th 2005



1196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, I'd give this album maybe 3 stars- The beats are very catchy for the most part, but the lyrics certainly start to take a generic turn.

Nonetheless, my favorite songs on this were probably "White America", "Business" and "My Dad's Gone Crazy"?



Zmev
July 12th 2005



983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The songs that aren't skits are pretty decent but a tad too much filler.

Tenfootbrett
July 13th 2005



149 Comments


quit sampling, you loser rap morons. It's not 'sampling'. It's 'plagiarizing', even if they have consent.

Eminem is an idiot. despite having read alot and seen several biographies on him, the only thing I can discern from his lyrics is that he's really angry at his parents, and that he thinks everyone should go fuc* themselves, and that WHOA DUDES, DON'T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY, I'M JUST KIDDING, DON'T GO FUC* YOURSELVES!

barosjn
July 13th 2005



501 Comments


Eminem's probably the funniest rapper to have existed in the music industry and this is an alright album. I like Infinite and the Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers LPs better, but at least this album beats the crap out of Encore.

Captain_HumpYourFace
August 11th 2005



119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't actually disappointed in this album, I wasn't expecting it to top his earlier works and I think it was at least an enjoyable listen while it lasted. It certainly isn't his best work and sadly it isn't his worst either, he must have just stopped trying with Encore.

Excellent review but I really don't understand the need for that whole "Within the Genre, Outside the Genre" thing. I don't think an album's quality changes based on calling it an 'album' or a 'rap-album.'

Iai
Emeritus
August 11th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Some people like rap, some don't. Simple as.

For an album of any genre to be a true classic, it has to extend to people who don't normally like that genre.

Captain_HumpYourFace
August 11th 2005



119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok I see what you mean now, thanks for clearing up the confusion.

Two-Headed Boy
November 19th 2005



4527 Comments


peice of **** nobody likes a rapper that thinks he's cool beacause he droped out of grade two. honestly knoone cares if you like to be alone too feed your kid.


Bron-Yr-Aur
April 9th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

uh... he's smart at least. And av8rrhe whatever can't spell. Eh I don't like rap anyway

sj_2150
April 10th 2006



251 Comments


because he/she can...

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2006



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This isn't a 1 by any stretch, and I'm guessing the people who gave it ones don't own it. There are some great songs on here, like White America, Sing For The Moment, and Say Goodbye to Hollywood. The rest of it's not bad.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

simmoeatworld101
April 15th 2006



16 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

no i dont own it musicOfficial101 and im glad, i hate eminem and everything about him, i also hate rap, bitches

diefamous
April 15th 2006



281 Comments


I'm with this guy. Rap is fuckin stupid. It's not music its... rap.. and it sucks. You people need to realize how all that rap is is a pathetic display of human talent. Anyone can rap. What you all need to do is get really fuckin baked and listen to Demigod, Behemoth's latest album.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then delete your rating if you dont own it. You can't have a semblance of a clue of what you're talking about.
Douches who rate albums and haven't listened to them anger me.

morrissey
Moderator
April 15th 2006



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5


no i dont own it musicOfficial101 and im glad, i hate eminem and everything about him, i also hate rap, bitches

The practice of not rating albums until you've actually heard the entire album all the way through is a convention around here. Please follow it.

morrissey
Moderator
April 15th 2006



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What I like to do is rate the albums based on which of the first five tracks I like best
This one is a tie between white america and business you see

morrissey
Moderator
April 15th 2006



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That is a good way but based a little too much on thorough analysis you see

It is best to rate everything you've ever heard a 5 and everything your little sister likes a 1 you see

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 19th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As a matter of fact Mr. Spat, I used to love Eminem. And part of the glory of this wonderful site is that anyone can rate anything whatever they want. Simply because I don't give it at least a three and say something like "this is ok but it's not his best" does not mean that I haven't heard and/or owned this album before.

Zesty Mordant
April 19th 2006



1196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

reasons then? 1 is a pretty extreme rating entailing that the artist involved basically has no musical merit whatsoever. I highly doubt this album displays that.This Message Edited On 04.19.06



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