Review Summary: Eminem throws the bullshit aside and tackles Recovery with mind and matter together for the first time since The Marshall Mathers LP, but his guest artists are not enough to save him.
Time and again, Eminem has retained a startling amount of massive publicity from the sheer emotion and vulgar rhymes in his rapping. Controversy, questionable subject matter and intense lyrical content made listeners hold a respectable stance for the Missouri rapper. However ridiculed and attacked through each stage of his career, Mr. Mathers usually found a crisp way to push the most taboo of topics into music as if it were the status quo. Transsexuals, suicidal tendencies, murder and the ferocity towards the paparazzi gave sweats of his musical endeavor and thoroughly impressed his music with his view of the world. While his idea of musicianship worked better than anyone could have expected, people could feel the raw emotion behind his comical rhyming. And with that, everything that collected and had drawn people to listen to Eminem over the years has inevitably come together at once. While it is far from the most groundbreaking album, Eminem’s Recovery is a huge step in the right direction that deserves attention.
Even though we were surprised by a literal promise of a Relapse 2; we received another surprise yet again. With Recovery, confusion and emotions run rampant through the album and Eminem seems to want to hit every base, and all his previous statements and lyrical substance amass from all across his discography. The intention behind the record matches the realism with it, and alongside songs of Going Through Changes
, Recovery tries too hard to be emotional and anthematic when it isn't being overwrought with rap-acoustic rock hybrids, something the lead single Not Afraid
has proven by wrecking every Billboard chart it could possibly appear on.
Some fans had a hard time accepting the strange aura of Relapse, but over time it was evident that something was missing, and we all feared Eminem would truly, lose it. This is where you need not fear, Recovery is where Eminem has picked up the pieces to create himself yet again. Every song is enjoyable to a degree however small it may be to long time listeners, the cringe-worthy tracks have been over-polished to appear completely nonabrasive, and the filler is no longer too atrocious to damage the album by not even trying at all in any direction. Even the skits have been scraped from the production to bluff the appearance of the album as having a direct approach. Still, it’s tremendously difficult to even think of such a hardline rapper as Eminem *wanting* to work with artists such as Pink, Rihanna or Lil’ Wayne, but in all honesty, the songs create a surprising tight fit for pop radio and lots of money for everyone's pocket without the itchy awkwardness of Relapse.
Recovery maintains a consistent quality in contrast to Encore, and songs like Almost Famous
will prove to last alongside his strongest tracks, fumbling through head dawning aggression and Eminem in pissed off mode, re-activated after 10 years of drug suppression and lyrical focus that makes it even easier to criticize Relapse and mourn Encore. The beats don't seem as forced as his last few efforts and this can leave his much too accessible and easy to become overwrought with, and the chorus of On Fire
may seem iffy at first listen, but Eminem’s rapping quality allows it to not come off as a full disappointment in the same way as Encore. There are questionable matters on the album, as Eminem dares to include rather… strange essences to his songs. Directly, the songs 25 to Life
and Love the Way You Live
are a bit of a shock for those expecting the typical Eminem styled ballad, encasing with acoustic guitars that at least show he is trying to incorporate new ideas, rave club beats and the latter including a chorus by pop singer Rihanna. For the first time in 10 years you can crank up an Eminem record and not be ridiculed as a cheap ass cracker.