Eminem
Recovery


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
July 21st, 2010 | 47 replies | 7,412 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You may be gone, but you're never over.

If you've never heard of Eminem before, I have two things to say to you: firstly, I hope it's not too cold at night in your cave; and secondly, you've missed too much. That in turn means two things; it means you've not had the opportunity to sample some of the best hip-hop albums of the last 11 years in the The Marshall Mathers LP and the Slim Shady LP, and it means you're unaware of a narrative, an arc which has been in flight for some time. It is very unlikely that any first-time listeners will find Recovery any better than 'very good'; it is even possible to argue that for that same reason, it doesn't deserve a review praising it any more highly. But Recovery is an album for the people who have formed a relationship with Marshall Mathers over the last 10 years, and I don't just mean those who fell in love with The Real Slim Shady and bought all his underground ***, I mean the people that have followed it all - the rise and the fall of a troubled and conflicted person - and haven't taken their eye off the human being behind one of rap's great talents.

That's not to say that Recovery doesn't hold its fair share of excellent cuts, it's just that Eminem's seventh studio full-length is overshadowed more than practically any in recent memory by context. But he deals with that sharp-ish, asserting on 'Talkin' 2 Myself':

Those last 2 albums didn't count
Encore I was on drugs, Relapse I was flushing them out.
I've come to make it up to you, now no more ***ing around,
I've got something to prove to fans 'cause I feel like I let 'em down.
So please accept my apology, I finally feel like I'm back to normal,
I feel like me again.


And the rest of Recovery, except for the odd tangent here and there, elaborates on that point. He dedicates 'You're Never Over' - whose second verse is one of the most emotional he's ever written - to passed-on friend Proof, apologises to Kanye for nearly ripping into him on 'Talkin' 2 Myself', and sets the story straight with Kim on 'Going Through Changes'. Where Relapse failed, Recovery strives for real themes. The beats are dark; 'You're Never Over' floats over heavy near-static and bass drums, fitting the subject matter perfectly. The accent is gone; Mathers adopts an aggressive and direct tone for the majority of these songs (think 'The Way I Am' with less of the screams). The guest spots are mostly organic (ignore the fact that Pink actually contributed); Rihanna's presence in particular on second single 'Love The Way You Lie' allows both artists to contribute their best goods to the track, the female vocals matching Eminem's intensity with their soaring sharpness. But even Lil Wayne's verse of 'No Love' feels comfortable in its tempo.

Really, though, there's one song on Recovery which showcases all that's good about the album it graces, and that's '25 to Life'. One of the most intelligent cuts of Mathers' career, he demonstrates his talent brilliantly on a pensive track which will surprise you. I'm not about to ruin it for you, but it should suffice to say that the track requires multiple listens to appreciate. Eminem was always best when he was this serious, this angry, this single-minded; here, even W.T.P. (White Trash Party, in case you were wondering) has an edge, something to say. These are frequently inspired, consistently inspiring tales of pulling yourself out of an abyss, getting to grips with your emotions and feeling alright again. Recovery is surprising; nobody would have raised an eyebrow if it was as bad as Relapse, and nobody would have pulled punches in saying it. Fortunately, Recovery is everything Relapse was not: heartfelt, dramatic and really quite good. Granted, it's not quite everything The Marshall Mathers LP was, but it feels like the same man again. Welcome back.



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user ratings (1773)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ninetynine

AtavanHalen
July 21st 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Knott bad, but I'd ditch most of the first paragraph.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2010



30873 Comments


My cave has a heater

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Eclectic
July 21st 2010



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, just waiting for the obligatory swarm of negs now.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



4940 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent analbumcover

Mordecai.
July 21st 2010



8270 Comments


negger

Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

imnotreallysurehowtoreacttothatsobhi

cheers boys

why david i think its important/not too extraneous

Slum
July 21st 2010



2579 Comments


Another great review, Knott. Might check this out now, eminem has always been a guilty pleasure of mine.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2010



15332 Comments


another great review man, looking forward to your 100th.

...but am i the only one that thinks this album kind of sucks?

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

2 negs again? in the space of a minute?

Fugue
July 21st 2010



7352 Comments


You ever gone to the mods to see if it's the same users Adam?

Counterfeit
July 21st 2010



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

posd this shit dawg

Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

just got like a neg or 2 wiped from every review of mine for that, but theres still 2 on that sleepingdog review... which granted was a bit off the wall but not too much. meh. just irks me slightly.

Parallels
July 21st 2010



6640 Comments


looooove this album

Eclectic
July 21st 2010



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Somebody loves you Adam, they just have an insane way of showing it

Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

approval rating. but ive got 99 reviews so it doesnt really change that unless someone spends 76848237 hours negging my back catalogue. just looks ugly.

Eclectic
July 21st 2010



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Your approval rating, which some people take seriously (me included sometimes, I admit)

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2010



15332 Comments


counts towards your approval rating, which to be blunt, doesn't really matter

but nevertheless this is a well written review that doesn't deserve any negs at all. suppose some people just get bored, but honestly your feedback from other users is a lot more important than pos's and neg's

Fugue
July 21st 2010



7352 Comments


I've negged a few, but I dislike negging reviews as I feel compelled to write a couple of paragraphs explaining why if I do. Apparently others don't feel the same urge.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

except the first neg i ever received i dont think anyone has ever told me why they negged one of my reviews. ever. lol.



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