Review Summary: The weaker of three classics
In 1999, Eminem's stretch of perfect albums began with The Slim Shady LP. After the mediocre debut in Infinite, Eminem had done just enough to secure a small fanbase, but it was with this album that he would really get known as being a great lyricist and fantastic rapper. This was where his dark humour was at his peak, but lyrically is not quite on the level of the two that would follow. This is also Eminem with the trademark violence that he would essentially ditch on his later albums in favour of more acceptable lyrics. Now, before the review starts, it would be unfair to compare this to the two titans that followed it, for it is nowhere near on the level of those, nor is the style quite similar. No, this will not be stacked up against The Marshall Mathers LP or The Eminem Show. Instead, the standard for this is the rest of his discography as well as music in general.
"Don't Even Listen To Slim, He's Bad For You", claims Dr Dre on the track Guilty Conscience, and he really was not joking. Lines such as "Hi kids, do you like violence?" are prominent throughout this album, which is just one example of the dark lyrics coated with dark humour that can be found throughout this record. Another one of my personal favourites would be "how you gonna breast feed me, mom, you aint got no tits". Lines like these are so shocking that they are funny, and that is the real genius behind this album.
Whilst the beats and flow of this album are not perfect, the lyrics are fantastic and constantly funny throughout. The rusty flow is best displayed on If I Had, which is one of the weaker tracks on the album, but that is not to say it is bad. Because, once again, the lyrics save this from the depths it could have gone to. The most amazing thing about this album is that is is not even close to being his best. Both his next projects would top it in every form except the humour. Lyrically, they both flaw it, but the humour is not as good as on here.
My personal favourite off of this abum is definately My Name Is. This song is the most hilarious song he has ever written, and one of the best songs he has ever done. This is, flow-wise, one of the stronger cuts off the album, and the lyrics are just insane. The beat to it is powerful enough, and the production, as with the rest of this album, is fairly crisp but still keeps the dark but funny atmosphere found in the lyrics.
Eminem's voice on this album is by far his best. It is this that lets the funny lines in the song shine through amidst the rest of the violent insanity. He is young and really sounds it on this album.
Congratulations, Marshall Mathers, you have began your three album home stretch to impossibility.