Eminem
Curtain Call: The Hits


3.5
great

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
March 31st, 2006 | 39 replies | 18,933 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Eminem is the biggest name in rap today. Itís nearly impossible to say otherwise. Its arguable that he is more popular than the two most accepted kings of ďmainstream" hip hop, Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. However, does he deserve that kind of credit? That too is up for debate. However, taking a look at his recent greatest hits album Curtain Call: The Hits, its difficult to not see why he became the monster presence he is today.

Eminem includes:
Slim Shady-Vocals
Marshall Mathers-Vocals
Eminem-Vocals

After a little intro, we are introduced to the first new cut on the album, FACK. The best way to describe this song would be to give a little word count of a few, select words. ***: 11. Cum: 18. Total ďRadio Edits": 41. Thatís close to 10% of the songs lyrics, folks. It could possibly be the worst performance by Eminem on the album, with an annoying vocal track and some of the worst lyrics heís ever written. Luckily, the beat is interesting enough, and the final Arabian-sounding section is interesting enough, even though the line ďShove a gerbil in your ass/through a tube" is repeated 4 times over it.

The rest of the new tracks are barely noteworthy. Shake That features Nate Dogg, and is the quintessential ďclub banger". However, the basic ďIím funnaí get laid yo" lyrics and monotone delivery make the song skippable after one or two listens. Then there is the supporting single for this album, When Iím Gone. Eminem gives a powerful vocal performance, with some rather touching lyrics and a nice (if cheesy) chorus. However, much like much of his previous work on Encore, it gets bogged down in a repetitive and boring beat. All in all, the new tracks should have just not been included, but thatís almost always the case with greatest hits albums.

The collection of singles gathered here are nice and varied, with three songs from the Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, and Encore, while The Slim Shady LP gets two and the 8 Mile Soundtrack contributes only one (Surprisingly enough, the only single from that album). The S.S. LP contributes perhaps the least to the album; while My Name Is is a decent enough song and warrants inclusion for it being his breakthrough single, it gets tiresome fast and pales in comparison to most of the other tracks on the album. Guilty Conscience was always a fun song, with Eminem battling Dr. Dre for the attention of a few young men. However, there isnít much to the song past its initial impact, and despite yet another catchy beat, it fails to hold your attention by this point for more than a few listens.

The real meat of the album starts with the singles from the M.M. LP. The Real Slim Shady continues the trend of silly singles, but after all this time (around 6 years at this point), the song is still a fun listen occasionally, and doesnít get stale like most of the previously mentioned material. However, after that, the chosen singles get progressively and noticeably darker in tone. The Way I Am may be Eminemís most intense single, with a menacing beat and lyrics spouted with more emotion than anywhere else on the album. The song is perhaps his crowning jewel, even when you compare it to non-singles such as Kill You, Kim, and White America. The final song included from M.M. is Stan, a sweet ode to stalkerish fans everywhere. Featuring a surprisingly fitting snippet from Dido and a thunderstorm backdrop to back up the main beat, it has some of the most impressive lyrics he ever wrote, detailing a rather rabid fan sending letters. It seems much shorter than its 6:44 runtime, a testament to how it sucks you into the rather tragic and sick story of Stan.

Unlike many people, I always felt The Eminem Show was Eminemís best album altogether, although only by a slim margin. Unfortunately, the singles donít reflect that. We of course have the silly album drop single Without Me, a song attacking random targets and social/political issues of the day (although it doesnít exactly pertain to the album, it featured what is probably Eminemís best music video). Even though itís probably the best of the fun singles, it doesnít compare too much else on the album. Cleaniní Out My Closetí is a more personal song in the vein of The Way I Am, with similar emotional delivery and ďangry" lyrics. However, this time around it doesnít all come together, and although some lines do have a nice ring or impact, a lot of it seems to be rather whiney and only gives any real punch because of the delivery. The final single included from the Eminem Show is Sing For the Moment, a song sampling of course ďDream On". Unlike most of his other songs, this has no definitive strong point, rather everything combines to turn the song into a rather strong ballad of a rap, although I find myself skipping over it whenever listening to this album.

The most recent album released by Eminem was Encore; featuring mostly inane tracks and suspect production. Just Lose It typifies this, taking a few tricks from Without Me and rewashing them with an inferior beat and lyrics that are just annoying. Itís somewhat catchy, and features a few amusing lines (ďDre/Beer goggles blind/Iím just trying to unwind" comes off as rather humorous), but itís the low point off of any of the gathered singles. Mockingbird is my personal choice for worst cover ever; Hailieís Song was just fine being sung. Like Toy Soldiers is one of the few instances where Eminem makes a real statement on Encore, and it features perhaps the only truly positive message on this entire collection. The Encore part of this album is easily its weakest; with none of the songs being hard hitting, and it seems to be unable to catch the listeners ear in this reviewers eyes.

Of course, there are two final songs to be included on this album; Lose Yourself and Stan Live (Ft. Sir Elton John). Lose Yourself was a powerful number off the 8 Mile soundtrack, and is one of the better songs included. Whether itís the storyteller lyrics, the menacing (yes, menacing again) delivery, or dark atmosphere, it very rarely lets up once it gets going. Stan Live was a sight when it originally aired on the Grammies, but it loses something in translation. Stan is a great song, but considering this was a singles album, it really didnít warrant including twice, even with Elton Johnís sung chorus.

All in all, I may have judged the tracks a bit too harshly. All the singles were fun listens when they first appeared on the radio; even Just Lose It was stuck in my head for days. They all have either a nice bit of pop or edge to them, making it a varied album without much outright filler. However, if youíre looking for a career defining collection of songs, this album will disappoint you. It says singles for a reason folks, and you wont find many of his greater works included. However, I canít detract anything from the album for that alone. If youíre looking to get into Eminem (even though if you havenít given him a listen already, youíre a stronger man than I), this is an easy and accessible place to start, smoothing you into the whirlwind of Marshall Mathers or the intrigue of the Eminem Show. For fans, the new tracks give a little bit more of Eminem to savor, and for everyone elseÖwell, Iím sure youíll have fun listening to something else.



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user ratings (447)
Chart.
3.7
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other reviews of this album
Spamue1G (4)
Your average Greatest Hits album from an artist who is anything but average. Worth checking out if y...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm, forgot about sputnik filters. Ah well, what're you going to do.

El_Goodo
March 31st 2006



1008 Comments


Eminem's "The Eminem Show" is the only rap album I own, and Eminem is one of the few rapers that I like. For one I like him because the man can write a good hook, and because although some of his song's can be as bad as most rappers content, he has some song's that have great lyrical content.

El_Goodo
March 31st 2006



1008 Comments


Nice review, btw

musicforlife
March 31st 2006



81 Comments


I heard this CD at a friends house once, didn't like it.

Thor
March 31st 2006



10176 Comments


This is a collection of his songs that were popular, but that doesn't mean they were his best songs. His singles are usually the ones I don't like, actually. That would of course exclude the songs like Stan, The Way I Am, and Sing For the Moment.

pulseczar
April 1st 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh Eminem, you used to be so fresh and so clean. Now you suck.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Spat Out Plath: He still is. I doubt there is one other rapper around the world who would have as much recognition as Eminem. True, he may not be nearly as relevent as he was 4 or 5 years ago, but he is still the most recognizable rapper around today. *small edit* I do realize how utterly cliche that is as an opening line, however. Oh well.

Galapogos: Yeah, his newer material really is mediocre, which is why this release was a little respite from all that Encore nonsense.This Message Edited On 04.01.06

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I will call unfair comparison with The Beatles/Kelly Clarkson, but point taken.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still dont see Eminem as the "past" quite yet, he still should have one more good album in him. but regardless, I refuse to admit to 50 Cent being the new king of hip hop.

morrissey
Moderator
April 1st 2006



1688 Comments


Good review. Eminem has a few good songs but I've never really been into him. If he comes on the radio I don't turn it off - unless it's "Ass like That" which is just retarded.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why do I refuse to admit it? Because after a decent first release, I felt the Massacre was just dreck. I suppose I can't deny people like him, but lest we forget, most people suck.

And I'm not denying Eminem should take a few more years off, I'm just saying he just has one more great album in him. Whether its released next year or in '09 is the real question to me.

"Freshly Baked"
April 4th 2006



583 Comments


an Eminem greatest hits collection is obviously a horrible Idea. We all know his best songs were never his hits. That and, too many song from encore, there were maybe 2 good songs on that album.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And lest we forget, those two songs were included. 3/17 isn't a large portion of the album in any sense.

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006



4405 Comments


A fine review, although the sputnik filters did drag it down a bit. but as you stated, "What are you going to do?". You've got my vote.

masada
May 8th 2006



2733 Comments


I like "When I'm Gone".

crash05
May 10th 2006



3 Comments


I'm not a big fan of eminem, i like his singles, they're fun. But I could never listen to a whole eminem album.
and Y isn't superman on this cd?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This cd is for his "greatest" hits, and Superman wasn't played on the radio nearly as much as the other 3 included from The Eminem Show.

Storm In A Teacup
June 9th 2006



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish "Mosh" was on here.

metallicaman8
June 9th 2006



4677 Comments


Excellent review. I'm not a big eminem fan, though.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2006



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mosh was the only song I was surprised about not being on here. Would have been more suitable than Mockingbird; it was far more popular.



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