Review Summary: If you're a casual Eminem listener, you won't be disappointed; you'll probably be well-pleased, in fact. If you're a big Eminem fan like myself, you'll probably be disappointed, but it has sprinklings of the Eminem we all know and love, and you'll hear it
When I first heard 'Berzerk', and heard that Eminem was releasing a new record, AND it was called The MMLP2, I was very, very afraid. All I could think was, 'After his last couple albums, how could he have the gall to release a sequel to one of the most important Hip-Hop albums of all time?' As a big Eminem fan, I was obliged to at least listen to the entire album before I jumped to a bold conclusion.
It's okay. Not great, but okay. It was an honest effort. Not to say he didn't try his hardest, but with his age and used topics, comes less material, and that's what his last albums have felt like.
It has a some good tracks, and some bad ones. It seems like almost every song is about the same thing, which gets stale. The whole "I was nothing, now look at me" topic was great when he first touched on it, it was fresh, real, and he did it well. To say that he's drawing it thin nowadays is an immense understatement. An interesting turn-around is the track 'Headlights', where he apologizes, and displays his love for his mother. Like an anti-track to 'Cleaning Out My Closet', which he later states he doesn't play anymore, and essentially admits that he regrets writing it. There are songs on this album, i.e. 'Rap God', where the lyrics are well-written, but the instrumental is just bad. The amount of Pop in a lot of the hooks is unbearable for me, personally. For the sake of your attention, I'm not going to review every track individually.
Back to old songs making appearances in his newer ones, there are many allusions to his old tracks, such as lyrics and actual samples. There are two tracks that stand out to me as blatant, and poorly executed shots to reboot old classics; 'Survival' and 'Love Game'. Both feeling like an attempt to reboot ''Till I Collapse' and 'Drips', respectively. On an up-side to the allusions, there is a really neat extended version of the break from 'Criminal' called 'Parking Lot (Skit)' I wonder if this was his way of tying the two albums together.
There are flavors in his lyrics that touch on the style that got him where he is today. Even the inflection in his voice is reminiscent of the old records. The songs on this album are LONG; some of them passing the 6-minute mark, one passing the 7-minute mark, which isn't too common for Hip-Hop. The verses are long, and the execution of the lyrics is very stop-and-go. The track 'Baby', which is my favorite song on the record (I'm reviewing the Deluxe edition), is fantastic. It's Eminem. It was a nice piece of ear-candy in an otherwise shoddy record.
I apologize if this review seemed unorganized, this is kind of a spur of the moment thing. I listened to the album, and that's what I had to say about it. There are a couple tracks on it that will have me coming back to listen to on occasion, but as a whole, it was a one-time experience for me. Eminem just isn't what he used to be.