Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP 2


3.0
good

Review

by Green Baron USER (103 Reviews)
November 12th, 2013 | 54 replies | 2,517 views


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Em may not have been a rap god since 2002, but The Marshall Mathers LP 2 puts him on the right track.

12 of 13 thought this review was well written

When Eminem announced that his next album would be a sequel to his legendary and undeniable magnum opus The Marshall Mathers LP, my general response was mixed. Since post-Eminem Show Slim is, frankly, nothing but an incomprehensible mess, why *** on a classic by releasing an inferior sequel? The original MMLP was a game-changing album, and the substandard follow-up could tarnish its name. But at the same time, a sequel to his greatest album could be the one thing that drives him to make good music again. Building upon the dark, violent themes of the original might just be what sparks Em's creative outlet again.

The album actually opens up where the original The Marshall Mathers LP left off; "Bad Guy" is the sequel to "Stan", and just might be one of the best songs on the album. The last two verses are pure excellence, showcasing some of Em's strongest flow on the album. It's a great contrast to the beginning of the song, which contained rather soft delivery and a repetitive beat. Em's storytelling on the track is fantastic though, and keeps you hooked in for the whole track. The skit "Parking Lot" follows, and it picks up at the robbery scene during the end of "Criminal". Eminem is finally shot and killed, and that might be a metaphor for his career. The ghosts of his past have finally caught up with him, and he can’t escape from his hole anymore. After so many horrible misfires, this might be the moment where Marshall gives up and ends his rapping days.

It's not that The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is a bad record; it just seems recycled and forced, taking all of the ideas from the original and reusing them again in an inferior form. In "So Much Better" he reminds us about how much he hates women and dreams of killing them, and if that subject matter seems familiar, it's because it's the same topic that he rapped about in "Kill You". The problem isn't that he's reusing the same subject material in "Kill You", rather, it's the fact that "So Much Better" doesn't do anything to distinguish itself as anything but a rehash of "Kill You". Weak lines like “My life would be so much better if you just dropped dead” prove that Em isn’t even trying to recapture the magic of “Kill You”, rather, he just reuses a subject matter that has been torn to pieces millions of times already. "Rhyme or Reason" tells us that his dad was a dick for leaving him, like we didn't have enough tracks detailing that out for us. Even "Berzerk" tries too hard to be the next "The Real Slim Shady", something that previous songs like "Just Lose It" or "We Made You" already failed at. Taking shots at the ugly Kardashian, Kid Rock and a fat Kevin Ferdeline, while sampling Billy Squire and doing his best Beastie Boys impression do nothing but show how uninspired Marshall has become with his diss tracks. He simply doesn't have the shock value that he used to have, and maybe that's because we've heard it all before.

But where The Marshall Mathers LP 2 suffers the most is… its hooks. Whether it be sung by pop stars, or awfully ‘sung’ by Em himself, too many of the album’s choruses drag their song down. “Rhyme or Reason” samples “Time of the Season” by The Zombies, and it seems completely out of place and forced (Eminem’s weak singing doesn't help matters either). The hook of “Survival” recycles old clichés like ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘the winner takes it all’, and the track’s overall sound is one that wouldn’t be out of place on Recovery, since his pissed-off delivery and tone haven’t changed at all. “The Monster” and “Asshole” feature Rihanna and Skylar Grey, respectively, and they’re easily some of the weakest tracks on the album. The former is the most radio-friendly song Em has released; its beat is one that sounds like it was off a pop record, while the chorus is typical Rihanna. Meanwhile, the latter suffers from horrible production and weak lyrical material. The album hits rock bottom at the Rick Rubin-produced "So Far...", which tries to be unique by adding in the guitar riff from Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good" in the background. However, it's completely out of place and doesn't fit in well with the rest of the song. To make matters worse, the song opens up with Em parodying "Life's Been Good", and the result is nothing short of cringe-worthy.

The thing is, when Marshall is on point, he produces some of the best material he's made in a while. "Rap God" has some of the best delivery on the album, and it's nice to see Em rap twenty words per second. Unfortunately, the beat is pretty repetitive and weak, and is easily the worst thing about the track. "Headlights” sees Mr. Mathers do something he’s never done before – apologize to his mother. After all the *** that he said about her, it’s heartwarming to see him be the bigger man and not hold on to past grudges. It’s one of the few songs that bring something new to the table, and because of that, it’s a highlight in the weak latter end of the album. “Legacy” shows the best of Em’s emotional side, and the striking piano chords hit all the right notes, adding to the sentimental factor of the track. The album closes its narrative with “Evil Twin”, a number that showcases one of the best beats on the record, wicked flow and nice lyricism. The track ends with a shocking revelation that exposes Eminem and Slim Shady to be no different (perhaps setting us up for a The Slim Shady LP 2?).

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is a tough album to judge; Eminem has made some of the best raps since The Eminem Show, and when he’s at the top of his game, there’s no stopping him. However, there are way too many weak tracks that prevent this from being a great album. As a sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP, it hardly lives up to the standard set by his classic third effort, but honestly, did anyone expect it to? The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is inconsistent, it's experimental, and its hooks are grating, but it's a step in the right direction for Eminem. This album won't define his legacy, but if this is the last record Marshall ever puts out, he'll retire knowing that he ended his career with his strongest effort in the last ten years.



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user ratings (641)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • trainofconsequence (3)
    A decent attempt at an older-style Eminem album that falls a little short....

    IsomerDuck (3)
    Slim Shady's long-awaited return can't quite grasp the excellence of his earlier material,...

    LambsBread (4.5)
    The second coming of the Rap God... crucified again, this time by Rick Rubin....

    Kronzo (3.5)
    Is this the Eminem that everyone has been dying to hear for several years?...

  • Alex Beebe (3)
    The definitive hodgepodge of the year....

    SmartWentCody (2.5)
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    Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (1.5)
    The tragedy of Eminem....

    Ayashi (4)
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  • VigorousDuck13 (4)
    After flops like Encore and Relapse, Em comes back with his best album since The Eminem Sh...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
November 11th 2013



18163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

We really needed another review of this.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

risingabove
November 11th 2013



75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think that this is really underrated. Hooks are not that bad.

LifeAsAChipmunk
November 11th 2013



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Yeah they are.

Green Baron
November 11th 2013



18163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hooks are horrible i don't understand how you can say that

letsgofishing
November 11th 2013



900 Comments


"The track ends with a shocking revelation that exposes Eminem and Slim Shady to be the same person"

Holy Fuck! Really? This changes everything.

Green Baron
November 11th 2013



18163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

shit i worded that awkwardly lemme fix it

spartanawasp
November 11th 2013



303 Comments


The second wave of reviews has come lol

Green Baron
November 11th 2013



18163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wrote this long ago, never finished it though until now

LambsBread
November 11th 2013



3312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Eminem had a lot of quality stuff after eminem show... 8 mile soundtrack, a ton of mixtapes, a handful of songs on relapse and encore. He never fell off as much as people say, honestly he's gotten progressively better throughout his career and just lost focus when he got hooked on drugs.

amanwithahammer
November 11th 2013



400 Comments


His discography is more solid than people say yeah but still he manages to fuck up potentially solid albums by throwing in shitty songs like on Encore and this, and thas just how I feel man

And ofc with Relapse it's just kind of shit, no particular songs drag it down it's just a bad album

YoYoMancuso
November 11th 2013



10886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bad Guy is really good, the rest of this is eh with Rap God being the other highlight.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 12th 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

some of the hooks are bad, some are acceptable

his rapping is top-tier though

30secondstocydonia
November 12th 2013



417 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You seem to dislike "Monster" just because its more poppy than the others. Disliking a song just cause its a different genre isn't really fair to the song. You shouldn't hold a grudge against certain genres for no reason.

amanwithahammer
November 12th 2013



400 Comments


It's not like those people force themselves not to like it though they just don't like it. I like a lot of pop Eminem, recovery was good and I dig the monster too but if Eminem suddenly jumped on a Skrillex beat I wouldn't dig it at all and that's cos I don't dig that kind of music, in that case I have no obligation to try and force myself to like it just like it's okay for people who don't like pop to dislike the monster

ScuroFantasma
November 12th 2013



1184 Comments


Nice review greenlinkinmuse, I don't think I'll check this out though

Digging: Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

LambsBread
November 12th 2013



3312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First half of this is good, and so are most of the bonus tracks, second half is definitely the weak spot.

letsgofishing
November 12th 2013



900 Comments


"shit i worded that awkwardly lemme fix it."

Hey man, I was just giving you hell. I think everyone perfectly understands how significant that lyric is in the mythology of Eminem.

This was a great review by the way. Gave you a POS.

MO
November 12th 2013



18260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

albums pretty weak


Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 12th 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is a pretty awful review, just read it

you need to work on cutting out the repetition. you use words twice in the same sentence very often (bigger words, obviously not 'a' 'the' etc.)

Firestarter
November 12th 2013



276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bad Guy, Brainless, Legacy and Evil Twin are all very good. The only horrible tracks are Stronger than I was, The Monster and So Far. Even Survival, Berzerk and Asshole have grown on me a lot after repeated listens.

This is much stronger than Recovery, Relapse, and Encore, although that doesn't really say that much.



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