Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP 2


3.0
good

Review

by IsomerDuck USER (3 Reviews)
February 1st, 2014 | 18 replies


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Slim Shady's long-awaited return can't quite grasp the excellence of his earlier material, but succeeds in enough ways to satisfy.

Aside from the endless torrent of 'Rap God' over the radio, I've never listened to Eminem with a great deal of attention. 'Recovery' and 'Relapse' left me cold in moments, and I found 'Encore' to be insufferable. That being said, it's hard to argue that Eminem has faded into irrelevancy - with his earlier albums such as TMMLP(1) and 'The Slim Shady LP' providing enough artistic momentum to leave fans waiting for a return to greatness. 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' isn't quite what 'The Bends' did for Radiohead, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

The album doesn't waste time to tell us that Eminem is a confused artist. The appropriately saddened opening line to the album on 'Bad Guy' ("It's like I'm in this dirt, digging up old hurt") is jaggedly contrasted with oddly braggadocios 'Rap God' - and although the track is somewhat in tongue and cheek, there's an underlying arrogance behind certain lines like "Morphing into an immortal coming through the portal". Eminem is clearly hounded by his past from both an emotional and artistic perspective, and it serves as both a blessing a curse to many of the tracks on the LP. On the one hand, there's a truly convincing violence and hatred behind his rapping that's particularly powerful on the poignant 'Headlights' or the more aggressive 'Survival' and 'Berzerk'. For those more familiar with his earlier material, many of the references to his older LPs will be mostly appreciated (particularly the allusions to 'Stan'). Yet, even if you do have a familiarity with the first MMLP, the emotional disconnect that has aggregated over time really deteriorates any sense of empathy with the artist. The continual hearkening back to his past begins to feel almost desperate, and at the worst of times almost parasitic.

On more a technical note, TMMLP2 is riddled with some brilliant production and lyricism. The rock influences on 'Survival' with its aggressive guitar track really accentuates Eminem's fluctuating temper, with segments of the song bordering on yelling. Following onto 'Legacy', the prior track's fury is tempered skillfully by a rain that persists throughout most of the song, powerfully benefiting the sorrow imagery Eminem attempts to stir up. 'Rap God' has an appropriately decadent beat behind it, with similar thematic consistency seen on the novel 'So Far...' and 'Headlights'. Easily one of the production highlights of the album is seen on 'Groundhog Day' with a beautifully twanging acoustic track that's artfully blended with occasional violin layer. Yet in spite of the track's phonic appeal, it has a falteringly appropriate sense of thematic relevancy that's quite applicable to the album on a whole. Although some tracks have a truly complimentary production ('Headlights' and 'So Far...') the album doesn't successfully tell a story. It doesn't take advantage of being an album like 'good kid, m.A.A.d city' manages to, with songs (perhaps intentionally) alternating between pseudo-grandiose tracks like 'Desperation' and more somber themes, such as those seen on 'Stronger Than I Was' or 'Headlights'. This use of contrast would be wholly appreciated if it wasn't quite so haphazard; Eminem seems to indicate some sense of pattern or progression with a series of more upbeat tracks before tearing it down by interrupting the gradient with an oddly inappropriate theme - by far the worst culprit being 'Stronger Than I Was'.

'Strong Than I Was' is terrible track. It's bizarre that on a rapping LP with an artist referring to himself as a 'Rap God', Eminem decides to clumsily switch between ordinary singing and a tattered half-rap; it falls short at every turn. The drumming on the track is suggestive of a striking conclusion, yet when it eventually arrives after 5 and a half minutes of drivel it's just a faded repetition. With the exception of 'Stronger Than I Was' and Skylar Grey's unsatisfying vocal contribution to 'Asshole', there is an overall consistency of quality that supports the majority of the album - it's just a shame such consistency wasn't seen in Eminem's thematic constructions.

'The Marshall Mathers LP 2', in spite of its numerous flaws, is often a strong rap album. It's simply a shame to see so many tracks held back by lacking attention to detail in their conceptual elements, especially given the skillful attention to detail in Eminem's comically biting lyrics. Perhaps the greatest shame, however, would be 'Stronger Than I Was' - leaving such a poor taste on an otherwise borderline great album.


user ratings (703)
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....

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

    H. (3)
    Em may not have been a rap god since 2002, but The Marshall Mathers LP 2 puts him on the r...

    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)
    If you're a casual Eminem listener, you won't be disappointed; you'll probably be well-ple...

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

    Ayashi (4)
    Shady's back, back again, and perhaps for the last time ever....

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hep Kat
February 1st 2014


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this cracka trash rappin

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2014


6180 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Pos'd

You should put album titles in italics btw

RandyJackson
February 1st 2014


12 Comments


Hey dawg, nice work. We tried to get Eminem in to do an American Idol performance once, but his music was too profane, I guess. So glad I left that show, man!

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2014


6180 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

OMG YOU BETTER MAKE GOOD POSTS RANDY

SnakeDelilah
February 1st 2014


8127 Comments


Beware: LambsBread is going to ridicule you for giving this a 3 and only having 16% hip-hop on your pie chart.

Digging: Have Mercy - A Place Of Our Own

SimonCowell
February 1st 2014


3 Comments


Dammit Randy, how do you find these sites???

Mort.
February 1st 2014


3844 Comments


"Beware: LambsBread is going to ridicule you for giving this a 3 and only having 16% hip-hop on your pie chart"

yeah and hes gonna try and prove that this is objectively amazing aswell

LambsBread
February 1st 2014


3617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Nah cuz he admits he doesn't really listen to eminem and hip hop" I've never listened to Eminem with a great deal of attention." and says what he doesnt like about it.

you try to act like you know everything and insult anyone who disagrees

Mort.
February 1st 2014


3844 Comments


"you try to act like you know everything and insult anyone who disagrees"



lambsbread in a sentence


LambsBread
February 1st 2014


3617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and I never said this was objectively good just that people that really like eminem and hip hop can appreciate it cuz its mostly good lyrics and bad production.

Review is really good actually POS best for this album by far

basically touches on everything thats good about the album and you were really coherent in your criticisms of it, again I just think I like this more than most people here cuz I listen to rap mostly for lyrics.

LambsBread
February 1st 2014


3617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gee didn't see this one coming, nice I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I comeback: "lambsbread in a sentence"
yet you can't find a single post where i've
ever insulted anyone personally and not only argued against their arguments.

LambsBread
February 1st 2014


3617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

why u always so bitter?

Mort.
February 1st 2014


3844 Comments


I don't think you know what bitterness is

LambsBread
February 1st 2014


3617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

idk bro we got some of the best IPAs up here in Oregon

itchybutthole
February 1st 2014


2545 Comments


CANT WE ALL BE FRIENDS? Its just the internet after all.


Digging: Aes Dana - Perimeters

Mort.
February 1st 2014


3844 Comments


who are you again?

RandyJackson
February 1st 2014


12 Comments


Yeah man, chill, give it a rest.

LambsBread
February 1st 2014


3617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol



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