by HollywoodConstantine USER (5 Reviews)
May 19th, 2009 | 19 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Relapse is a mature Slim Shady LP. It is not quite as entertaining as The Marshal Mathers LP and it's not quite as catchy as The Eminem Show, but it is a pretty intense album. It's NOT Encore. It's very serious, and even kind of sad. Fans will sink in

When I was in high school, me and my buddy would always blast Eminem's "Kill You" from the Marshall Mathers LP album. It was and still is the most hilarious song I've ever heard. That was back when Em was at his peek; somewhere between the first day Marshal Mathers LP was released and the last day fans enjoyed The Eminem Show before the release of Encore.

Em's debute album, The Slim Shady LP, was a really fun first effort for his fanbase, but Marshall Mathers and The Show were far more polished and moving efforts. As a casual fan of the guy, I must admit that he's grown quite a bit as a musical artist. He endured heavy criticism and protest when he said whatever the hell he wanted to in his first two albums, and then he shut the heck up for a bit and wrote The Eminem Show and Encore songs when he was censored (thankfully not for good). Today, Relapse was released in stores and after a few listens, I got to say...he's back! It's fun. But boy, will a lot of people hate it!

Fans of the Slim and Marshall LPs will feel Em's wrath in his extremely explicit lyrics, while fans of Encore and The Show will enjoy the upbeat rhythms and playful melodies. Overall, it's a decent package that grows on the listenner. It does have a few farts and burps here and there, but otherwise, fans should enjoy his triumphant return to the violent sexual drug related material that made the Marshall Mathers LP so fun.

The album’s first song is the sadistic 3 A.M. Eminem sings about nodding in and out of sleep from a drug addiction, each time waking up to dead bodies and bloody hands. It’s a well written song and the music is fun, but he sings it kind of funny. “I guess I musta keeeeld um.” is an odd accent that frequently pops up in the album. My Mom and Insane are really explicit (hopefully fictional) songs about his severely abused childhood. In My Mom, he sings about his mother’s influence on his substance abuse habits by putting drugs in his food as a kid. It’s utterly tragic, but because it’s backed by a flow that sounds oddly similar to a 2001 Chronic song, it’s funny. Insane is a shocking song about his sexual relationship with a supposed step father. I love its chorus. Bagpipes from Baghdad, Hello and Same Song and Dance are all related to his experiences as a celebrity. They sound a lot like something you’d hear on Encore. But they’re a little more depressing and explicit. We Made You is the popular single. Stay Wide Awake is an very well written song, but much like every other song on the album, it seems to suffer from his “Triumph the insult comedy dog” voice that was NEVER present in any of the past albums. I liked it in 3.A.M, but I didn’t expect it to have such a prominent role in more than one song. Old Time’s Sake is straight out of a Dr. Dre record. It’s totally up there with Say What You Say and Guilty Conscience. Dre still brings the ODs.

The strongest songs on the album are Déj* vu, Beautiful and Medicine Ball. I’ve read how much people seem to hate Beautiful for being whatever they said, but I liked it. It had a good message and it sounded really cool. Eminem produced it. It has full rich sound and a very somber melody that’s not unlike Cleaning Out My Closet and If I Had. In fact, put those two songs together and you get something like Beautiful’s sound. Déj* vu is probably a better song. It’s much darker than the upbeat Medicine Ball, yet another song about being addicted to drugs and the lonely lost feeling he almost believes he’ll never escape. Underground closes the album well enough. The chorus is dry and below average but it’s written and sung like a reject from the Marshall Mathers LP. As a fan of songs like My Name Is, Criminal, Stan, Scary Movies and Kill You, it fits in nicely with his funnier songs. The saw is family.

To me, Relapse is a grown up Slim Shady LP. They feel oddly similar as they are both heavily drug related albums. This time, Eminem recalls a far more serious battle with a drug addiction nobody would ever want to pretend to understand. Although not every song is probably true to life on this album, the lyrics paint a playful but ultimately horrific picture of how he feels about his life and career. When considering this heavy material, it's difficult to laugh with him when he does throw in an effort at humor.

Another piece to Relapse is Em's effort at writing insult songs. We Made You is the single we all heard a thousand times. I liked it, and so did most. Those that didn't claim that his typically clever jabs at pop culture celebrities are outdated this time around. They have a point. In Relapse, Em ribs Christopher Reeves, Heath Ledger, Kim Kardashian, Elen Degeneris, Lindsay Lohan Brittany Spears, Mariah Cary, Nick Cannon and even John Meyer. The insults are playful and will offend all sorts of audiences. Eminem claims he's just playing around with celebrities like Kim Kardashian Ledger and Reeves, but for others he comes off a little more fierce. Brittany Spears, Mariah Cary and Nick Cannon have songs exclusively based on them, and they aren’t as playful as one might expect from hearing We Made You. He also knocks Sarah Palin, as he should. She's so hot. So, no complaint there.

I like Eminem better when he sings about life and tells vivid fictional stories of drugs and violence. When he's making a stink about celebrities, I'm just reminded of Encore and how sadly different it was from the LP albums and even The Show. When Eminem has the freedom and confidence to sing about what’s in his heart, you get to experience the most of his lyrical genius as a hip hop artist. The Sarah Palin insults and his celebrity image should all be secondary. Relapse gives us the old Eminem we loved from the LP albums. The theme of drugs and violence are really the concept of the album. It’s a record worth celebrating because it takes us right back to the beginning by threatening to end. Now we can all gag and pass out once more listening to Slim Shady while he’s laying in the back of your truck with duct tape stretched out and the knife from OJ ready to make everyone’s throats hang.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 19th 2009


Album Rating: 1.5

ok review, but needs some revising. album is ok

May 20th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

the most realistic rating out of any of the reviews on this.

May 20th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

good review.. i really like this album.

May 20th 2009


"Go find a white crayon and color a fucking zebra."


May 20th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Good stuff.

Christian Bale and Kermit agree.


May 20th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Wow Christian Bale turned green

May 20th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

I think the funniest thing is that their expressions are exactly the same.

This Message Edited On 05.20.09

May 20th 2009


no wai

May 20th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. Out of all the Relapse reviews this is the one I agree the most with.

May 20th 2009


Sounds like a fair review to me, from what I have heard. There are glimpses of the old Eminem.

May 21st 2009


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Badass review.. on par with my thoughts.

June 10th 2009


I hate this album, and the artist.

June 11th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review. This actually makes me want to get it

July 8th 2009


Mostly medicore songs on it really.

July 8th 2009


Album Rating: 1.5

Christian Bale/Kermit animation > this album

November 11th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

all i had rly heard of this was the singles and i thought it was trash but now after i listened to the whole thing i got used to his voice

November 11th 2012


"all i had rly heard of this was the singles and i thought it was trash but now after i listened to the whole thing i got used to his voice"

you're stupid.

November 11th 2012


scatterbomb attack crymson ?

November 11th 2012


blitzkrieg bop!

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