Eminem
Music to Be Murdered By


1.5
very poor

Review

by TheMoonchild USER (147 Reviews)
January 18th, 2020 | 22 replies


Release Date: 01/17/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Music to be Murdered By is the best album that Eminem has released this decade. It's also the only album he's released this decade, so don't expect that to stay for long.

Ya know, if I've observed anything from Marshall "Eminem" Mathers' presence in the past 5 or so years, it's that he's somehow completely misunderstood how this whole "Eminem" thing seems to work. That seems like a sweeping, grandiose statement on its face, so in order to understand precisely what that means, well we have to put his career up to this point into perspective, especially for those who only seem to have gotten into him through his resurgence in popularity in the 2010s:

In 1999 and 2000, Eminem was basically unavoidable, and to the seeming legions of kids kissing the ground he walked on, mainly because he seemed to love ripping celebrities and politicians a new asshole. What those kids seemed to miss, however, was the bigger context: it was not just going after celebrities and politicians, it was the fact that he went after celebries and politicians that were more powerful than him. It seemed as if nobody was safe: Tipper Gore, Britney Spears, Moby, or even Dr. Dre himself, the man who made Eminem what he is today. Better yet, these were famous people who could, in theory, do something to utterly destroy his career. But they knew that wasn't possible, because they'd only be giving him more power. Even more so, he was making callouts to critics and politicians that seemed to strike a raw nerve with them, probably because of how true they were, whether or not it was the then-relevant Grammy race ("You think I give a damn about a Grammy?/Half of you critics can't even stomach me/Let alone stand me"), artists being such an easy target for media scrutiny ("When a dude's getting bullied and shoots up his school/And they blame it on Marilyn /Or the heroin, where were the parents at?").

So what does that have to do with Eminem in 2020? Well, it's almost impossible to bring that up without bringing the two albums responsible for this identity crisis he's in to mind: His 80 minute anti-Trump screed known as Revival, which only seemed to further his unpopular image, and Kamikaze, a very clear... erm, attempt that was something of a hail mary, but only seemed to remind us all of how out-of-touch he is with lyrics about "being charged to take a Selfie", or comparing his critics to gay men. Lovely. So the short version of that, of course, is that nothing has really changed, except his targets. What once seemed like a surefire way to get everybody to notice him has, ironically, become a surefire way to dig him even deeper into the hole he's been in for a whopping three years.

In fact, "Premonition", the first track on awkwardly-titled Music to be Murdered By makes one thing abundantly clear: Eminem is STILL not over the bad press that Revival got, and he's somehow even more bitter over the damningly faint praise that Kamikaze seemed to conjure up at best. And unfortunately that seems to be the perfect indicator for the rest of the 61 minutes that follow. Next in line is "Unaccomodating", the song that has no doubt already made waves for talking about being "bombs away, like an Ariana Grande concert", and believe me, that's not even the worst thing about it. In the span of 3 minutes, he makes numerous poop jokes, takes a hit at "retards", compares himself to Osama Bin Laden, and the list just goes on and on. So despite copious amounts of butthurt (for lack of a better term) in the preceding track, Eminem is somehow so desperate for the world to see him as Slim Shady again, that he's completely forgotten the most important aspect of it: context. The problem? He's no longer Slim Shady. He's that class clown you went to school with, and somehow never grew up, if the sad state of him you see at your school reunion is any indication.

Despite this, Music to be Murdered By surprisingly does make more of an attempt to jusify its presence than Revival and Kamikaze. It's clear from the album cover alone that he is attempting to bring back his Horrorcore sound, and it surprisingly works on tracks such as "Premonition", the multiple interludes from Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and even detectable morbidity in tracks such as "Darkness" and "Godzilla". Additionally, there's more production value apparent here, with tracks such as "Godzilla" (featuring the late Juice WRLD), and the chorus of "Those Kinda Nights". Unfortunately, that's about it. When Eminem is not lashing out at Critics, embarrassing himself with playground level poop jokes/dick jokes or insults, he's making clumsy political statements like "Darkness", a pro-gun control song that clumsily tries to link mass shootings with mental illness or substance abuse issues, imagines himself as the Las Vegas Country Concert shooter, and has the audacity to do all this over an extremely tired sample of "The Sound of Silence", padding the song out to length with newsreel audioclips. He's also making defiant statements, especially in the final quarter of the album's tracklisting, about how he'll "never change", especially on songs like "Marsh" and "No Regrets", and lashing out at Kim again, on tracks like "Farewell", where he declares that "you're still a cunt, and I'm still a fuckin' jerk". Again, lovely.

The sad thing about this all is that, in some ways, Eminem still has a little bit left of what made him a walking blockbuster. Moments of brilliance shine their heads in songs like "Godzilla", where in the song's final 30 seconds, he somehow manages to top the speed that he once set a record with with "Rap God". But just how many times can one listen to him waste this undeniably impressive technical ability on lyrics about how he's the best rapper ever? How many times can one want to get turnt to an undeniable anthem like "Those Kinda Nights" but have to ignore puerile lyrics about fucking mini-skirts and Maxi-pads in order to do so (and that's ignoring Ed Sheeran's presence)? And just how many times can Eminiem rap about how much he hates his ex-wife, Kim, before one goes "Yeah, we get it Em, you hate her"- that is, if songs like "Puke" and "My Dad's Gone Crazy" haven't done that already? If you haven't been keeping track, Eminem is almost 50, and is still unable to mature in any way, so at this point, if he doesn't really care, then why should we?

Even worse, it's hard to comprehend why Music to be Murdered By even exists. The reason? Because it pretty much has none. It won't attract new fans. It will hardly appeal to old fans. Worse, it raises far more questions than it answers. Who is this album for? What exactly is he trying to accomplish? Is this really going to be his last album? Or is going to be just another dud in a long line of them? Is he trying to pull a Linkin Park- meaning, he makes a bunch of albums that are shit, and then suddenly he makes something that's NOT shit, and then everyone goes batshit? And most of all, who even gives a shit at this point?



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user ratings (281)
2.5
average
other reviews of this album
Simon STAFF (2.3)
A semi-focused surprise album that emits indifference, if nothing else....


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Apologies to Adam "YMS" Johnston for the summary, and stealing a line from his video about M. Night Shyamalan are in order- but I just COULD NOT RESIST.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts V: Together

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Also, I'm fully aware of the formatting error in the second paragraph, but for some reason, every time I go to fix that, Sputnik won't budge for some reason. weird.

Sinternet
January 18th 2020


21848 Comments


very original joke can't believe i never thought of that!!!

Digging: -

TheStoebZ
January 18th 2020


98 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nowhere near a 0-2 like trolls are throwing on it. I'd give it a 3.5 if there weren't so many kiddos fucking with the score.

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Or maybe there are people who just don't like it. Shocking, I know.

joshieboy
January 18th 2020


7278 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That summary looool

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Aaaand I still can't fix those typos.



Sputnik. FIX YO SHIT.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2020


57162 Comments


guy needs to retire yesterday


Digging: Hot Mulligan - you'll be fine

BAT
January 18th 2020


912 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

i'm semi-sure this is just leftovers from the last two years. honestly it was 7 awful features in a row that made me wanna turn this off, i'm guessing this is how humanz sounded to everyone else. i kinda feel like some steps were in the right direction and that it'd ultimately work better as a ep. godzilla and darkness are aight tho

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Or maybe find a direction and fully commit to it. Even Revival couldn't really commit to its more political angle.

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@Sandwich



That's what I've been doing for the past hour.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2020


154 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

did he really just say "vanilla gorilla"

Digging: Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

That's not even the worst line lol!

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2020


12033 Comments


Edit pages have been terra slow on anything but mobile for me lately. Sometimes it's worth loading the page, making a coffee and see if the hyperlinks are ready to be played with when you get back

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2020


16211 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

i'm gonna make a brew and read this hot-take, i'm looking forward to it.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts VI: Locusts

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"It also feels pretty disrespectful to trivialize the content of his music down to him taking hits at celebrities."



Implying he himself hasn't been doing that.

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Also:





"it was not just going after celebrities and politicians, it was the fact that he went after celebries and politicians that were more powerful than him. It seemed as if nobody was safe: Tipper Gore, Britney Spears, Moby, or even Dr. Dre himself, the man who made Eminem what he is today. Better yet, these were famous people who could, in theory, do something to utterly destroy his career. But they knew that wasn't possible, because they'd only be giving him more power. Even more so, he was making callouts to critics and politicians that seemed to strike a raw nerve with them, probably because of how true they were, whether or not it was the then-relevant Grammy race ("You think I give a damn about a Grammy?/Half of you critics can't even stomach me/Let alone stand me"), artists being such an easy target for media scrutiny ("When a dude's getting bullied and shoots up his school/And they blame it on Marilyn /Or the heroin, where were the parents at?")."





"But just how many times can one listen to him waste this undeniably impressive technical ability on lyrics about how he's the best rapper ever? How many times can one want to get turnt to an undeniable anthem like "Those Kinda Nights" but have to ignore puerile lyrics about fucking mini-skirts and Maxi-pads in order to do so (and that's ignoring Ed Sheeran's presence)? And just how many times can Eminiem rap about how much he hates his ex-wife, Kim, before one goes "Yeah, we get it Em, you hate her"- that is, if songs like "Puke" and "My Dad's Gone Crazy" haven't done that already?"

TundraL5Z
January 18th 2020


3855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is just retreading the same ground as what was on Kamikaze, pointless release.

TheMoonchild
January 18th 2020


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Even longer too. At least Kamikaze was mercifully short.

Rastapunk
January 18th 2020


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not THAT bad come on... It's not great but not that bad... Unless you're trying to make him make Kamikze Pt II... In which case, this is album is absolutely horrible!!



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