Album Review: Eminem "Recovery"

"And to the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back.  I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact, let’s be honest, that last Relapse CD was ehhhh." - Eminem, "Not Afraid"

     Even though Eminem was the top-selling artist of the 2000s (over 32 million albums sold), by the time his final release of the decade came out, Eminem seemed irrelevant.  Slim Shady seemed to realize that himself.  "I almost made a song dissing Lil Wayne.  It's like I was jealous of him 'cause of the attention he was getting.  I felt horrible about myself," he raps in "Talkin' 2 Myself".

     Luckily for us, Eminem has bounced back with Recovery, the most commercial record of his career.  Gone are the songs about killing his wife or themes of homophobia and misogyny.  Instead, the album is vulnerable and raw.   In the liner notes, Eminem dedicates the album to "anyone who's in a dark place tryin' 2 get out. keep your head up... it does get better!" That notion is fulfilled in the first single, "Not Afraid" which is essentially a hip-hop "Beautiful", a hold-hands-and-stick-it-to-the-man anthem.

     The record benefits from radio friendly duets including "Won't Back Down" with Pink and "No Love" with Lil Wayne.  The album's highlight however is the haunting "Love The Way You Lie" with Rihanna.  It's the best song Slim Shady has recorded since his milestone "Lose Yourself" in 2002.  Taking on the subject of domestic abuse, the album's second single can give a grown man chills.  Yeah, I'd say Eminem is back.

Rating: 8/10
Must download: "Not Afraid", "No Love", "Love The Way You Lie"


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