The man, the myth, the legend known as Eminem drops his much anticipated “Recovery” just in time for the summer. I’m not going to lie to you; the only two Eminem albumsÃ‚Â I still own and have in rotationÃ‚Â are “Infinite” and “The SlimÃ‚Â Shady LP”. Each CD after thatÃ‚Â I listened to in its entirety upon release, but didn’t keep me wanting more. I don’t know if it was the switching from his battle-rap style to the cockier veteran or his distancing from hip-hop with its raw, hardcore beats to more accessible MTV style of production.
On his last effort “Relapse”Ã‚Â I couldn’t believeÃ‚Â I had to press the skip button that many times. That’s whatÃ‚Â happens with artists, sometimes youÃ‚Â just have to place them in the right environment for them to truly shine. Ã‚Â He’s never lost the ability to rhyme well; you can see that onÃ‚Â the footage of Eminem, Black Thought and Mos Def doing a cypher with DJ Premier on the decks during the BET Awards. WhenÃ‚Â I saw this,Ã‚Â I of course wet my panties but then remembered how big labels want radio friendly music, so I’m not holding my breath. I’m going to tackle the album track by track and see if the Real Slim Shady stood up in the booth.
1. Cold Wind Blows – Ã‚Â At first listen it takes me a little to warm up to it because of the intro, but then he starts ripping the mic into pieces. The pianos blaring in the background set a nice melody. The chorus is annoying but catchy. It gets in your head. Not a bad way to start off the album.
2. Talkin’ 2 Myself feat. Kobe- When you first hear this it doesn’t sound like an Eminem song. The beat is interesting though, carrying aÃ‚Â fluttering synthesizer while singer Kobe lays down a nice vocal backing for Eminem to spill his emotions on. You canÃ‚Â sense the honesty in the song.Ã‚Â Potential to be a big radio hit.
3. On Fire- Now this is whatÃ‚Â I want to hear. The beat is eerie and just the perfect tempo for Em to dominate. The choir yelling inÃ‚Â the back sets the mood for this awesome horror rap. This is vintage Shady- deep descriptive lyrics painting a perfect murder scene. First gem on the album.
4. Won’t Back Down feat. P!nk- Eminem andÃ‚Â P!nk?!?! Radio Land is going to love this. Is this the same Eminem that would lyrically massacre “POP” artists? I actually like the production but this is the first low point of the album. My face just cringes trying to hear this. [SKIP]
5. W.T.P.- Head bob warning. This beat will get you two-steppinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Em goes to his roots yelling that it’s a “White Trash Party!” You’ll find yourself laughing to the funny lyrics and dancing to this club banger.
6. Going through Changes- At first I thought Ozzy Ozbourne was singing the hook. This is one of those slow tempo songs where Eminem’s flow stays on point but sounds redundant. When youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re trying to tell your friends about this album you’ll probably forget this song. I know I did.
7. Not Afraid – This single got great reviews. I can understand that. The songÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s production is that of militant drums and a melody that sets a life conquering feeling. Songs of inspiration always hit home. MTV played the crap out of this video and radio follows suit.
8. Seduction- The song isn’t bad, butÃ‚Â I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really enjoy it. The echoing drums make for a cool effect for the tip-toe piano melody. Don’t know howÃ‚Â I feel about Em singing the chorus soÃ‚Â R&B-like.
9. No Love feat. Lil’ Wayne- Really? Who keeps telling these artists to remake 80′s and 90′s dance songs? “Just put a snare drum on it and the people will love it.”Ã‚Â IÃ‚Â dislike this song because people are going eat this up purely for Lil Weeeezy, baaaby. As a hip-hop head I’m disappointed. [SKIP]
10. Space Bound – The acoustic guitar is beautiful. All of these songs sound like the song Em did with DIDO. It’s difficult to blend the soothing beat with Em’s gritty, angry delivery. Don’t really care for this song. Another forgettable track.
11. Cinderella Man -Eminem must really be on cloud nine with all these songs of hope and overcoming adversity. Before he would just talk about how much everything sucked, but now he’s at the top, all is well andÃ‚Â letting others know he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going anywhere. The song’sÃ‚Â chorus has a futuristic feel to it. Stepped outside of the box with this one.
12. 25 To Life – Man this CD is really depressing me. Not in a bad way, but the mood of the CD is very mellow.Ã‚Â I’m surprised with the tone of the album. All these songs do seem to be very radio friendly with some bouncy beats and sporadic harmonies.
13. So Bad – This song has Dr. Dre written all over it. It gives you that classic AftermathÃ‚Â sound. DidÃ‚Â I really have to wait 13 songs in to hear a Shady/Dre collabo? I thought it was going to WOW me, but it didn’t. It’s one of the better tracks on the album. I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t call this a gem, but it is a jewel of sorts.
14. Almost Famous – Lyrics are amazing. The flow is brought down by the production though. The beat is redundant and kind of becomes boring even though Eminem isÃ‚Â tearing the mic a new one. The hook is strange and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mesh well with the song.
15. Love the Way You Lie feat. Rihanna – Of course girls are going to love this song. Em has always been good with the story telling. Rihanna actually sounds really good and makes the song tolerable. This isn’t my slice of pie though.
16. You’re Never Over -Ã‚Â I laughÃ‚Â listening toÃ‚Â Em trying to harmonize. It’s a song of hope. Proof is mentioned in this one and all overÃ‚Â the other ballad type tracks. Can’t hate on someone for expressing themselves. Anyone whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lost someone will be touched by this track.
17. Untitled – This song will only be available on the iTunes deluxe package. The production is typical Shady; dark and broody. It sucks that this wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be on the hard copy because it’s my 2nd favorite song on the album.
All in all this is a good album for the music industry. It’s going to push a lot of units despite its ongoing battle with online leaks. It’s a commercial album and it has a lot of potential radio singles. Eminem has matured greatly. He still has a sharp tongue and can still get in the ring with the new kids. As a hip-hop headÃ‚Â I probably will only listen to two-three songs on the album. Infinite and Slim Shady remain my top Eminem albums. Eminem is back and you can stillÃ‚Â hear dashes ofÃ‚Â Slim Shady within the album.
Speaking of, check out a recentÃ‚Â freestyle by Slim Shady (wish this was on the album)…