Music Review: Eminem, “Relapse” (Aftermath/Interscope)
Even before the five-year gap that separated “Relapse” from 2004′s “Encore,” Eminem was obviously spinning his wheels — dissing tabloid personalities and engaging in one-too-many murder fantasies about his ex-wife, Kim Mathers. But while the title of “Relapse” directly references Marshall Mathers’ recent battle with prescription drug addiction, it says more about his tendency to revisit the same old territory. No other musical artist of this stature possesses so little forward momentum.
The recent single and video “We Made You” only proved that Mathers can regurgitate “E! News Daily” in verse — does it take special skills to take down Kim Kardashian or Amy Winehouse? Elsewhere, Eminem ups the ante on his verbal killing sprees (blaming the drugs in “3 a.m.”), takes down a stepfather and a cousin, and admits to more fatherly guilt about he is raising Hailie. This is all familiar familial territory with the same boring ingredients ladled on, thick and bloody.
What makes Eminem so vexing is his extraordinary talent. Not just any rapper can craft a line like “Swallowin’ the Klonopin while I’m noddin’ in and out on the ottoman at the Ramada Inn” — that rhyme should be enshrined somewhere. It’s just that Mathers’ facility with the language is put to such tedious use on “Relapse,” and it’s a sad shame that, in a full decade of major-label work, evolution has not been part of the Eminem experience, and more often than not, he seems to actively avoid it. This is like watching a world-class architect design a strip mall.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 33223Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15512Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 9978Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9860Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 9472Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8063Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 8003Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 7387Carrie Underwood donates $1 million to Red Cross for disaster relief in wake of deadly Oklahoma tornadoes
- 6419Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 6218UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients