Listenable, but definitely not his best. This is how I would describe this latest offering from Eminem.
If the past is any indication, Eminem cannot seem to play good music with others. There are exceptions: his collaborations with the Bass Brothers, Dre, D12, etc., but his record is far from spotless when it comes to his relationship with other musical artist. This is probably the main reason why his latest album – Recovery – has not been making enough stir in what used to be his strong domain, despite all the hype and pomp. So far, Recovery has not delivered the punch that Eminem lovers were hoping for.
Some watchers in the musical scene are now wondering if this latest release by Eminem will meet the same end as Relapse. With the way things are coming down, Recovery and Relapse are becoming more and more like close siblings. In fact, some observers consider them as concrete proof of what happens if Eminem is left to his own devices and allowed to take on that gung-ho style of his.
In a way, I would consider Recovery a fairly pleasant listening experience, but definitely it is way off from what we used to get from Eminem. While it hit the target in terms of lyrical depth, it is far from being tagged as Eminem’s magnum opus as it is bereft of real coherence. Indeed, if you are looking for some stellar performance from Eminem, this latest album release is definitely not it.
One bright spot about this latest drop is that this time around he has made significant improvement from his previous “comeback” album – Relapse. It is far from being stellar, but definitely way better than in that last album.
I guess some of his hardcore followers will definitely miss that familiar Eminem tag in this album. That distinct juvenile swagger has been replaced by a more sober and solid character and from the outset you will see that this is a different man this time around. From the usual bare-knuckle gigs, Em’s performance has morphed into something that is oh-so edifying.
For those who have been used to Eminem of old, it is kind of weird to hear him offer his helping hand on “Not Afraid.” Even when he decides to wear his satire hat, it is as if he is taking on the role of an outsider looking in. While I admire him for taking the big step in reinventing himself as an artist, it seems that the search for the new Eminem is far from over and letting go of a big part of the old Em may not be a great idea.