Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I don't really feel like writing a full review for Eminem's latest. After trudging through it though I feel like I have to say something. I'm not sure he could have made a more pop-oriented, appeal-to-people-that-really-don't-like-Hip Hop type of record than this one.
Now I'm not the kind of fan that only likes the genre to sound one way, especially in the last few years where so many great artists are taking chances with their music, and using Hip Hop as just one of a host of influences. But, in my opinion that's not what Recovery delivers, though it sounds at times as if that is the aim. The verses are mostly solid, and Em has thankfully lost that horrible accent he was using throughout Relapse (and I still like that album better than this one). However, even with his old voice in tact, he hasn't lost his desire to croon on choruses. And when he's not singing someone else is. This is definitely the biggest downfall of Recovery which makes nearly every song sound like the same pop record, and leaves the album as a whole pretty forgettable after the first listen. The introspection shown on many songs is interesting, but by the time the beat and hook are included each sounds kind of watered down and bland.
Despite these major missteps, a horrible song featuring Pink, and the inclusion of the now completely unoriginal concept of using a girl as a metaphor for Hip Hop, Recovery is not nearly Eminem's worst album (I don't think it's possible to dig below Encore). In most ways it's actually a really good album. Again, some of the verses will amaze due to Eminem's nearly unrivaled ability to construct intricate rhyme patterns. At this, Eminem is still at his best, and everyone should listen to this album just to hear him rhyme. And, I don't mean to denigrate the entire CD here either - it's clear that Eminem poured his heart out on Recovery, crafting a deeply personal and honest record. It should be appreciated. Though the total package of a great album is absent here. And that is a big disappointment for me, especially since critics will hail this one as rap album of the year anyway. But, what else can you expect from people that praised Encore as a triumph too?
I hope that this is just the jumping off point to a pack of great new music from Eminem over the next few years - including a Slaughterhouse project and a "Bad Meets Evil" album.