Album Review: Eminem - 'Relapse' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Eminem - 'Relapse'

Standing as one of, if not, the most successful and powerful mastermind in hip-hop, Grammy and Academy award winner Eminem finally closes his five year absence with the release of his sixth album, Relapse.

As with any Eminem album, it takes an intense look at the high and low moments of his life including struggling to fight a prolonging drug addiction, and depending on his mood at the moment, sometimes he takes the comedic approach, while others he chooses the dark and dramatic route.

Either way, nothing ceases to keep the Detroit rapper from getting any positive or negative energy off his chest, and though, at times, it can seem a little overbearing, it quickly became the trait that most successfully grasped our attention.

The skit, “Dr.West”, kicks the set off with Marshall Mathers visiting a psychiatrist to talk about taking on the difficult task of sobriety, which leads to the doctor tempting him to “take the edge off”. Fortunately, for Marshall, the entire scene is just a dream played out in his head as a beaming alarm sounds to bring him back into the world of reality.

“3 AM”, which serves as the second single, sees the rapper blacking out and not recalling what happen to the bloody bodies surrounding him, while “My Mom”, recalls his mother feeding his addiction as he chimes, “Valium was in everything, food that I ate, the water that I drank, fucking peas on my plate - she sprinkled just enough of it to season my steak.”

“Insane” starts, "I was born with a dick in my brain, fucked in the head," and unfolds into a disturbingly detailed account of child molestation, while the lackluster “Bagpipes from Baghdad”, takes shots at Mariah Carey and sees him wishing Nick Cannon “luck with the fucking whore”. His words, not mine.

The skit, “Tonya”, showcases him kidnapping a woman, and leads into the saga, “Same Song and Dance”, which sees him taking advantage of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. The title ironically makes it evident how played out these jokes are becoming, but still this is one of the few times where he possess a sense of assertiveness that isn’t present in the aspect of his other jokes.

The “Paul” skit rolls into “Stay Wide Awake”, which has all the makings of a classic Eminem song with its great beat and infectious hook, the cut even references the hugely successful ‘Star Wars’, while the Dr. Dre assisted cut “Old Time’s Sake”, just goes to further prove that these two hip-hop titans still remain forces to be reckoned with.

The skit “Mr. Mathers” leads into a much heavier portion of the album, such as, the brutally honest account heard on “Déjà vu”, where he divulges "That whole pneumonia thing, That was baloney, Was it the methadone, ya think?" and admittingly lets the truth come to the forefront.

“Beautiful”, arises as a flawless hip-hop testament, as he touchingly takes an attempt toward inspiration by declaring "Don't let them say you ain't beautiful", and surprisingly, his attempt is successful.

The Dr. Dre and 50 Cent featured “Crack A Bottle” reacquainted you with the infectious flows of the rapper and his partners in crime, while on the “Steve Berman” skit, his old nemesis scolds him for taking such a long break, "You hide out in Detroit for almost five years while the music industry melts the fuck down? You know how many people lost their jobs because of your fucking vacation?"

While he still manages to live up to the substance and quality that comes with an Eminem album, his journey is not short of stumbles or bumps in the road, which is most evident in the satirical and just all around wacky, “We Made You”.

That trend continues in the average “Hello”, where the beat does very little to compliment his lyrical aggression, the dragging “Medicine Ball”, the terrible “Must Be the Ganja”, and epically clutter closer, “Underground”, which all collectively stand as evidence that does very little to plead the rapper’s case.

Still, with all of that in tow, his testament isn’t altered with a flattery approach or full of facades to mask the truth, but rather just a brutally honest and hatefully presentation of the turmoil that continuously brewed in his life over the past five years.

With that said, The Marshall Mathers LP, still remains his best and most impressive album to date, but Relapse is a much more intact and precise version of Eminem, than 2004’s Encore, and more than proves exactly why he reigns as the best rapper alive (sorry Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West).

4 Out of 5

Celebrity Bug’s Key Tracks: “Beautiful”, “Déjà Vu”, “Stay Wide Awake”, “Insane”, & “Old Time’s Sake”

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