Eminem – Recovery [Review]

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”

Marshall Mathers’ today started a long time ago and now he’s on the road to a new destination (take the album’s cover as evidence). At the height of his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs in 2005, Marshall took the first step towards recovery in rehab treatment. From that first step we saw his “comeback” album Relapse, which saw him addressing the issues surrounding his life in making a return to form as Eminem. Even though it was the top-selling Hip-Hop/Rap album of 2009, Eminem’s road to recovery (pun intended) was yet complete, which leads us to his most recent release. Recovery stands as Eminem’s seventh studio album and quite possibly his most emotional and personal work to date. Stepping outside the realm of the usual production contributors to his albums, Em enlists a cast of producers with the talent to deliver the sonic change being sought after. Originally titled Relapse 2, Marshall returns to the couch for an extended therapy session… “Mr. Marshall Mathers”

1. Cold Wind Blows
Produced by Just Blaze
So you don’t like Eminem singing on his tracks… Doesn’t matter, this is his show not yours. With that said, Em hits listeners in the head right from the jump with track sounding like a lost cut from The Eminem Show. That is to say this is the Eminem that most fans have been waiting to hear since that album back in 2002 (not that British Eminem heard on Relapse). With a dark, heavy pounding beat from Just Blaze (yeah, that Just Blaze) Eminem reassures fans lyrically that it’s okay to call him Slim Shady again.

2. Talkin’ 2 Myself
Featuring Kobe; Produced by DJ Khalil
Eminem brings on board one of the underrated producers in the rap game today that goes by the name DJ Khalil. Don’t know DJ Khalil… Pardon yourself to listen to “Kinda Like A Big Deal” (Clipse), “Fear” (Drake), and “I Made It” (Jay-Z) then come back and join us. Now, provided with a guitar lead, spacey backdrop Eminem questions whether people are even listening to him anymore or if he’s just talking to himself on these tracks (well 1.9 million are with you Em). Speaking about topics ranging from almost dissing Weezy and Kanye to no longer feeling like the best rapper in the game to reinventing himself as an artist, Eminem uses this track to address the most concerning thoughts in his mind. Even though Em is heard singing, Kobe’s hook properly showcases how better vocals can elevate a song higher. Oh and in case you didn’t catch it, Encore and Relapse can be disregarded from here on.

3. On Fire
Produced by Denaun Porter
Thought the Just Blaze beat on “Cold Wind Blows” was banging, say hello to Denaun Porter (formerly Mr. Porter) who proceeds to kick a hole in the speakers with his production. Utilizing the same sample Ye used for the classic “Two Words” on The College Dropout, Eminem goes for self on this track displaying his lyrical wizardry like no other rapper in the game can. Don’t understand why Eminem can be labeled a Top 5 emcee? Don’t understand why your favorite rapper wouldn’t want to see Em in a battle? Listen to this track and his rhyme scheme will provide the answer.

“So if I seem a little mean to you/This ain’t savage, you ain’t never seen a brute/You wanna get graphic, we can go the scenic route/You couldn’t make a bulimic puke/On a piece of fuckin’ cord and peanut poo/Saying you sick, quit playin’ you prick/Don’t nobody care, why the fuck am I yellin’ at air”

Despite the “bullshit hook put between the long ass verses” (Hey, Em said it himself), this track is just serves as a reminder to rappers in the game who think they’re running shit (I would say names, but names ain’t important… Just don’t become the Brooke Hogan and David Cook of his verses).

4. Won’t Back Down
Featuring Pink; Produced by DJ Khalil
Okay I’ll admit when I first heard this track I was questioning Eminem as an artist, asking myself what the fuck was he thinking with this shit. But since then after several listens and hearing it as the backing track for the Call of Duty: Black Ops commercial, I don’t think as I once did. What I’m trying to say is that P!nk and DJ Khalil make this track, not Eminem. When looking at it on paper Eminem and P!nk don’t seem like the ideal combination but hearing it on wax mp3 makes perfect sense. The heavy metal influenced production from DJ Khalil is right down P!nk’s lane as she takes this track from average to anthem. The topic of perseverance and determination has never more motivating than how it does on this track.

5. W.T.P.
Produced by Supa Dups
I guess you can say this is Recovery’s “club track”, as Eminem seemingly returns to his roots with a “white trash party”. Supa Dups makes a bouncing track that almost sounds like a rejected Relapse beat with Eminem basically describing a Detroit party like a scene from 8 Mile. More than anything this just sounds like a track that would have been better suited for Relapse though Em’s line “First of all I’m a boss, I just had to get that across/Man even my dentist hates when I floss” made for a good laugh. I understand what your intentions were with this song Em, but honestly I don’t know how many clubs or radio stations are gonna be bumpin’ this… I mean other than Shade 45.

6. Going Through Changes
Produced by Emile
The Maria Robinson quote I included at the start of this review was for a reason and this song is the reason. Robinson’s quote was to describe change and how it can be applied for seeing a new ending. Eminem has obviously realized that his life has changed from what it was back in 2005 when it was probably at its lowest. Em’s lyrics cover various instances that took place in his life such as suicide contemplation, Proof’s death, prescription drug addiction, and how they all affected his life. Emile’s somber production perfectly fits with Eminem’s lyrics to make the song feel even more personal than it already is. This sounded like a song that Em had to personally make to find closure in his life regarding Proof’s death.

7. Not Afraid
Produced by Boi-1da
Who would have thought that Eminem would have debuted #1 on the Billboard 100 with a song not speaking about the usual money, women, cars, and guns topics that dominate Hip-Hop/Rap singles and radio play. But that’s exactly what he did with the release of “Not Afraid”, which comes off as the type of statement track that have become a signature for Em’s career (i.e. “Beautiful”, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, “Stan”). Boi-1da’s minimalist production is more than enough on this track as it allows the lyrics to become the focus. When this track was released so many people criticized Eminem for his decision to sing on the chorus instead of utilizing someone more suitable for the job. But fuck that, Em’s singing on the hook was very necessary for this type of track as it makes the listener feel as if they’re personally walking with him through their own personal problems. “Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it” © Jay-Z

8. Seduction
Produced by Boi-1da
On back-to-back tracks we get the pleasure of hearing Boi-1da behind the boards as he provides Eminem with more subtle production this time around. Em uses the slow pacing beat to narrate the story of a girl falling out of love with her favorite rapper for him (it took me several listens to understand this as the theme from Em’s lyrics). Throughout his verses (peep verse two) Em cleverly throws subliminal darts at fellow rappers in the game (“rhyming one syllable”, “wear your heart on your sleeve”)… aww! (What up Jay?) During a time when it seems like every rapper’s album must have a “song for the ladies” or “love song”, this is Eminem’s like it or not. Quite frankly I’m glad he buck’s the cliché trend and makes the subject matter his own.

9. No Love
Featuring Lil Wayne; Produced by Just Blaze
This quite possibly has to be the track that Justin Smith will catch the most flack for for the rest of his career. Now when listeners think about Just Blaze they think about the classic beats he has crafted for artists like “Breathe” (Fabolous), “Oh Boy” (Cam’ron), and “What We Do” (Freeway). So when it was heard that Blaze sampled Haddaway’s “What Is Love” for Eminem’s next single “No Love”, listeners “Hip-Hop Heads” went crazy questioning Just’s production motives. Anybody that is familiar with “What Is Love” ultimately recognize it for it connection with SNL’s The Roxbury Guys and A Night at the Roxbury. Truth be told, Just Blaze isn’t the first to sample this song (check Crime Mob’s “What Is Love” and Gorilla Zoe’s “What Is Love”) so cut the guy some slack for Christ sake. This happens to be only song on Recovery featuring a rap verse from a featured guest who just happens to be Lil’ Wayne. As the follow up to their previous collaboration on Wayne’s “Drop The World”, both emcees continue in the same fashion with very impressive verses that take your attention off the song’s production. Matter of fact this song isn’t as bad as people try to put it off to be cause I could name (insert #) other songs on Billboard’s Rap Chart that this song is better than. In the words of Eminem, “Look at these rappers, how I treat ‘em/So why the fuck would I join them when I beat ‘em”.

10. Space Bound
Produced by Jim Jonsin
“Mr. Lollipop” Jim Jonsin (no homo… Word to Riley) comes through with some progressive production for Mr. Mathers to relay some words towards the area of relationships. In matching fashion to the song’s title, Jonsin produces an atmospheric beat that hears Eminem detailing his pursuit and tenure of a relationship ending in dramatic fashion. Similar to past songs like “Superman”, Em’s storytelling is richly detailed as to where you can feel exactly what he’s saying as if it was your own life.

11. Cinderella Man
Produced by Script Shepherd
I read a review of Recovery where the writer described the beat as a “poor man’s Timbaland impression” and truthfully I don’t think he would be out of pocket for that statement. Now we know Eminem has enough bank for a Timbaland beat if he really wanted one, but this does sound like one of those “Timbaland’s schedule was booked solid” instances where something similar would suffice. Judging from Em’s lyrics, this track is another one of those aimed as cornball rappers in the game who thought for a second that they up’d him since his breakdown. Other than a boxing reference, I don’t really see the meaning of the track’s title.

12. 25 To Life
Produced by DJ Khalil
This is a track that reminds me of the Eminem of old that we heard on albums like The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show as he delivers heartfelt lyrics about standing on his own and long longer living for the approval of someone else. Looking at the lyrics on a deeper level one would think that the song is aimed at Kim from the obvious mentions of marriage and divorce, but Hip-Hop is the focus of attention for Em’s words. For someone that has given his life and career to the genre of Hip-Hop/Rap, the title “25 To Life” fits accordingly. If Eminem had to produce a swan song for his career, this would be the song to signify his retirement (hopefully that’s not for a little while longer though).

13. So Bad
Produced by Dr. Dre & Nick Brongers
Are you telling me that Dr. Dre only produced one song on this album?! That was my reaction after the album’s production credits were revealed and honestly as much of an impact Dre has had on Eminem and most of the highlights of his career, less contributions on this album was the right move. The production on this song is done in signature Dre style from the drums to the horns, but it almost feels out of place in context to the rest of the songs on Recovery. This song seems like a step backwards since most of the producers on the album bring a different sound to the typical Eminem album. The song’s slow tempo makes it feel like it’s dragging and doesn’t really keep the listener interested enough to pay attention to Em’s lyrics.

14. Almost Famous
Produced by DJ Khalil
If you were new to Eminem’s music coming into this album (I don’t know how… go listen to The Marshall Mathers LP now!) then this song will get you up to speed somewhat on how he came to be where he is now in his career. Over some more rocking production from DJ Khalil, Em details every rapper’s aspirations of becoming famous in the music industry and how he did it speaking of his early career works (Infinite, Slim Shady EP) that caught the attention of Dre. This song is Eminem’s Behind The Music detailing the early stages of his career with some amazing lyricism thrown in for good measure.

15. Love The Way You Lie
Featuring Rihanna; Produced by Alex Da Kid
This was probably the other guest feature (other than P!nk) that had people looking screw faced and confused. Alex Da Kid hooks Eminem up with production that works and suits Rihanna’s vocals giving off a similar feel to T.I.’s “Live Your Life”. Over piano and acoustic guitar driven production, Em deals with the topic of a broken relationship that filled with more heartbreak than happiness. Although not as strong as the P!nk assisted track, this track contains incredible strength in both the lyrics and production that make it enjoyable.

16. You’re Never Over
Produced by Just Blaze
It’s been seven tracks since “No Love”, I hope that you’re not still thinking about that beat. Regardless Just Blaze makes one last appearance in the album’s closing stages with some synth-filled production in the style of his previous work “All The Above”. It’s on this inspiration-sounding track that Eminem once again reflects on the death of his best friend Proof. In contrast to the earlier heard “Going Through Changes” which was more somber in Eminem dealing with the loss, “You’re Never Over” sees him celebrating Proof’s life in dedicating the song to the guy that got him in the rap game in the first place.

17. Untitled
Produced by Havoc
The last track on the album, which happens to be untitled, has Eminem just rapping for the hell of it. Over some lighter production (at least for Havoc’s history) there doesn’t seem to be a clear direction to Em’s lyrics, which might explain why this track is just labeled “Untitled”. Despite that fact, Eminem doesn’t waste a good track and leaves listeners satisfied with a lyrical display and positive thinking for the next album release.

Bottom Line:
Coming away from this album one would wonder about where Recovery ranks among the other albums in Eminem’s catalog. While it’s definitely not Eminem’s best album (The Marshall Mathers LP) it’s far from being called the worst. Out of the 17 tracks on this album there are only a few that come off average or subpar (“So Bad”, “W.T.P.”, “Cinderella Man”) with the remaining tracks either above average or excellent. As previously stated, this is Eminem’s most personal album to date (IMO) and served as a very suitable follow-up to Relapse in continuing the rehab/recovery theme. Some might think this album is too somber and emotional, but I think that was Eminem’s whole intent. Through this album Eminem reestablished the connection with listeners and fans that might have been lost over the course of the past albums (Encore, Relapse) and his five-year hiatus from music. Lyrically Eminem hasn’t sounded this hungry and focused since the days of The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, and it gives much anticipation to what Marshall Mathers has in mind for his next album. The road to recovery is often a long, treacherous journey, but those walking a similar path to Eminem will have soundtrack to make that walk even easier.

nappyPicks: “Won’t Back Down”, “On Fire”, “Going Through Changes”, “Not Afraid”, “25 To Life”, “Seduction”, “Talkin’ 2 Myself”, “Cold Wind Blows”… Just listen to the entire album dammit!

Download: Eminem feat. Slaughterhouse – “Session One” (Bonus Track)

Download: Eminem – “Ridaz” (Bonus Track)

  • When “Love The Way You Lie” gets released as a single, it will be HUGE.

    Also, is it me or is Eminem singing too hard on “You’re Never Over”?

    • Rickjamesbitch

      He is singing WAY too hard, the hooks brought this album down a bit in my opinion.

  • Mr. Jones

    Em should never sing. EVER.

    Other than that obvious thing, this album is good in spite of the hooks and some of the beats. Em is a great writer and his flow is off the hook, this is so much better than Relapse. It just seems like the two tracks he did as Bonus were actually much better than most of the album. Still, love “Untitled”, “On Fire”, “Going Through Changes”, and “Talkin’ 2 Myself”.

  • saule wright

    This is definitely his most personal work imo. I think Marshall Mathers LP was his best for similar reasons. I can feel this and Relapse as well. If this guy keeps at this pace, it’s going to be hard for folks to deny him. He needs to rest for a second and let the last two albums breathe, drop more singles from the two albums…hell, he probably shoulda double disc’d them and been done. I hope folks don’t sleep on these albums.

  • Raza

    nice review, i liked the album, i hope it outsells Drizzy next week haha

    • SBK

      Props Raza. I’m with you on that, I also hope that Em’s first week sales top Drake’s and honestly I think it will. Eminem’s fan base is so much larger and wider than Drake’s right now it would seem strange for Drizzy to do better numbers (unless those crazy in love chicks and “soft” niggas went wild buying multiple copies). Eminem deserves to do big numbers for just who he is as an artist and his career status, especially since he had the biggest selling Hip-Hop/Rap album of 2009.

      • Drake – So Far Gone – 462,000 (First Week)
        Eminem – Recovery – 590,000 to 615,000 (Projected 1st Week)

        • saule wright

          so Drake hasn’t reached full crossover status yet is what that tells me.

      • DJ LP

        Lol @ “Soft” Niggas

  • C

    I definitely think this album is in his top 3.The only tracks im not feelin are W.T.P,& Cinderella Man.But I got one issue,its been a while since I checked the review for Relapse and I think it got a 4.5 and this is def. Better so how did it get a 4? Correct me if im wrong on the relapse score.

    • SBK

      You’re correct C, ‘Relapse’ did receive an album review score of 4.5 from nappyafro. That review was done by Saule though, so it just a case of different reviewers and different opinions. For me personally, ‘Relapse’ wouldn’t have received a 4.5 (probably a 3.5) as I think it ranks lower than ‘Recovery’ after listening to the album in its entirety. I personally don’t do my album review score in retrospect to an artist’s other album scores on the site (if I haven’t done the past reviews), so to compare the two scores wouldn’t be valid. In that case ‘Recovery’ would have gotten a 5 and we both know it’s not “that” good. Keep in mind though that ‘Relapse’ was released before ‘Recovery’, so Saule can’t be faulted because it was rated before the release of ‘Recovery’. That’s also why the ‘fro has the “Play It Again Sam” column where we as reviewers have the opportunity to go back and look at past reviews in retrospective to possibly change the score. So maybe a change will come to the ‘Relapse’ score and maybe not.

      • saule wright

        Yeah, the thing is that to me, I’d put them both at a 4.5. I like them about equal. Fantastic review though fam.

    • SBK is exactly right about the score depending on the reviewer. For example: I didn’t like Relapse at all.

      • Mr. Jones

        B-Easy, holy crap, I might agree with you.

        I didn’t like Relapse at all either!

        • Verbose the Thought Criminal

          *raises hand* mm-hmm

          on a side note, why can’t we get a convo poppin’ like this in the forums

      • Zakaramos

        explain what was wrong with Relapse. what his voice on a few songs? there was only like 2 skippable songs

  • P

    I though Em had a song feat Slaughterhouse? Man Em so fake he is not down 4 real hip hop he went super commercial. Im done with Em

    • Rickjamesbitch

      It’s an itunes bonus, and lyrically he’s just as good as ever. Idk how he’s gone commercial (well aside from a few of the choruses) but if you still bringing it lyrically why does it matter if the songs sound commercial?

      • P

        He’s commercial because he only does songs with artists that are like top tier artists. I meen come on Pink, Lil Wayne, and Rihanna the only non super power he has as a feature is Kobe. Out of all the rappers he is cool with he goes with Lil Wayne and features no other artists. Whatever happened to Obie Trice or even his boys from D-12 but no they peasants to him i guess. His best friends cant even get on the album but Lil Wayne does. Em is to old to be doing songs for the industry. He has the power to put whoever he wants on the album. He gonna drink the kool aid and follow in line and jump on Wayne’s dick? And if the song songs commercial it is commercial. Thats the whole point.

        And u have no idea how it feels to be from Detroit the most ignored city in rap constantly wating for some REAL Detroit artists to blow up. And every album its the same thing u go O em is going to do something for Detroit now O hes gonna put Detroit on this time and nothing. He cares nothing about his city. He cant even get some Black Milk production or a feature from Royce or even people From D-12? Fuck Em

        • saule wright

          It’s gotta be the Detroit thing that has you upset. I don’t think Em should EVER do features. Dude owns anyone that tries to get on a song with him unless it’s a female singing the hook. I’ve never heard him do a song with D-12 and felt like yeah, that was equal. I don’t see how we can be upset at em for not bringing up the single A ball players when this cat is Hall of Fame. He carried Jay, he carried Weezy, he carried Kanye, he carried Drake, he carried 50 Cent, he carried Dr. Dre, he carries anyone that gets on a track with him. FURTHERMORE, he’s featured D-12 or some other lesser known folks on EVERY album aside from these last 2 albums. So, because he’s featured D-12 and the other lesser known folks for 5 of his albums and not all 7 he’s a sell out?

          Also, I’d like to point out that a lot of those decisions of who is on the album and who does production is done by the label. For all we know, he may have tried to get some other cats involved but it fell short.

          • P

            He would not carry Royce Da 5’9 on a track! But of course that doesnt matter because its not about how good a person is when your commercial. And yeah it is mostly the Detroit thing that has me upset. You know how many dope rappers it is from Detroit thats unsigned? But em rather sign weak cats like Cashis and Bobby Creekwater. Its ridiculous to me. And on his last album also there was only commercial features. And come on dog, u dont think Em can pick any producer he wants? Its Em for christ sake.

          • Carried Weezy? Here we go with that one again!

  • C

    @SBK oh, thanks for the explanation.Good review btw.

  • Z Money

    Crazy album. Best of the year to date.

    • DJ LP

      Idk about that. Its hard to beat Distant Relatives

  • Chip

    4.5. Great album. Cinderella Man is crack and I don’t see why No Love beat gets all the hate

  • Arkitekt

    People won’t admit it but Eminem sold the fuck out. He a singer now? Eminem came with the lyrics (for the most part), but every song sounds like it should be on the radio. Alot of bad singing, hooks, and samples…white people will love it though.

    Skips: Wont Back Down, On Fire, WTP (serious?), Space Bound (this sample haha)
    Top 5: Not Afraid, 25 To Life, So Bad, Almost Famous, Untitled (bonus track)
    Grade: (3.5/5) B

    The Roots album is definitely better than this imo….maybe even Vinnie Paz’s album.

    • Rickjamesbitch

      Em’s been singing as far back as MMLP and a lot since Eminem Show, he isn’t good at it but it doesn’t prove he’s a sell out. But each beat most songs do sound kinda commercial..

  • Chew

    Yawn.
    Sure I like Eminem, but this album had me bored, even after listening to it.

  • H2O

    What a return!! BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!!

  • Spektah

    Enticing review.

    I gotta check this one out.

  • The.Watcher

    I dunno…I’m not satisfied with this album.
    See, on Relapse, you can tell the amount of fun he had while making it…
    This one, it seems as if Em is making songs to stay relevant, he’s mimicking what’s popular now-a-days. It really doesn’t seem like Recovery to me so much as Conformity.
    I mean, tracks where he raps about stealing your girl? And rims? Being the best rapper alive?
    Since when has he ever bragged like that?
    Most of the tracks, while being well produced and well spit to, feel hollow.
    Dude 37 years old, why is he saying shit that 20 year olds spitting?
    It’s kinda funny how he disses Relapse on this record, considering that, IMO, it was a better album.

    I also kinda think his flow is worse on this than on the previous one, Relapse left my jaw on the floor in a few instances, this one had me shaking my head.

    • saule wright

      ya know, the braggadocios stuff did catch me by surprise on this one. I was GLAD to hear him talk about being the GRA though, it’s about time he stood up on that shit. I liked him calling out rappers and opening the door for the challenge. Nobody is going to try him and I love that he finally said something.

    • Rickjamesbitch

      Really? U disagree with him rapping about rims on Recovery but have no problem wiht him rapping about sticking an umbrella in a girls vagina on Relapse? I liked Relapse but at times I was left asking, where did his maturity go? Its fine to make a few songs about doing some crazy stuff but on a whole album it isn’t and that was around 80% of Relapse, it seemed like a big step back from the maturity he showed on The Eminem Show and the mature songs on Encore. Recovery is a great rebound from Relapse in my opinion, it shows us new sides of Eminem

      • The.Watcher

        But it’s Eminem, he excels in rapping about shit that gives you pause.
        Also, it’s funny as hell. This album just doesn’t have a reason to exist, Relapse was the return of Slim Shady, what is this?
        I don’t mind Em being mature, ES was a great album, but this…isn’t mature.
        I admit, the first couple of songs had me hyped, but as the album went on, I was kinda bored, to be honest. There’s not enough diversity here, the flow ranges from good to mediocre and his wittiness seems to have gone. I dunno, I guess he sounds tired.
        It can be argued that Relapse wasn’t diverse, either. But there, he threw so many different flows and jokes around that it kept you entertained throughout.
        Here it feels like he’s fulfilling a contractual obligation, rather than actually putting serious effort into it.

        But hey, if you like it, good on you!
        As for me, I really wanted to like this, I did. Every time I’m forced to say that I’m not feeling Em, I get sad. Dude was the first rapper to really grab me by the neck and shake me.

        • Rickjamesbitch

          Too each is own I guess, I liked Relapse but it felt too much like he was TRYING to be Slim Shady but wasn’t suceeding. Like he was saying stuff about wearing panties and sucking his stepdad’s dick, that’s not Slim Shady.. Slim Shady is hilariously hardcore (“I try to keep it positive and play it cool, shoot up the playgrounds and tell the kids to stay in school”) Slim Shady wasn’t a serial killer, he just did random crazy stuff which sometimes happened to involve killing people, and where were Shady’s awesome stories like “My Fault” or “As The World Turns?” instead he just talked about raping people and kidnapping them, if he was gonna revisit Shady he should’ve done it right.
          My only issue with recovery is that half the hooks SUCK but it was great lyrically imo and reminded me of the Eminem Show.
          Plus Em did just drop two albums in a year so I guess those who don’t like Recovery can listen to Relapse and those who don’t like Relapse can listen to Recovery.

          • The.Watcher

            What about tracks like Just the 2 of Us, Kim, Kill You, Criminal, Guilty Conscience etc?
            He didn’t just “happen” to kill someone, he killed his wife (2 times), Jt2oU – killed her, put her body in the trunk, took Hailie, drove down to a cliff and threw her body in the ocean. Kim – “BLEED, BITCH, BLEED!”
            Shady IS a psychopath, just one with a sense of humour.

            PS Just heard You’re Never Over again – godDAMN, that hook is terrible!

  • C

    I’d rather hear em sing then hear him talk about being born with a dick in the brain.IMO, Recovery>Relapse BY FAR.

  • The Eminem STANS came out in full force for this review.

    DOPE review (as usual) SB to the

  • P-Body

    To me this album is pretty good, after listening to it a lot of times. Em definitely pushed this one harder than the last effort he released. To me Encore is the worst album Em has ever created!!!! Omgness he should be smacked for putting that shit out. I hope he sell more than Drake too, Drake is overrated and his album wasn’t that good to me.

  • H2O

    This album was the return of EMINEM. Slim Shady is cool, we all love Slim. But at the end of the day, we love the life and times of Marshall Mathers more than we love hearing about Slim giving women abortions with broomsticks.

    Don’t believe me? Compare SSLP to MMLP. Both we’re great, both are classic, but MMLP is CLEARLY the better album.

    • Rickjamesbitch

      Idk about CLEARLY, The OG Slim Shady (not the Relapse version) was hilarious and had some funny stories (As The World Turns is in Eminems top 5 imo), I agree that MMLP is better but not by much. But I do like Recovery more than Relapse

      • H2O

        I’d say clearly. Stan, The Real Slim Shady, Kim, THE WAY I AM?? MMLP just had so many more gems.

        • Rickjamesbitch

          Just Don’t Give a Fuck, As The World Turns, Brain Damage, If I Had, Bad Meets Evil? I don’t think there is a bad song on SSLP or MMLP..

  • Ree Up

    Is it still cool to call people to call people who talk about eminem “stans”? Smh

    I agree with chew and the watcher. People say that eminem was trying too hard on relapse, what is he doing on recovery? Most of the music feels forced to sound “mature”. One main problem I had about the album was how he kept dissing his last two albums. Obviously you liked them, or you wouldn’t had put them out. Now that its all said and done, you have relapse “in the trash” as he said in cinderella man. Its kinda funny I like relapse more then recovery.

    What’s worse is the people who are on the eminem bandwagon. Em says relapse is garbage, relapse is garbage. Em says he is back better then ever, he is back never better. Its a damn shame people don’t have a mind of their own.

    With that being said, I can’t get a grip on this album… I like how he experimented with different producers and artists and soumds, but that doesn’t mean they will come out to good results.

    • Seek

      I think Eminem’s Recovery elevated him as a person and an artist, not as a rapper. This album is all about letting go, being sober is a rough road believe me, and it’s refreshing to see someone like Em be completely honest with himself and realize that he is simply mortal

    • Chew

      Well I’m glad someone sees it my way. It’s not the fact that Eminem is a bad artist by any means, he’s a very talented producer and rapper, but it’s the fact that it feels forced. Eminem was more notable than rappers such as, Asher Roth, Outasight, or Joe Scudda (Three white rappers I’ve heard of), because he has that “shock value,” and the ability to raise eyes and ears with his quick wit, satire, and more. Of course, almost none of what made him famous is there.

      Eminems album, Recovery reminds me of a flawed attempt to try and make an introspective / reflective album. Emcee’s like Blu, Big K.R.I.T, even Kanye West (At times) can pull off this humble attitude, because that’s what they first brought on to the scene. As I remember, Eminems first album wasn’t something so mellow, calm, and considering the first single from Em’s first album was “Just Don’t Give A Fuck,” and considering that his first album is considered a classic, and his second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which talks about the same ideas, subjects, is also considered a modern day classic, is defintely a contrast from Recovery.

      I believe most of the people here are saying it’s a classic because it’s Eminem. The mainstreams lauds him as the next great hope, frankly, because he can rap about rapping about rhymes now, in a easy package, while sticking in a couple of thoughtful comments and quips. Even if he can do that, he’s definitely not comfortable about doing it. The production doesnt’ really help matters either.

      • Chew

        And with Eminems first two albums, in comparasion to the first albums from Blu, Kanye West and Big K.R.I.T, which are, “Below The Heavens,” “College Dropout,” and “K.R.I.T Wuz Here.” (Respectively to the emcee) All these three albums, showcase what the reflective emcee can truly do, and in a way that feels comfortable for the listeners ears, without someone trying to sound forced, it’s someone actually telling a story, not just someone rambling on and on about how he’s not afraid, or he was about to diss someone, or how he’s space bound.

        I think another fact is that Eminem’s “Recovery,” while I’m sure that he’s definitely being honest and truthful, I think the thing is that his range of topics are rather … cliche, and mainstream pandering. At least he knows how to transcend with the times.

        • The.Watcher

          Yes. You nailed everything I was trying (and failing) to explain.
          This album feels forced and the topics are horrible.
          Eminem was never about bragging that he’s GOAT, or saying that he’ll steal your woman.
          Even worse, most of the songs aren’t really about anything.
          Relapse had narrative, here he’s just rhyming about rhyming.
          This album is very, very mainstream. And most mainstream music is overly simplistic and dumbed down so it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
          I think what happened was Relapse didn’t sell as well as expected, so I think Jimmy pressured Em into making an album that mirrors what is popular today.
          It’s incredibly sad when an artist as good as Eminem rolls over and gives in.

          Not to say that Recovery didn’t have good songs, I thought Cold Wind Blows, 25 to Life, Love the Way You Lie, Your’e Never Over (except the hook. Normally I don’t have a problem with Slim singing, but this was too much for him to pull off) are pretty good songs. But that’s the problem, they are pretty good – not great.

          Oh one last thing, did anyone else notice how he was copying 50 Cent on “On Fire”?
          Seriously, that whole intro sounds like something 50 would say, down to the tone of voice.

          • Chew

            Appreciated. I think you bring up a valid point about the hypothetical situation that Eminem had about label politicing with Jimmy, and the idea of conformity to the mainstream, and what’s popular today.

            What is popular right now in hip hop? Drake. That’s the forefront of the year, and maybe some of the next year, and his subject matter is a glamourized, slightly hypnotic, introspective view upon the world and how it affects him. Eminem’s core subject matter is a complete opposite of this, and for him to go the “Drake” way, it’s abnormal.

            I do disagree with your mainstream view though, the mainstream can prove to be a formidable area of artistry, with artists like Drake, or The-Dream, two artists that have recently released albums, can prove to have a interesting view without even saying that much.

  • Shadytrain

    Aight,, TheWatcher Listen to the lyrics “just alil mo” maybe then your jaw will drop to da flo ..The lyrics in almost every track are alot more complex then any song in Relapse,,Yes C even “Insane” born with a dick in the brain,, that still makes me laugh. But for real Cinderella Man has a strong beat with powerful lyrics almost like “White America”. IMO Also IMO the lyrics are so much more complex that you just cant go line to line. Shit from one verse might not make sense untill the next verse. And why the fuck just cuz someone is changing the way he’s done shit in the past means he’s “conforming” or going “mainstream”. The guys a fucking lyrical genius that wrote the book on saying what he wants when he wants and just off the wall shit that makes you laugh or makes you think ” Oh shit gay pride gonna get his ass” or ” man nsync might release a duet with backstreet boys dissing him back”. To say that shit makes about as much sense as Lil wayne does in both of his colabs with Em,,, None. IMO Em made those tracks. Possibly even “Forever” although I have to say that was kinda weak for Em to do a track with Kanye…Fucking PRICK, And fuck anybody that likes him too!! IMO “So Bad” is one of the best tracks on the album as well. I mean come on ” Im so bad , So good that im so bad , guarantee Ill be the greatest thing you ever had cuz you aint never met nobody like me and you aint gonna wanna fuck nobody else again”, gotta be the best hook on Recovery besides the powerful “Not Afraid” which gives me a “Lose Yourself” vibe not necessarily grammy althought that’d be cool. I’m not a music critic and never do “reviews”, if thats what this was on the top of the page, but I couldn’t help it with what I was reading some of you fools write. I may get blasted for my comments and sorry you had to read all of this to disagree with if thats what you choose but I’m an Eminem fan through and through as most of you must be, so why dis or disagree with the direction of the Greatest Rapper Ever, yes better the Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Lil Wayne, P Diddy, Coolio??? and yes TheWatcher Freak Nasty..lol bitch OH and Rickjamesbitch I almost agree with you 42% Bitch

    • Riverweasel

      Your comment was almost too painful for my eyes to even read. Learn to at least separate paragraphs.
      On the other hand, I have been a fan of eminem ever since his slim shady drop. Every cd of his had gems, awesome songs that he just verbally wrecked (in a good way). Hell, I though encore was pretty damn good, not his best, but not bad either. Favorite had to be When I’m Gone.
      All of relapse, almost every song I would just laugh at wondering what the fuck his slim shady brain was talking about. Insane had to be the craziest one of them all in my opinion (fuck internet acronyms). I loved that cd, but I can see why others might not.
      I consider myself lucky that I’m one of the few out there who loves almost every song in recovery. Talkin’ to Myself had to be the song where he poured out his past the most, all his problems, the shit he went through. Very, very well done song and a great choice as an artist for the hookline, Kobe was fantastic. I thought the Pink thing was great, you take the one girl who is always flipping off what she doesn’t like and add in the guy who is simply flipping the whole world off and put them together in a song, just epic. The whole Rihanna thing, though mainstream, seems to me more of a shot from the past days when the two were actually in a relationship. Not sure if they still dislike each other, but the pick there still had some sense in it.
      Most of the song hooks were good, and I love the subliminal stinger at Jay-z in Seduction, but I will not disagree with those who say the hook in You’re Never Over was just horrific…..it was. The title Cinderella Man makes sense, saying he’s coming back to be the greatest, as a lot of that song is him telling the others who thought they could take over while he was gone to go fuck off. I love the hardcore lyrics in Untitled, definitely finished off the album with the edginess and verbal insanity that I have always enjoyed.
      Lastly, are you trying to show off and claim you’re a man or something with calling everyone a bitch at the end of your comment? Plus, who cares if someone likes another artist? If someone likes Kanye West, then let them, no need to basically make a fuck you statement towards a stereotype of people you just created. I for one, like what Kanye West was, not what he is now though, he’s gone 100% mainstream, annoys me it came to that for him. I still like his songs, but when I’m in the mood for rap, his songs are not what I listen to. Also, Tupac and Eminem are the two best rappers ever, just so happens Eminem is still alive. Pac didn’t have the lyrical abilities shady has, but what he rapped about rang true to millions of people, and still does, as does Em’s stuff, so I would say they are about even. That’s my shpeel.

  • a decidedly underwhelming attempt to regain the lustre that wore off in 2003 after The Eminem Show and 8 Mile. It strikes me that almost every reviewer desperately wants Eminem to regain his place on top of the hip hop mantle, and many give him a pass because this album is slightly more bearable than the atrocious Encore (2005) and even less inspiring Relapse (2008). His decline is truly unfortunate, because EM is definitely one of the most talented rappers to emerge in the last decade. The sad reality is that his songwriting over the past 5 years careens wildly from desperately self indulgent and unimaginative attempts and self reflection and self pity to absurdly juvenile and stale attempts at wit and humour or equally unimaginative and cynical efforts to be provocative (another Elton John being gay joke? really?) His over the top tales of violence, homophobia, and mysogeny were worked in the Slim Shady LP (1998) and Marshall Mathers LP (2000) because they were executed with rapacious wit and a firm tongue in the cheek. Unfortunately, “You can get the dick/just call me the ballsack/i’m nuts/Michael Vick in this bitch” really doesn’t cut it. Oh, and the production is horrid.

  • Zakaramos

    This is album is pretty tight and why do ppl not like W.T.P., so bad and cinderella man, they were my fav tracks when i got this album. Now alot of ppl may not agree with me but Relapse is better to me, the beats were more consistent and a lot better. But this is alot better than most albums out. But we all know we will never have another Marshall Mathers LP or Eminem Show, classics

  • WOW lol 1st off good job SBK on your review it was well written. 2nd of all I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion but some people just go overboard. I’m an emcee myself and I study the art of emceeing so I understand the ability to write songs with creative concepts and mind bending wordplay while also realizing the song has to emotionally feel right in order for the average listener to want to listen.

    But what I can’t STAND for the life of me is how people say eminem is falling off with the lyrics. If you actually BOUGHT THE CD it has all the lyrics in it, so they need to read while they listen. HE KILLED pretty much every song. His timing, multisyllable patterns and breath control he displayed was amazing. I challenge anyone to post verses from any emcee that spit anything this year, and I guarantee you I can put a verse from this album up against it.

    Weather you like the album or not is entirely up to your preference of what you like production wise, because some people like DJ premier beats and others like Dr. dre beats, J dilla etc. but it can’t be argued that this album isn’t top notch lyricism. I just honestly think people didn’t agree with a beat or a hook and stopped listening and decided to complain. Eminem took time in writing these verses, I can hear it in his voice and read the crazy way his rhyme patterns form so ya’ll need to serious have better respect for great lyricism. I challenge you all to write a verse better than any verse on this album before you decide to be a harsh critic. Love eminem for who he is. Right now he’s about more positive music than ever in his career and I support that. A man should always wanna grow and speak better messages cause the more hearts you touch while your here the better you’ll be remembered.

  • Mike L

    I personally think that Recovery is simply Eminem trying to find out what path he wants to go musically from this point on. From listening to the album I can tell that he hasn’t quite yet, but more importantly I feel he’s got his spark back. Is he as venomous as he was on The Slim Shady LP, as inspired as he was on The Marshall Mathers LP, or as focused as he was on The Eminem Show, that’s a very easy no.

    But after a lackluster Relapse, I’ve got much more hope after listening to this album that his next will be even better. He does still have some work to do, lyrically he’s not where he used to be, and production wise it might just take us awhile to get used to him rapping over anything other than a Dr. Dre beat. He also has to work on finding content thats fresh and different, but doesn’t sound fake, or awkward coming from him. His flow on the other hand has never fallen off, IMO he can still rap circles around 85% percent of the game.

    My fav tracks: No Love, Cinderella Man, and Not Afraid.
    Least fav: W.T.P (one of the worst em songs ever), Going through Changes (feels way too forced), On Fire (didn’t live up to the title for me).