By Joseph Minde
“Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up? I repeat will the real Slim Shady please stand up?”
Eminem famously rapped the request for the Real Slim Shady to stand up in his song “The Real Slim Shady”, 10 years ago. And, today, in wake of the release of his latest studio album “Recovery”, Eminem seems to have finally responded to his own call.
Don’t shout it out, but there appears to be an air of maturity surrounding Eminem’s new album. A far cry from the cheesy, gore filled and horribly accented, let down that was “Relapse”. An album that had made some question whether the crown of “King of Hip Hop”, was slowly slipping from the king, Eminem’s head. The good news is that he may have just caught it before it hit the ground.
Eminem, real name Marshall Mather’s, is well known for his controversial lyrics, which no doubt helped him in becoming the best selling artist of the 2000’s. However his new album, “Recovery”, shows us that he can be just as addictive and likeable when he is not insulting Britney Spears personality or ogling over Kim Kardashians body parts. No, “Recovery”, has a different tone. The title is “Recovery” and it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t recovered, as Eminem offers his audience a sober, sincere and, dare I say, humble account of his troubles and failings. Which range from issues such as his relationship with music to the “demons” he has faced.
The lead single of the album “Not Afraid”, with its optimistic note, is the perfect example, as he raps, with passion, about getting himself to a better place. Rapping that, “??It’s time to exercise these demons, these m************ are doing jumping jacks man??” He even goes so far as to admit his last album was not great saying “??let’s be honest that last Relapse album was ehh, perhaps I ran them accents into the ground??” His honesty can also be seen in other parts of the album, for example in the perfectly written and rapped “Talking to Myself”, where he says he was on “…the verge of going insane, (and) almost made a song dissin’ Lil’ Wayne??” and also in the addictive, “Going through Changes”, where he admits to “??debating on leaving this world??”
No Eminem album though, would be complete without some parody style, fun and almost pop tuned songs. Of which Eminem doesn’t disappoint with tracks such as “White Trash Party” , “Cold Wind Blows” and the extremely catchy “Cinderella Man”. The album also offers some great collaborations, most notably with Rihanna on the popular song “Love the Way You Lie” and also with Lil’Wayne on “No Love”, where Eminem arguably raps his best verses of the album.
The album is not without its faults though. It is quite inconsistent; as you can go from listening to the fun, light mood of “White Trash Party” to the serious and cold “25 to Life”. Furthermore the album has some rather weak and forgettable tracks such as “Seduction” and “So Bad”, which makes you, wonder if he made them just to fill up the album.
In general though, Eminem is able to capture the audience with his trademark flow, clever and thoughtful lyrics and catchy background beats. It’s the little things that set the album apart too, such as the way Eminem delivers his lyrics, pausing at the right time or even raising his pitch at the right time. So Eminem much like his track entitled “Space Bound”, Eminem appears to be headed Space Bound. What about that crown, you say? Well, for now, Eminem can place it firmly on his head and take a seat. While other’s like Kanye West and Jay Z watch him on the throne.