By Nick Carrabine
“This time around is different
Them last two albums didn’t count
Encore I was on drugs, Relapse I was flushing them out
I’ve come to make it up to you, no more (messin) around
I got something to prove to fans cause I feel like I let ‘em down” -"Talkin to Myself"
I said last year after Relapse came out, I wouldn’t judge Eminem’s comeback until he released another album.
What was supposed to be released last winter, under the title Relapse 2, was released Tuesday as Recovery, and is Eminem’s second release since overdosing on prescription drugs.
While Relapse was technically his “come back” album, this is really his come back album.
Recovery is easily the best album the rapper has released within the past eight and a half years and is right up there with my personal favorite, The Eminem Show and The Marshall Mathers LP.
On Recovery, Eminem is passionate, painstakingly honest and more mature than ever.
With this album, there is no shock value, no childish skits found on all of his previous albums, no celebrity bashing and most importantly, none of those ridiculous Caribbean sounding accents.
Translation, this is about the most serious Eminem has ever been and he’s all about business.
After Relapse, Eminem experienced a bit of a backlash and trust me, he noticed. Several times on Recovery he blatantly disowns the album, never coming so forth as he does on "Cinderella Man" when he raps:
“(Forget) my last CD, that (expletive) is in my trash.”
What is different about this album than any other Eminem album he has released is the production. Never has the 37-year-old rapper used so many producers as he usually sticks to just himself and Dr. Dre.
Eleven different producers appear on the 17-track album, the beats are dark and the content is darker.
Many of the tracks deal with Eminem coming to terms that his last two albums weren’t good enough, admits being envious to other successful rappers and revisiting the death of his best friend, Proof.
On "Love The Way You Lie," appropriately collaborated with Rihanna, he talks about his abusive relationship with his ex-wife, Kim.
“Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk
Don’t you hear sincerity, in my voice when I talk?
Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball
Next time I’m (mad) I’ll aim my fist, at the drywall
Next time? There won’t be no next time
I apologize even though I know it’s lies
I’m tired of the games, I just want her back, I know I’m a liar
If she ever tries to leave again, I’ll tie her
to the bed and set this house on fire”
Eminem has surely had his ups and downs this decade but he is still one of the most popular and most successful artists in the world and in my opinion, one of the greatest entertainers in pop culture history.
He has an uncanny ability to make you laugh while also making some of the more emotional songs that can be put on record all while backing everything up with loads of talent.
Recovery is what Relapse should have been.
Fortunately, fans didn’t have to wait too long for it.