Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Relapse - Eminem

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There's an argument that Marshall Mathers said all that he had worth saying by the time you'd finished his third album. Indeed, you could even argue that stretching that to 2002's The Eminem Show would be pushing it.

So here we are in 2009, with Relapse (his first album in five years) and things are pretty much still the same. He's still taking pot shots at his mother, his missing in action father and saying rather scandalous things about (imagined, presumably) step-fathers.

But the fact that Relapse is largely exactly what you'd expect from Eminem doesn't mean that is completely without merit. Same Song And Dance may re-visit old familiar themes (this time he's murdering various female celebrities) and it may be vile and cruel but it's a stunning piece of work. Sadly for every song like this there are two or three (such as terrible lead single We Made You) that seem to consist of out-dated pot-shots at increasingly irrelevant targets. Which is all the more frustrating as, whether or not you agree with - or can stomach - his sentiments, when he's good he's still very good.

The "beats" (I'm down with the lingo you know) that are provided by Dr. Dre at least ensure that this album is a lot better than 2004's Encore but it still falls depressingly short of his heyday. With a second volume apparently hitting the shops before the end of the year you might find that out of the two of them you can eventually put together a decent enough album but the good tracks on this album are outweighed by the mediocre, or even worse, dull ones.

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