Monday, June 21, 2010

Eminem - Recovery Review

Me and Pitchfork , one of the most respected Indie music review websites for a while now, are not seeing eye to eye. Last week, they gave Drake’s new album an 8.4/10, .2 points higher than Kanye West’s College Dropout, and now they’ve given Eminem’s new album Recovery a 2.8, completely disrespecting the grand return of one of the best lyrical technician’s to grace a mic. They took off points off for corny metaphors ("Girl, shake that ass like a donkey with Parkinson's") and bad chemistry with the production. There’s only one Dre track here, and the rest of the beats are handled by DJ Khalil, Denaun, Boi-1da and others.

I gotta beg to differ. Yeah, the album has its fair share of corny metaphors, but since when has an Em album not had goofy moment or two. What makes up for those moments is Em’s flow and ability to attack each track, and both of those skills are more than intact on Recovery. From the opener “Cold Wind Blows” Em sounds as hungry as he’s been in years, and he overpowers each beat with internal rhymes, lines jam packed with syllables, and his normal delivery (no more of that whiny voice from Relapse, Thank God). In fact, he’s so honest here that he admits on more than one occasion that Relapse and Encore were wack, he finally spits sincere about his problems with drug addiction and the sadness he felt over Proof’s death.

There are a few missteps here, namely “Space Bound”, which highlights Em’s lack of ability to speak to women on record without resorting to misogyny and violence, and “W.T.P.” or white trash party, which really needs no explanation for its stupidity. These are more than made up for when he uses his history with Kim to pull off an amazing twist ending on “25 to Life”, bodies anything that moves on “On Fire”, and tag teams with hypeman Lil Wayne on No Love, which has Just Blaze sampling the old Night At The Roxbury meme “What is Love” by Haddaway (its like Just Blaze is purposefully picking the cheesiest things to sample just to show that he can flip them and make them dope.)

At the end of the day, this is his best album since The Eminem Show. His decision to drop the the Freddy Kreuger channeling and just rap has made this album a definite heater, and more than erases Relapse from my memory. Maybe time will soften some of the critics reception to this album, but as far as I’m concerned this album gets 4/5 spins. And to Pitchfork, get your minds right homies.

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