The word best fit to describe Eminem’s new album ‘Recovery’ is redemption. The man who once ruled Hip-Hop from the period of his ‘Marshall Mathers LP,’ up to the year ‘The Eminem Show’ was released. Sent a memo to all of the fans and rappers alike with his latest album that ‘King Mathers’ is back.
In past albums Eminem focused a lot of his frustration towards his mother, wife, estranged father, and a cocktail of celebrity figures. ‘Recovery’ is a seminal moment in the rapper’s career where he for the first time takes out all of that frustration on himself for an entire album.
The CD mirrors the road of an addict going through a ’12 step’ rehabilitation program on the way to recovery. Instead of God being the catalyst to recovery, Eminem attributes it to the obligation he has towards hip-hop, which was evident in the metaphorical representations in the songs ’25 to Life,’ ‘Space Bound,’ ‘Seduction,’ and ‘Love the Way You Lie feat. Rihanna.’
He even takes the steps of apologizing to the people he ‘hurt’ due to his addiction in the song ‘Talkin’ 2 Myself’ saying “Hatred was flowing through my veins… I almost made a song dissin’ Lil Wayne… It’s like I was jealous of the attention he was getting, I felt horrible about myself.” The completion of his recovery was realized in (from the albums perspective) his vow to direct his attention, and prioritize on raising his daughters in the hit-single ‘Not Afraid’ saying, ‘I promise to focus solely on handling my responsibilities as a father.’
The subsequent, and more apparent theme of the album was his mockery of contemporary hip-hop and its state. Making it clear his hiatus was a brief period for rappers to enjoy success, but it’s over now. He references this in many parts throughout the album by showcasing his crazy flow, and wordplay almost as if he’s taunting everyone of his peers because it comes so easy to him, ‘Let me slow it down some, it’s still gonna be a blowout, you’re gonna wanna throw out your whole album (Seduction).’ This declaration is more evident in his verse on, ‘No Love feat. Lil Wayne,’ saying, ‘I’m alive again, more alive than I have been…Look at these rappers how I treat’em, so why the fuck would I join’em when I beat’em.’ The read does not do the audio any justice at all when quoting his lyrics by the way.
I’m not as hard on ‘Relapse’ and ‘Encore’ as Eminem is in this album calling his last one trash, they were both very good. The point he is making though is both of those were the aberrations in his career which produced three classic albums. ‘The new me’s back to the old me (Talkin’ 2 Myself).’
As hip-hop seems to be getting weaker and weaker with the demand for corny metaphors serviced in a surplus by the ‘Young Money,’ crew. Also the next big thing since autotune; Mumbletune, headed by artists such as Gucci Mane, and Wacka Flocka. The remaining great MC’s of all-time Nas, Eminem, and Jay-Z just keep getting better and better.
Jay-Z is the free-flowing artist of the three who’s ‘Blueprint 3’ was an instant classic album. Nas is the disciplined tactician who made a significantly poignant album ‘Distant Relatives,’ is only two years removed from an all-time great album ‘Untitled,’ and may have dropped the verse of the decade in the song ‘Victory.’
Eminem fits right in with those greats and any great, he’s sort of like the mad-scientist that has every facet of rap down pat from his vocals, to his flow, lyrics and wordplay, and performing on a spectrum of beats. It’s not far-fetched to say he is one of the most talented musicians to ever live. I can’t stress enough how ridiculous it is for this man to be able to flow in so many different ways that no other rapper can come close to measuring up to the quantity. That’s why I believe ‘Relapse’ was a good album too because it provided another dimension of his range in flow.
‘Recovery’ is a classic album, end of story.
*After another listen through I only thought to myself this is an all-time great album, and the song ‘Going Through Changes’ did it. Just a complete album.
New Rating- 9.7/10