My #4 album of 2002 is The Eminem Show — the third studio album by Eminem.
The Detroit rapper had the difficult task of following up on his smash success from 2000, The Marshall Mathers LP. That record stirred up a heap of controversy and sparked debates about free speech and artistic expression. It also received tremendous critical acclaim and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
How do you follow that? With arguably an even better album.
2009’s Relapse is Eminem’s second-worst album, but it has its moments. ‘Beautiful,’ on the whole, is one of them.
Much of this album is bogged down by silly accents and cartoonish violence even more cartoonish than the violence on Eminem’s best albums. But a few tracks aim for something deeper.
My first introduction to Eminem was through the Marshall Mathers LP, the record that launched him to superstar status. That album generated critical raves and public outrage in equal measure and forced pretty much everybody to have an opinion about the rapper.
I was a huge fan of the album, despite its often disturbing content, but I wasn’t sure if it was a one-off or if I could truly call myself an Eminem fan.
Eminem couldn’t have picked a more appropriate title for this lazy effort from his 2009 album Relapse.
This track is a sloppy retread of a dozen other, and better, songs about Slim Shady working out his issues through violence against women. What was edgy and disturbing — and a catalyst for discussions of how far art can go — nearly a decade earlier is yawn-inducing here.
Guest blogger Dana continues…
Dana’s Best Songs of 2013
Eminem – ‘Headlights’
Okay, here’s an instance where I probably would have put your selection, ‘Bad Guy’ on my list, but since you already featured that great track from the new Eminem album, I’m going to go with another one of my favorites, ‘Headlights.’
Best Songs of 2013 – #3
I apologize for the scheduling quirk that landed Eminem on Christmas Day. Not exactly the most festive choice, I know. Merry Christmas, everyone!
I had high hopes but medium expectations for The Marshall Mathers LP 2 after hearing the first few singles. But Eminem erased all doubts seven minutes into the record with this extraordinary opening track.
The last new album I plan to buy in 2013 is also one of the best. Guess who’s back… back again?
Yes, Eminem has returned with his first studio album since 2010’s Recovery and he is revisiting the record that exploded him into the cultural and political conversation at the turn of the millennium.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has a lot in common with its predecessor — so much so that it sometimes seems like it too was released in the year 2000. How else can you explain another Backstreet Boys reference?