Eminem: Marshall Mathers Matters

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Eminem did not shy away from the expectations that would come with naming his new album the Marshall Mathers LP 2. He decided to go back to the formula that made the Marshall Mathers LP a diamond album.

Let’s just say it worked. Eminem sounds like the old Slim Shady not like an old Slim Shady. Eminem explores his classic sound as he blends the craziness inside his head yet keeps all the songs unique. This plays out in his first seven songs, which combine these attributes perfectly.

One gripe I have about the album is the placing of Berzerk and Rap God. Both of these songs are huge hits but they do not match up with the tone of the album. All of the other songs are about craziness and love and sometimes the craziness of love. Neither of these two songs fit that billing and it feels like both are forced onto the album because of how successful they were as singles. It may have made the album better if those songs were only included on the deluxe edition. That affects the quality of the album as the transition from craziness to love is not as well done as his original albums.

Eminem’s love songs have connecting power and this album is no different. Whether it’s a horrible relationship (Stronger Than I Was, Monster), two people that despise each other (Love Game) or fights with his mother (Headlights) the album supplies varied feelings. Eminem also picks great guest singers to fill important spots. The standout guest is Kendrick Lamar as he has a great verse, but in classic Shady fashion, Eminem raises his game to keep up the pace.

This album has everything one would want in an Eminem album (Stronger Than I Was). That said, I still cringe when I hear Eminem say homophobic slurs, or come across misplaced songs that lead to a lowering of the bar.

Marshall Mathers LP 2 is still classic Eminem and is one of the best albums of the year. As he says on the song “Rhyme Or Reason” hip-hop is not dying on his watch.

You can listen to the full album here.

 

Rating: 4/5