Release Date: Dec 15, 2017
Record label: Aftermath
Genre(s): Rap, Hardcore Rap
Another politically motivated Rust Belt blond, Paul Newman, once said "a man with no enemies is a man with no character." And few musicians could boast more of either than Eminem, the poison-tongued, potty-mouthed scourge of Lynn Cheney, boy bands, clown posses and eventually – on a string of self-auditing post-rehab albums – himself. But, at 45, he hasn't had a good pop-culture feud in ages, and his pill-popping days of vice are behind him. Eminem has long been pushed to the edge and all his foes are dead.
It's always tough for a veteran artist to make a comeback. In Eminem's case with his ninth studio album Revival, he stuck to his guns and didn't try to change much of the style we're very familiar with. If there's one word to describe Revival, and this shouldn't surprise anyone, it's volatile. Topics of shattered romance, self-hatred, hypersexuality, politics and overall regret permeate this album.
To continually point out the obviousness of Eminem being past his prime seriously negates all the good he still brings to the Hip Hop table. Mr. Marshall Mathers unequivocally exists as one of the best MCs to ever wield a microphone but the title he arguably holds with undisputed repose is being the best rhymer of all-time. Like his unappreciated 2010 interview with Anderson Cooper attested to, Eminem is Hip Hop; he's the kid with the notebook who tunes out the rest of the world to squeeze codas out of diction regardless if the English language agrees or not.
Eminem's long-anticipated ninth album, Revival, has already received an extremely mixed response online. One dismayed fan tweeted: "Hurts my soul to say this, but this is a terrible listen." Well, that's perhaps a little harsh. The album finds a newly woke Marshall Mathers stumble through some clumsy rhymes and lumpen beats, yet on the whole he sounds freshly energised and inspired through its 19 tracks.
Earlier this fall, Eminem dropped “The Storm,” a freestyle cut in which he spent nearly four-and-a-half minutes laying waste to the president of the United States. “Trump, when it comes to givin' a shit, you're as stingy as I am/Except when it comes to havin' the balls to go against me, you hide 'em,” he raps, in what has to be one of the more remarkable verbal broadsides ever delivered to a sitting president. Full of laser-focused fury, righteous anger at a whole host of societal ills, the track made the 45-year-old MC seem, however briefly, seem relevant again.
E minem has been older and theoretically wiser now for almost as long as he was Slim Shady - a rapper obsessed with outrage and doing unspeakable things to his ex-wife, Kim. It is worth remembering what a nasty piece of work this exquisitely talented rapper has been, as you contemplate Revival, his ninth album. The cover finds Marshall Mathers literally face palming, the US stars and stripes superimposed over his despair.
L adies and gentlemen, we have a winner. For the last 20 years, two technically versatile and emotionally literate rappers have been vying for the title of "biggest tin ear for beats". Sorry, Nas: you've been roundly trounced at last. Production-wise, Revival is a trainwreck. If Eminem thinks his ….
Oh, Marshall. When critics savaged Recovery, there may have been more than a healthy dose of 'kill your idols' at play. After all, he set out to make a direct pop record, and the album certainly succeeded at least in that sense. In 2017, tearing the aging icon apart is far less fun. Let's get it ….