Revival: Eminem’s awaited return

Photo Credit: Alex Bahena Screenshot from Spotify of Eminem's song with Ed Sheeran

By Alex Bahena ’18

“Guess who’s back, back again, Shady’s back, tell a friend.” You wouldn’t want to tell a friend about this album if we’re being honest here. Eminem is back with his ninth studio album, four years after his last album was released. This is Eminem’s “revival” after years away from the spotlight. This much-anticipated album is like a little kid roller coaster with a lot of time on the ground then it takes a few bumps, but it’s still very boring. Eminem’s return comes with a political agenda, unnecessary features, and a look back on past mistakes.

This isn’t the first time Eminem gets political with tracks  “White America” from 2002 where Eminem address that Americans feel he’s responsible for the violence being caused. In “Mosh,

that came around the time of the 2004 election, Eminem talks about everything that was wrong with the president at the time, George W. Bush. He talks on why Bush shouldn’t have been re-elected. While Eminem has gotten political in few songs in the past, this album is full with jabs at the current president, Donald J. Trump. With an album cover of an American flag it was predictable it would have a political agenda. Songs such as “Like Home,” “Untouchable,” and “Offended” are all songs with disses at the president. It’s good that Eminem is taking a stance against the president, but to have multiple tracks is not necessarily effective and ruins the whole purpose. The BET freestyle could have been good enough for his political stance.

When the track list first released the artist featured  stood out. Ed Sheeran, he always has hits in the Billboard Hot 100. Beyoncé, the person that many people idolize for some reason. X Ambassadors, that ‘cool’ band that has features with multiple artists. This just looks like a way to cheat the streaming system and make Eminem relevant again by using people who people actually listen to currently. The only feature that is okay is in “Tragic Endings” with Skylar Grey. Those two go like milk and cookies, with many spectacular collaborations under their name, but it still is very dull due to how many times they have collabed. Some artists were also wasted in this album such as Alicia Keys, who is featured in “Like Home,” but the song is just an Anti-Trump song.

  The album has its highs when Eminem discusses his life issues. Sadly, this is only the last three songs of the album, this is the Eminem many people came to love with songs like “Mockingbird” and “When I’m Gone.” By the sounds of it, it’s Marshall not using his persona and he’s rapping about what is on his mind. In “In Your Head” Eminem talks on how hard it was dealing with the fame, and how he wishes he could’ve separated Slim Shady from Marshall. In one of the most important songs in the album, “Castle” dedicated to his daughter: Hailie Jade. Eminem is writing multiple letters to his daughter. In “Arose,” what it seems to be Eminem in a bad state and he’s looking back at how bad he’s messed up before he dies, but pulling through with the help of his family. This is the Eminem that gets praised so much by the media.  Eminem has clearly changed his direction of art in this album. While these last few songs are a nostalgic feeling, they do not make up for the rest of the project.

      While many people will praise this album because it’s Eminem, the “Rap God”, it isn’t his best work. Eminem isn’t the same Slim Shady that got famous for being controversial. The album was really hard to listen to from start to finish. The album’s message is confusing. It’s really not clear what Eminem is trying to convey: is he trying to explain his disappointment in America as a whole or is he disappointed in himself, or is he angry at Trump. His message in the album changes throughout the album. He’s not the same person that parents didn’t allow their kids listen to back in the day. Eminem is now 45 and has had a legendary career, but it’s probably time to turn off the lights at the studio.

  • Released Dec. 15
  • 1 hr and 17 min
  • Available on iTunes, Spotify, and at stores