Eminem

Relapse (Interscope/Shady/Aftermath)


Rating: NNNN


After five years without a solo release, the media’s favourite entertainment scapegoat is back with more gut-churning insight. Following fellow D12 member Proof’s death, Eminem admitted to falling into an even deeper anti-depressant-fuelled spiral, and Relapse’s lyrical content shows it. By Insane, the album’s third track, he has taken you to hell and back.

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If you’re able to tolerate the graphic descriptions of rape, incest, drug abuse, dismemberment and felching (Google it), the reward is an incredible amount of introspection, and top-shelf production by Dr. Dre throughout adds to the replayability factor.

The haunting piano loop on 3 A.M. sets the stage for everything from the dynamic clash of Southern guitar and organ stabs on the fantastic Déjà Vu to the Middle East-informed Bagpipes From Baghdad. Relapse’s only problem is Em’s occasional tendency to cross the line between brutal self-awareness and cheesy shock rap.

Top track: Déjà Vu

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