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The Eminem Show - Eminem
Member Name: Blurbubble
The Eminem Show - Eminem
Date: 24/02/03, updated on 24/02/03 (436 review reads)
Advantages: A classic! Great lyrics and great tunes
Disadvantages: May offend the more prudish!
Oooh! I LOVE this album! I play it at least once a day - I want to have its babies! (HUH?!) No, seriously, this is an outstanding album from our Marshall Mathers, the third in his "trilogy" (Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP and this). This was released last year (2002) on Aftermath/Interscope Records and I reckon it's destined to become a classic.
Admittedly some people are surprised that I'm such an Eminem fan being pretty much a confirmed old Punk/Rock/Britpop chick and most rap/hiphop music leaves me totally cold but there is something different about Eminem. I love his clever and/or amusing lyrics, sometimes poignant, often realistic, and OK, to some, sometimes offensive (although often people miss the fact that a lot of it is tongue in cheek).
I own all three CDs in this trilogy but this is by far the one I play most in its entirety without skipping tracks like people often do when listening to CDs. I have the "Special Edition" version which includes a bonus DVD of videos and features. Unfortunately I do not own a DVD player (yet!) so I can't comment first hand on that but my friend has watched it on his and assures me it is very good, being long and containing many full videos and features. The ordinary CD would normally sell at an average price of around £12 (depending where you shop) and the special edition is normally around £16 but I was lucky enough to bag mine from the EBAY auction site for a bargain £10!
Now I'm well aware many people would not even bother giving this a listen either due to what they've heard about Eminem and his lyrics or purely (like me) because they would not consider it likely to be to their taste. Believe me, this man knows a good tune and a good hook line. I think I can safely say that almost every track sticks in your mind, if not for some clever lyrical line then for an impossibly catchy tune/hook line.
Well, I'm not going to analyse every tr
ack on this CD, firstly because there are so many (it's about 80 minutes long altogether!) and secondly because I think that gets boring unless you insist on a detailed psycho-analysis of every line of each lyric! I will try to concentrate on my favoured tracks (though there are many) and also the few which I feel I can happily live without.
Firstly, if you are familiar with his previous albums, you will know that between the songs there are usually short, comical skits often between Eminem and his manager - this album is no exception there. There are 20 tracks altogether including the in-between skits, so here we go...
So, the album blasts off in true aggressive but tuneful style with "White America", a familiar political diatribe dissing US politicians and the "American Way" but it ends with Mr Mathers saying "I'm just kiddin' America, you know I love you" - but does he mean it?!
The next track "Business", is one of my favourites. As I'm probably going to repeat far too often in this review it is so damn CATCHY! It starts with a little Batman and Robin skit before bursting into a fast, dancey tune a little to fast for me to sing a long too! (probably a good thing in most people's opinions!)
This is followed by the single, "Cleaning out my Closet", concerning his relationship with his mother and then we get to "Square Dance"! Whoa! What a rhythm! A kind of hoe-down take-off with an amusing accent and again it hooks straight into your brain.
A couple of tracks on we come to "Drips", one of the lower points for me, featuring Obie Trice on vocals and probably, to most people, the most offensive and crude track on this album. I probably can't repeat any of it here but it features sexual acts, genitalia, etc, using the most basic words - it doesn't bother me personally, but I can see why a lot of people would be offended - h
ence the album sporting a "Parental Advisory - for people aged 18 years and over" label.
In complete contrast this is followed by the comical and again (sorry) very catchy first single from the album, "Without Me" - remember that great video?! A total antedote to the previous track and one of the lightest tracks featured here.
"Sing for the Moment" is the latest single and another of my favourites. This features an Aerosmith/Steve Tyler sample in the chorus which suits it perfectly. This tells basically of the supposed "generation gap" and being yourself.
The next track, "Superman", may be seen as another of the most offensive to some although it is my friend's favourite track as he is recently divorced and he relates to it. Basically examining male/female relationships and what goes wrong in very strong terms. Again is sports a tune which stays in your had along with striking lyrics - "put Anthrax on a Tampax and slap you til you can't stand..."
We have a confession from Eminem in "Hailie's Song" - "I can't sing!" - true, his "normal" singing on this track can be quite flat and painful at times but having heard him sing a minor amount "properly" and well in the "8 Mile" film it's a surprise he couldn't replicate it in this song dedicated to is daughter. For all that it's still a very good track.
Ok, stick with me, we're nearly at the end now! The last track I'm going to mention is "My Dad's Gone Crazy" which features his aforementioned daughter, Hailie, on the chorus line. This track still features the obligatory swearing and strong lyrics so I don't know whether Hailie (I think she's about 6 years old?) was present during the recording or her part added afterwards! This track combines the cuteness of her vocal with the usual clever and amusing ly
rics and yet again another catchy hook line.
Well, that wraps up a somewhat condensed synopsis of the tracks. I'm sure there will be those of you who think I should have analysed every track in detail but that's not my method, maaaan! Needless to say this album was produced by Dr Dre, Eminem's mentor and features vocals from him aswell as Obie Trice and D-12 among others.
So, if you can cast aside any prejudices, if you're not already a fan, and give this album a listen, it's well worth it!