Saturday, August 14, 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Eminem's "Recovery"

Eminem is good at two things...well, three:
1. Writing funny lyrics
2. Writing angry lyrics
3. Writing intricate and poetic lyrics

After returning last year from a 5 year hiatus that involved drug abuse, rehab, and a lot of self-analyzing, he released Relapse. The general consensus was that it was too therapeutic and heavy for the masses, a complaint he brushes off in his first single off the new album, "Not Afraid." Now he's released Recovery, a title which suggests the same content. But there are signs of the old Slim Shady. In "Cinderella Man," he manages to get you hyped without being too hostile, and in "W.T.P," which stands for "white trash party," he sets the mood for a head-bopping good time. But I think what the album really boils down to is his heart recovering not his mind.

In the intergalactic-themed "Space Bound," he cleverly raps "Love is evil / spell it backwards / i'll show ya." In "25 to Life," he rhymes about getting free of an unstable relationship. My favorite track is his collaboration with Rihanna, "Love the Way You Lie." They've both had tumultuous relationships, fairly documented in the public eye, but what's interesting is that they're on two different sides of the spectrum. You would think that they'd record a back-and-forth: the guy's perspective vs. the girl's perspective—how he feels as the abuser and how she feels as the abused. But, if the song is at all biographical for both of them—whether they'd like to admit it or not—it makes it seem as though they both feel like victims, like the violence went both ways in their relationships. I can't imagine how someone can stay in a violent relationship and give 2nd and 4th chances, but I do understand how you can love someone so intensely that that intensity destroys who you were, mutating you into something you no longer recognize. While there have been many songs speaking against domestic violence, this one seems to sympathize with the participants. They understand why you can't end the relationship and why you crave the feeling you get with that verbally and/or physically abusive person. And for Em, such a relationship is almost as addictive as drugs, making for yet another vice he's working to overcome.

Yes, that's Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan from "Lost."

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