The Relapse Album Review
After four and a half years of being off the charts, Eminem (or I should say Slim Shady) returns with his long-awaited “Relapse” album. I’ve been a fan of Shady’s for a long time, but as years went by his tracks became less and less D12-like and more and more Mr.Niceguy-like. I like his old tracks like “Still Don’t Give a Fuck” and “Amityville”, so when this new CD came out I was a bit sceptical that it would be like the Encore instead of his old and nasty stuff. I ended up going out and actually buying the CD on the day it came out, something I very rarely do. Now in order to give this CD justice I want to take you through a song-by-song review.
1-2. “Dr. West” and “3 a.m”
The Dr. West skit is one of the greatest skits I’ve ever heard. It’s disturbing and funny at once. It very nicely puts that dark and sociopathic vibe into the air which will be heavely fuelled in the songs to come. Then the track “3 a.m” comes on and the lyrics and beats make you actually feel like you’re watching some horror flick. If you’ve seen the music video then hearing the song blaring through your headphones really bring those images back into your mind. I gotta be honest it’s a very disturbing song. It’s also very much like his oldschool rhymes. His lyrics are flawless and his mind is more twisted than ever, which really brings me relief that there are others out there with a mind as fucked-up as mine… or maybe even worse. It’s a great track about his serial killing fantasies, which we all share to a certain level, right? I’d rate this song 8.5/10
3. “My Mom”
This is a catchy tune about Em’s addiction to various drugs, particularly Valium. His mom plays a big role in this song, which I assume you fucking got from the title. Enough said. 8/10
Nasty motherfucking song. One of those songs that you change once someone gets in your car. It’s about being molested by a step-father. Funny shit if you’re into that kinda humour. I love the fact that this song isn’t rapped in a humourous fashion like “Ass Like That” or anything yet it still makes you crack a smile at times. Em’s aggression really shines through on this one. 8/10
5. “Bagpipes from Baghdad”
Nick Cannon gets fucked on this one. And good, he fucking should. The beat is Arabic-styled and pretty smooth, and the lyrics are top-notch. This song goes along nicely with the rest of the album. This track goes along with the album’s feel of a man’s psychotic mind experiencing extreme highs, lows, indifferences, chronic anger, and massive lapses of depression followed by ecstatic euphoria. After the disgusted anger in “Insane”, “Bagpipes” delivers Em’s elevation to a mood of I don’t give a fuck if the world comes at me. It’s cool to listen to and winds you up to want to go on to hear what other bout-it stuff he’s gonna spit in the following raps. 7.5/10
Once you think you really need a mellow song and that all of his previous tracks have been filling you up with some disillusioned feeling of disgust, “Hello” delivers just that. You can actually vibe to this one. It’s a mixture of funny/reckless lyrics with a catchy chorus. He finally apologizes for hiding out in useless rehab (for a drug problem which seems like everybody’s fucking got in this town) and loathing in depression. Bah, well at least this relaxing track relieves some tension that has been growing in the previous songs on the album. 8/10
7-8. “Tonya” and “Same Song and Dance”
Tonya is a funny as hell skit which I loved. While listening to it I imagined the entire thing like some kinda Friday the 13th movie scene. The rain in the background adds a nice touch to it. Then a track with a neutral/monotone yet disturbing feel to it comes on. It’s like Em is tired of everyone and everything and bored of all the same bullshit and wants his ‘different’ type of mind to just be embraced rather than condemned. But who am I to justify or rationalize his mind, eh? The track is a set of murder stories of women. Nothing wrong with that. I personally enjoy his references to mass murderers since I was always a fan of attempting to understand their psychological mindframe and “Same Song and Dance” captures their essence and presents it in story-format. 8.5/10
9. “We Made You”
You’ve all heard this one. I honestly don’t usually like his single because they’re not usually the ones that are hardcore demented (except 3 a.m) but are instead there to get the album sold. The majority of people want to go around saying “Oh, did you hear what Eminem said, how he wants to ‘show his little friend’ to Sarah Palin?” Fuck that. This song throws off the psychotic balance of the other tracks. But then again it can’t be a real Slim Shady CD without having at least one of these dis ’em up tracks on the celebrities we love and idealise so much. Fucking burn in hell Jessica Alba– Simpson… well all of them except Fox. Megan can get locked up in my cellar. Yeah, alright Shady can get a hit at her too, but only after I’m through with her. 7/10
10. “Medicine Ball”
The ecstatic euphoria I was talking about? Well this song is a perfect example. The egotrip really goes all out on this one. The heightened feeling of self-importance is the basis of this song. Not the lyrics, but the theme I guess. I didn’t really enjoy the lyrics too much, but the song overall is alright. 7.5/10
12-13. “Paul” and “Stay Wide Awake”
The good ol’ Paul Skit. Enough on that. Now “Stay Wide Awake” is probably my favourite track on the entire album. The flow is immaculate and the chorus is boss. It feels like I’m living in the mind of Ted Bundy. Smooth, confident, irresistible to women, and of course as dangerous and murderous as they come. The story told in this track is crazy and explains the fantastic feeling that one gets when unleashing their inner demons upon the earth. This song alone is worth half the money spent on this album. But only half, ya hear? 9.5/10
14. “Old Times Sake”
This really threw me off after hearing the previous track, but I got right into it pretty quick. Dre is in it and spits some fire, but I right away saw why he still hasn’t released his Detox album, or maybe it’s just his style doesn’t fit into Shady’s so his lyrics felt incompatible with this album. Either way it’s a nice song to chill out and smoke up to. I like how the songs are arranged: you have the crazy and tense tracks, then a chilled out mellow beat, then a lyrically funny song, then back around she goes to the lunatic tracks. 8/10
15. “Must be the Ganja”
This song picks up from the previous one and is one to vibe to but at the same time the craziness is still there. I like this track for all of its serial killer references. There’s one part that just kills it. (pun intended folks) It’s a jovial song that makes you not give a fuck and just go and get yourself hammered and ready to take down anyone that comes your way. At least that’s how it makes me feel so it’s best not to come around me when this track is on, ya digg? 8.5/10
16-17. “Mr. Mathers” and “DeJa Vu”
This skit is him overdosing and falling into a presumable comatose state. When the doctors repeat his name in a prolonged type voice it really reminded me of the “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” film when Dr. Gonzo remembers his first time trying LSD and Tim Leary or whoever is going around shouting for someone to give him a place to cook the acid. Those shouts in the skit and the film sound the same. Anywho, “DeJa Vu” is Shady’s story of how he goes about on a daily basis during his drug habit days. He lyrically molests anyone who comes his way and this is exactly what happens here. The chorus is really depressing yet the beat is mellow and calming. I give this track a 9/10. Very clean track.
This is a low-key but motivational track that just explains how important it is to know you’re special no matter how gay that may sound. Basically, know what you want, know who you are, do what you believe is right, and do it the way you want. It’s more of a down-to-earth song with none of the psychotic remarks. You really feel like you can connect with Eminem in this song and you feel like everything is going to be alright if you just pull through. Life is hectic for everyone yet we all go on with it always hoping for the best. Though there may be darkness in our hearts right now, this song puts on that flicker of light to help us believe that the future will be bright. 9/10
19. Crack a Bottle
I liked listening to this song right after “Beautiful” because it completely dissolves all of those negative thoughts or tensions you may have felt throughout the album and you finally feel like you can relax and enjoy the rest of your day. The album is coming to an end and you kind of want it to end. The 18 songs and skits previous to this made you want to rape, kill, molest, decapitate, kill yourself, cry, yell, laugh, and fight, and now that the trip is coming to an end you’re relieved that Eminem as well as yourself may feel like just wanting to relax, crack a bottle, and chill out with mates. Party it up and forget all of your problems. “Crack a Bottle” delivers well and powerfully with Em, Dre, and 50 all on the track. 8/10
Finally this track comes on booming and you feel the power of those beats. The perfect ending. After all the shit you’ve seen and heard, it’s time to rise up from under the ground, dust the mud off, and rise to the top. This track makes you see that there’s no point in thinking beyond logic and no point in getting depressed, we’re alive, hopefully healthy, and are capable of anything. So get up and do your thing because it’s time to show the world who you truly are and what you’re capable of no matter where you come from.
Basically this entire album feels like we’re in a psychiatric session with Shady, except we’re the psychiatrists and we’re the ones paying for the session. Still, the lyrics alone are well worth the price. The rollercoaster that is his mind really becomes evident in this album more than any other. And this album is either a difficult or seriously embracing listen to those who can genuinely relate to some of the tracks.
Overall Rating: 9.1/10