Eminem - Revival
The first line of Eminem's new album is "Why are expectations so high?/ Is it the Bar I set?" setting you up for, I don't know, disappointment I guess? Why the artist who never gave a fuck and said whatever He wanted is suddenly super concerned about what people will say is really troubling. This whole album feels like a big apology for something that never really affected his audience, his addiction. This apology is likely for his family and a way to cope with the "pill popping" that He hasn't been able to shut up about for years now. The flaws in this album however aren't only related to Eminem's lyrical content, the beats are absolutely awful. "Believe" in which Em tries on some trap delivery sounds awful. Nothing this year has sounded like an old man chasing something that has long left him than this record. In a year where the biggest hip hop songs say the least possible Eminem has doubled down on an old school style. It's telling that there is not a single popular rapper on the features list save for X Ambassadors... I guess... By 15 minutes in you are only at the end of track number three further evidence of Em's inability to edit whatsoever. I know He wants to be the woke prince of music, or perhaps be a lighting rod for something other than saying "F@***T" on a track but his conclusions are the most basic, the most uninspired they could possibly be. We all don't like Trump, I think that's pretty fucking clear if you've read the internet for more than two seconds, but Eminem is not the guy to unite the resistance, it's just not him. "Chloraseptic" another trap-lite attempt sounds so fucking awful and so out of touch it's a struggle to even listen to.
It just seems so disingenuous for Eminem to take this political stance that He really has no stock in. It feels like He looked up what the kids were into and then wrote some rhymes about it, put it over a shitty beat and waited for the accolades to roll in. Even at the height of his powers I don't think Em could make these rap rock rap pop, whatever the fuck they are clunkers of songs work. "River" featuring Ed Sheeran is sappy even for the Englishman but Eminem's verses are so confessional and so weird it feels cringy from the start. "Remind Me" may be the most egregious song this year using a beat from Joan Jett's "I Love Rock & Roll" that is so incredibly dated Limp Bizkit would likely stay away from it. Is anyone out there clamoring for a Joan Jett based beat? "Bad Husband" continues the seemingly never ending story of Eminem and his on again off again wife/girlfriend Kim. The story has now become so stale and so played that this half confessional half half emotional roller coaster is sappy and overblown. The best thing about Eminem in his early days was the fact that He didn't take himself so seriously, and left room for being goofy and throwing humor into his music, but now as a grown man I guess there's nothing left to laugh about out there. It doesn't take more than 15 minutes to understand this album but it still drag on for another fucking hour of inane songs. Em has had a few bombs as of late so maybe we shouldn't be so surprised at this, but damn who knew it was gonna be this tone deaf?
2.0 out of 10