Eminems newest album « Encore » is the follow up of « The Eminem Show ». His most recent work is lead by the hand of a master from the beginning to the end. It reveals a more matured artist whose songs reflect a very sensitive and emotional side fulfilled with some sarcasms and parodies of the world of pop.
Other targets? Yes. Who? President Bush. Eminem is definitely engaged in his fight against Bushs policy, that appears in Mosh.
Curtains Up. Ready for a new Eminem Show, part II?
Ok, Eminem will shoot his verses and offer you a flashback to his early childhood years with the second track « Evil Deeds ».
The listener will understand under which unstable conditions Marshall made his first steps. The song is very emotional despite the whole irony that goes with it. It will take you back to the early 70s at the time Debbie just broke up with her husband and decided to leave her son at his aunt Edna and uncle Edmond Charles home: an easy way to get rid of her son and to be free for some adventures with her numerous boyfriends. Debbies behavior and her absence have obviously left some deep wounds into Marshalls soul. The demons of the past are still present and sometimes come to haunt his current life. Many people dont understand that wealth isnt a remedy to such trauma. In fact it is very difficult to handle the wounds left inside of us because of our parents behavior, particularly when you come from a dysfunctional family such as Marshalls. « Evil Deeds » has something deep inside. It is moving and lets us fully understand that fame and fortune have increased Marshalls pain. It is like a never ending circle and the curtain never falls. This song is moving. Again, the brilliant artist managed to make the listener feel his deepest emotions.
« Never Enough » is a brilliant Nate Dogg and 50 Cent collaboration that is really worth listening to. It is great hip hop that nobody should miss.
« Yellow Brick Road » takes you back to 8 Mile, to a story that only Marshall could tell you the right way with a full amount of details. « Yellow Brick Road » is also a fist against the Source magazine who dared accusing Marshall of racism so many times. How could they dare talking about a typical Detroit context that they didnt even know? Marshall takes you back to a time where he get his ass kicked because he didnt have the right skin color on the way to Kims house. Back to a period where white emcees were despised by black rappers. Back to the time he met Proof and had to prove his lyrical ability. Back to 1989, where black and white community lived great tensions. Back to the time Eminem dated this black girl because of whom he wrote some rhymes he didnt even mean. Rhymes placed out of their context by Benzinos crew and used in order to break his career.
« Like Toy Soldiers » explains how Eminem became involved in hip hop beefs that he would probably have avoided if he could have done it. Because 50 Cent was signed to Shady Records, the war with Irv Gottis clan was signed. Ja Rule worsened this war by putting Hailies name in a song.
Marshall has been a great contributor to hip hop culture and he doesnt like to be involved in bloody hip hop wars. The sincerity of this song is touching.
No contest Mosh is the best song of the whole album. Mosh is a total engagement against Bushs worthless war policy. A strong and powerful song and a lyrical bomb is dropped on the White House and will rally a lot of people who want peace in this world. Mosh might be anti Bush, but unlike many conservative peoples opinion , the powerful song can be called a patriotic act in favor of democracy.
Besides Bush, Eminems other targets are well known pop stars such as Michael Jackson and Madonna who get ridiculed in Just Lose It. Lyrically, I am used to better texts from Marshall, but the song is funny and the video that goes with the first single of Encore will make you laugh crazy.
Rain Man , Big Weenie and My First single are funny and cool songs.
Another song that is really touching and worth listening to is Mockinbird, a touching ode to Hailie. In this song, Eminem is trying to explain Kims whereabouts to Hailie and Alaina (Hailies cousin whos been adopted by Marshall and who also lives with him). Again, you will probably be moved by the touching words of a dedicated father for his daughter.
« One Shot 2 Shots », a song that includes Eminems group, D12, is also worth listening to.
The albums concludes with « One Last Time » an entertaining Eminem, 50 Cent and Dr Dre trio. As the show ends, Eminem surprises the crowd with hiding a pistol behind his back shoots himself and murders his Slim Shady persona.
Curtains fall. End of the CD. End of the Story for now.
Weaknesses of the CD
I think that I owe Eminem and my readers an objective point of view, thats why I will also focus on the weak points of Marshall Mathers Encore:
_ The songs about Kim dont sound real at all, in complete opposition to « I Love You More » which is an authentic and spicy love ballad. « Puke » is rather disgusting and frankly, I dont think that « vomiting sounds » was a real great idea :it amplifies the weakness of a rather lyrical poor song.
Same for « Crazy In Love »: for the first time, I had the unpleasant impression that Eminem didnt sound real. The lyrics and the beats are awful.
– « Ass Like That » is probably the worst song of Eminems whole career. The weird accent he takes adds to the weakness of the song that it intended to be funny, but that didnt manage to make me laugh. Sorry, Marshall, but I gotta be honest about it.
-Never Enough ,which is a real good song, gives the impression to have been cut before the end.
– There is only one D12 song in the whole album. There could have been more D12 participation in Encore.
– Another weak point of « Encore » needs to be noticed: while the album begins with an introspective, serious note and real good songs, Eminem sometimes spoils the efforts he put in his very valuable songs by childish fart and vomiting sounds. Which he should avoid as a grown man and a respected hip hop artist.
My overall rating of Eminems brand new CD is 8.5 out of 10 but it could have been 9.5 or 10/10 if Eminem had removed some weak tracks out of his album. My criticism isnt intented to be negative towards Eminem (I am a huge fan and he can be sure of my unconditional support, always), but rather for him to avoid the weak points mentioned in his next album.
Globally, Encore is great work. People who have appreciated The Eminem Show will probably love Encore as well. Eminem came up with some new stuff and handled most of his songs very well.
An album that is definitely worth buying.