The Marshall Mathers LP
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Eminem could use a publicity stunt, and The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is just what the therapist ordered. During the 13 years since The Marshall Mathers LP, he's never lost his acrobat-gremlin skills on the mic. But some subsequent albums felt hermetic, perverting rage into rock-star griping on 2004's Encore, horror-show shock tactics on 2009's Relapse and 12-step purging on 2010's Recovery. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is about reclaiming a certain freewheeling buoyancy, about pissing off the world from a more open, less cynical place; he even says sorry to his mom on "Headlights," where he's joined by Nate Ruess of fun.
Nostalgia is everywhere. Em surrounds himself in allusions to classic hip-hop, like the Beastie Boys samples producer Rick Rubin laces together on "Berzerk." It's telling that the only guest MC is Kendrick Lamar on "Love Game," probably because his slippery syllable-juggling owes a lot to Eminem.
Yet Em's former obsession – his own media image – has been replaced with a 41-year-old's cranky concerns. He's still a solipsistic cretin, but in a more general, everyday sort of way. He raps about how he can't figure out how to download Luda on his computer and waves the Nineties-geek flag with references to Jeffrey Dahmer and the Unabomber. He's playing his best character: the demon spawn of Trailer Hell, America, hitting middle age with his middle finger up his nose while he cleans off the Kool-Aid his kids spilled on the couch.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/the-marshall-mathers-lp-2-20131101#ixzz2pTUVkhsQ
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