Anger, in spades. If you want to get some of that anger out of your system, grab this. You’ve certainly heard Love the Way You Lie, his duet with Rihanna. There’s a lot of anger in that one. They did it at the Grammy’s this year and it was up for Record of the Year. The album also won Rap Album of the Year. This album is my first purchase using the Amazon Cloud Player. I had to try the Cloud Player and I’ve been batting around buying this album for awhile, so it was an opportune time to pull the trigger.
Give me twelve seconds for a quick digression. The Cloud Player is really cool. I may not purchase music on iTunes anymore. More in another post on this topic.
I don’t know where I stand on this album. For my taste, Eminem takes the explicitness to the extreme. I think he is much more explicit than Kanye West, as a point of comparison. If you just listen to the popular tunes like Not Afraid, Love the Way You Lie, and No Love, you might think Eminem has crafted an explicit album, but one with an acceptable level of profanity. But when you listen to the whole beast in unaltered form, every song is pretty gritty.
Hey, that’s cool. I’m an adult, I can handle it. I can appreciate some profanity when it adds to the anger. This album is about comebacks and second chances – about recovery. Those things take drastic measures at times.
You know what I think is cool about hip-hop? I love it when they incorporate music from completely different genres into their songs. Hip-hop artists do this frequently. More so than other genres I think.
There are a few awesome examples in this album. In the song Going Through Changes, Eminem includes a snippet from Changes by Black Sabbath. He gives writing credits to Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward. Both are songs about relationships. Clever, because the Black Sabbath version is about loss but it Eminem has used it in a song about recovery. Cool stuff. Find it Black Sabbath’s version here on You Tube. Listen to them both together. Great stuff.
Another example is No Love, which pays homage to What is Love by Haddaway. Go figure, but it’s a great tune and is probably the only song I own with lead vocals by Lil Wayne. In truth, I pronounce the double t when I say Lil Wayne, but that’s just me. I do think about the Roxbury Guys when I hear this song, but Eminem’s version is NSFW, so don’t pull it out at work.
Hip-hop is like a tour through pop culture.
It took me about a month to get to a long listening session with this album. After the long session, I appreciate it a lot. I can see throwing a few of the tracks into a play list related to recovery and rebirth. It won’t really hit a party mix for the Steffens and will probably be mostly confined to headphone listening. And after a bad experience last year trying to introduce my buddies to some new music, I won’t even try to suggest this to anyone I know. It’s good though. Worth the money, definitely.