Introduction:

Eminem is a rap legend. When asked to put four faces on the Mount Rushmore of rap music, Eminem is automatically on it. Marshall Mathers was born in 1972 and hails from Detroit, Michigan. He made his name in underground Detroit rap scene in the early to mid 90s, before gaining the attention of rap legend and producer Dr. Dre. He released his first album, The Slim Shady LP, in 1999, swiftly following it up with what is widely considered one of hip hop’s best albums: The Marshall Mathers LP, released in 2000. In 2002, The Eminem Show was released, marking yet another chart-topping success for Eminem. That same year, Eminem starred in a semi-autobiographical movie called 8 Mile, for which he won a Grammy and an Oscar for his song “Lose Yourself”. In 2004, Eminem released Encore, which signaled an apparent end to his career, solidified by the release of his greatest hits album, Curtain Call, was released in 2005. In 2007, he was hospitalized after a drug overdose, calling attention to his addiction that fueled “Slim Shady”. In 2009, after a five year hiatus to focus on his rehab and recovery, he returned with Relapse, followed subsequently by a deluxe edition called Relapse: Refill. In 2010, Eminem produced Recovery, finishing off the songs he wrote during his rehab period. After a three break, Eminem returned with the record breaking sequel to his 2000 album: The Marshall Mathers LP2 in 2013. During his next four year break, Eminem released two singles Guts Over Fear in 2014 and Campaign Speech in 2016. Now comes what many are predicting as his final album: Revival.

1. Walk on Water (ft. Beyoncé)

Beyoncé’s vocals are absolutely killer. The gospel style of the song is great. The choice to have Eminem brainstorming to try and write new stuff is great. This song is so meta and is incredible lyrically. It’s incredible. He talks about the return, but also the potential of him being done with this album. It’s a beautiful song that perfectly sums up and addresses what Eminem has been up to and the problems he’s faced.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

2. Believe

Using a trap beat, Eminem is about merge the old school with the new style. And he fairs pretty well. While lyricism and performance is okay, the song fits the theme of the album. It’s mainly about Eminem getting confidence back after the vulnerability in the last song. It’s alright as a song, but I give it respect for fitting the theme.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

3. Chloraseptic (ft. Phresher)

He uses another new type beat and brings in someone who lives in that world to help. They perform well together and the beat works very well for them. The song hits all the Eminem check marks. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. The best part of the song is the hook by Phresher. It doesn’t really talk about anything. It’s just kind of Eminem trying to do shock rap, but it just comes across as lame for such a legend. I get he’s trying to mimic new rap, but it just doesn’t work.

Track Rating: 5/10

Grade: C-

4. Untouchable

The second single from the album is an interesting one. Taking a look at the political climate for the first time in Eminem’s album career, he examines black gang culture and the stigma that this white boy has never been in that world. He also covers white privilege and briefly examines the military. It’s a really cool song that feels like Eminem finally letting out his emotions on something he’s cared about for a long time. The hook and guitars are awesome. The production is really solid. This album is Eminem giving his opinions on everything he’s missed in the last four years since MMLP2.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B

5. River (ft. Ed Sheeran)

Ed Sheeran’s vocals are stellar. Admittedly, I’m a huge Sheeran fan and Em fan so this song is already exciting for me. The beat we have is acoustic based and is absolutely strong. Eminem’s lyricism is strong. The song about dating, love, and relationship in the 21st century is a story and Eminem does storytelling best. This song is the best of the album so far, from the different production and the emotional performances from Ed and Em. These two are a perfect match. Overall, this song is incredible in every aspect.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

6. Remind Me (Intro)

The production is really cool. It’s a short song but it’s really cool.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

7. Remind Me

The song which samples the guitars and hook from “I Love Rock and Roll” and it’s brilliant. Em kills this track. It’s an old school style Eminem song and it lives up to the name, reminding us of the old Em. It’s a fun song, despite there being a few cringe worthy moments.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

8. Revival (Interlude)

The beautiful piano and whistle combo make for a really pretty break after that aggressive song. The vocals are gorgeous and it’s

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

9. Like Home (ft. Alicia Keys)

Politics return, but in a hopeful ballad about rebuilding, while criticizing President Trump. The hook is really pretty with Alicia’s vocals. The hook almost doesn’t fit with the subject matter of Em’s verses, but it also fits like a glove. It’s a good song. It’s gorgeous vocally and impressive lyrically. Em’s performance is solid. I like it.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

10. Bad Husband (ft. X Ambassadors)

Addressing domestic abuse in a song is a tricky, but important topic. X Ambassadors are a solid addition to the song. Eminem’s heartfelt apology is sweet. It’s a very real and personal song about Em’s life. It’s pretty good.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B

11. Tragic Endings (ft. Skylar Grey)

The production on this one is awesome. Skylar’s vocals are great. The hook is great. Em’s performance is good again. We’re back into another relationship abuse song. It’s a good one though. It’s a solid emotional song. Skylar Grey’s vocals are the highlight of the track.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: B

12. Framed

The production and performance are extremely reminiscent of Slim Shady. That’s exactly what he’s going for. Eminem is showing his three different personalities in another storytelling song. Following our DID Eminem going on a killing spree, this a really fun story song that gives us Em & Slim together. This song is great. I think this song is supposed to show us that Em isn’t just one thing or one person, he’s multiple. He’s still Slim Shady and he’s Eminem.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

13. Nowhere Fast (ft. Kehlani)

Kehlani’s vocals beautiful. Using strings and keys to give a really fun, fast beat. Em rides the beat like it’s nothing. Dealing with the idea of his legacy again and what may happen in the future, Em murders this beat. It’s a really cool song with strong lyricism. The performance and vocals are really solid.

Track Rating. 8/10

Grade: A-

14. Heat

The guitars are really cool. Eminem is doing another sorta cringey and it’s really weird. The production and hook are great, but I’m not sure how I feel about the song itself. It’s rather uncomfortable to listen to.

Track Rating: 5/10

Grade: C-

15. Offended

The production is stellar again and Em rides it like a bike, making fun of people who get offended easily. The hook is good with solid vocals. I like this track for the unapologetic nature of the song.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

16. Need Me (ft. P!nk)

Pink’s vocals are pretty solid, but her vocals make up half of the song. Em doesn’t rap until almost halfway through the song. Overall, this song is just kinda unimpressive. There’s nothing defining about it.

Track Rating: 4/10

Grade: D+

17. In Your Head

Sampling the song of the same name, Em delivers a jam. It’s aggressive and emotional and completely Eminem. It’s his 44 Bars.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

18. Castle

The vocals are gorgeous and haunting. Em tells the story about his personal life prior to making it as Eminem and being a rapper and becoming a dad. It’s an great song. The ending with his pill overdose is sad.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

19. Arose

The immediate follow up is heartbreaking as Eminem is dying and thinking about his family. It’s tragic and heartbreaking. The vocals and performance are incredible and the lyricism is honest and the song overall is great.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

Conclusion:

Eminem delivers another mixed bag album. The legend has been gone for so long that it makes sense for him to release a long album, but several of these just don’t land. He has great songs in here like River and Arose, but he also has bad ones in here. He will always be a legend, but if this album is truly his last, this is a bit of a disappointment to go out on, as he spends much of his time calling out Trump or doing a standard Eminem thing. There is a great storyline or theme that could’ve been followed, but was pumped full of extra stuff that just didn’t need to be there. When he lands, he lands with the power that only Eminem could. But when he fails, it’s cringe-worthy. Eminem just delivered another middling album that isn’t bad, but isn’t amazing either.

Album Rating: 7/10

Grade: B-

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