When wickedplaylist.com author Lucy Gray first told me Eminem’s new album Recovery was his best ever I was certainly a little skeptical. 8 Mile was an amazing album and if you didn’t like it, you probably just don’t like the genre. Can I get a “I like everything buy rap and country” up in here?
Needless to say, I was interested in hearing the album based on Lucy’s comments so I transferred it to my DROID to check out. The first time I listened to Recovery it was me and my almost two year old daughter in the kitchen. I plugged the DROID in to the kitchen system and started listening. I was cooking along and my daughter was dancing to the beat. It was a great time. A great time until my wife walked in and heard the lyrics and then, well we decided this album should get a “older than 2” rating.
In the short amount of time I heard Recovery I knew it had some songs I liked. The next attempt to listen to it was during a Sunday afternoon yard work extravaganza. The temperature was a cool 97 degrees and the breeze was absent like a football player with 9 kids. What, you pictured me doing this in a music studio with strippers dancing behind me as I listen to music and artists tossing 100’s at me while chanting “wicked rain”? Yea, sorry, that is only in my head, not in the real world.
Anyway, as I am listening to Recovery, I hear some pretty good stuff. You know, I just heard Pink and now Eminem is sampling some Ozzy “Changes”. At this point, it is already better than his last CD. But then something interesting happens. “Not Afraid” comes on. For me, the entire album changes now. “Not Afraid” and Seduction are pretty good but then we get to stretch of 3 number 1’s in my opinion. The first is No Love featuring Lil Wayne and sampling Haddaway’s “What is Love”. Amazing song and equally amazing sample of “What is Love”, which is a song I remember sitting in my bedroom, listening to radio station recordings, hoping I could find it.
The next song up is “Space Bound”. An ode to love and pain and all the things that come with being vulnerable. The difference here is the phenomenal hook sung by Steve McEwan and Eminem’s usual lyrical prowess. “Love is Evil, spell it backwards and I’ll show you” is just one of his thought provoking and moment of clarity type lyrics.
As much as I liked those two songs, I almost missed the third one in the group because I kept hitting rewind. “Cinderella Man” is a great song with Queen type beat, amazing hook and some really truthful lyrics from Eminem. Not many musicians will basically apologize for their last CD. Eminem does just that with the line, “fuck my last CD that shits in the trash”. This is the kind of lyric I personally expect from Eminem. He has always been truthful in his rhymes even if that truth isn’t the easiest thing to say.
This all comes back to the question, is this Eminem’s best album? Well, best is a pretty subjective term. I mean reviewing and critiquing art is really nothing more than one persons opinion anyway. Short of divulging my cd buys, single buys, current economic climate, and record company hype dollars formula, I will just say this. If Recovery is Eminem’s best album, it isn’t far off. If you like Eminem, you should like Recovery.