I cannot fucking wait until the new Eminem album is officially released so that I can talk to everybody about how fucking goddamn brilliant it is and you’ll be able to agree. Not that I’ve been listening to it over and over again for a week now or anything. It hasn’t been released yet — how would that be possible?
Seriously, though, y’all. It’s good. I have a special place in my heart for rap, and this album just blows everything else out of the water. And I’m actually someone who liked Relapse. In fact, I loved Relapse. I thought Relapse was the most emotionally intense album I’d heard since the early days of Tori Amos. I still listen to Relapse and feel like I’m living it with him. I listen to it and it feels like he’s plucking thoughts out of my own head and playing them back to me, amplified. It hurts to listen to that album.
It hurts more to listen to Recovery, because so much of the album focuses on Eminem’s recovery not only from drugs, but from the death of his best friend Proof. I’d go so far as to say the recovery referenced in the album title is as much about Proof’s death as it is about sobriety. But this is a journey of a man who was beat down on so many levels, beat down by a drug addiction, beat down by the death of his best friend, beat down by what he perceived to be the loss of the talent he’d come to use to define himself. “I’m back!” he announces at the tail end of the track “Talkin’ to Myself,” and he says the words in a playful way, not an angry way, and it means something. He’s not back and ready to knock some skulls. He’s back and he’s immensely grateful to be back, and it doesn’t mean he’s pulling any punches, but it does mean that he walked through every inch of the hell that was his life, he lost his connection to his genius when he lost the drugs that facilitated the connection, broadened it and sped it up, and then when he got that connection back, when he got it back, clean and sober, he was better than before.
He is a better rapper now than he has ever been before. He is a better rapper now than anyone out there on the scene. He has set the bar higher.
I can’t think of anyone who does anything as well as Eminem does rap. It’s like a spiritual experience to listen to an album like this, where every single word is so perfect, and a story is conveyed with such precision and creativity.
Recovery drops June 21 in the U.S. I suggest you get it. And then we’ll talk about it all day on here. HOORAY!
If you’ve somehow magically already heard the album (through some total legal means) and you want to chat with me about it, OMG I WANT TO CHAT WITH YOU ABOUT IT. Hit me up on my Twitter!!! LET’S TALK MARSHALL!!!