Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eminem's Recovery

Since it came out yesterday, I've been listening to Recovery, Eminem's latest release, via the online music service Rhapsody.  While I can't say I think it is his best effort to date, I do think that it contains several strong tracks (Love the Way You Lie with Rihanna, W.T.P. and the single Not Afraid, for example).  And I don't understand why critical reaction has been so ho hum about it.  The NY Times wondered (once again) why he is so successful, even as they admire his rapping as "still a wondrous thicket of internal and complex rhymes that come off as feats of athleticism as much as language."

I have long loved his way with words and rhythm -- to me, his music is the reason that rap is known as the "poetry of the streets."  He continues to address issues that are important to him -- his struggles with the creative process, his tortured relationship with his wife, his love for his daughters, and his ambivalence about his fame -- and I think that's fine.  I am a fan who hasn't been dying to see him experiment with new things, I don't need to see his style evolve, and I am not craving his take on different styles and genres.  He is who he is.  Isn't that what we all wanted?

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