288. Eminem – “The Eminem Show”

For some inexplicable reason our Eminem collection does not include his much-lauded sophomore effort (I say “our” as my wife has typically procured our Marshall Mathers’ output). 

So this is the next opus on the start line. In the time since his debut, Eminem had become a superstar, with all the dramas that entails.

It seems to suck being wealthy, famous and controversial.  A big chunk of this album sees Eminem reminding us who he has offended, and been affronted by.

Some of these rants are engaging. Others are completely self-indulgent. I find his domestic dramas (such Cleaning out My Closet) somehow more compelling than his attempts to portray himself as the frontline soldier in some battle against George W.Bush or Tipper Gore (Square Dance or White America).

The distractions of divorce, fans, money, drugs, rivals etc do seem to have stymied Eminem’s creative juices somewhat.  Unlike the debut which was overflowing with bright ideas, and tunes that had me shaking my head in wonder, this album is overly long, with too many half-formed ideas.

The standout Without Me demonstrates what he is capable of when he hits his stride:

It also contains that same riff as the hold music for our local taxi company (13 cabs, round the block, 13 cabs)…

File under: More show than tell


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