290. Eminem – “Relapse”

Surely no one was surprised when Marshall Mather’s bacchanalian lifestyle got the better of him and he hauled himself off to lengthy rehab.

His battle with sleep medication led to a 4 year gap between recordings.

I can’t help but think the therapists could have phoned in the sessions.  Eminem’s back catalogue had pretty comprehensively catalogued his issues:

– absent father? (check)

– addictive and abusive mother? (check)

– codependent and fragile relationship with mother of his child? (check)

– startlingly low self-confidence? (check)

– poor ‘work environment’? (check)

– battered ego? (check)

This album adds a few more pieces to the puzzle – sexually abusive stepfather and an enabling management.

That’d all be really fascinating if we were psychology students, but it doesn’t make for much entertainment.  Whereas, on previous albums, there had been a balance between the gruesome, the cartoonish violence and misogyny and the jestering, this time round it’s all a bit too self-indulgent and focussed on the trials of addiction.

The skits that usually provided some light are equally dark (although the Steve Berman has a nice Ari Gold angle).  There simply aren’t the big singles that have held the other albums together. And the offensive stuff is simply that, with no redeeming angles.

File under: No claps for this relapse

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