On Relapse, Eminem Still Nasty, Still Genius

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2009 1:43 PM CDT
Eminem in 2003.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Eminem’s new album, Relapse, is as crude as you might expect, but his unflinching examination of his drug addiction has floored some critics. Overall, people love it or hate it.

  • "The power of Relapse comes from Em aiming his beat-downs at his truest target, himself," Rob Sheffield writes in Rolling Stone. It's "a more painful, honest and vital record than anyone could have expected at this late date."
  • "For anyone who carried a glimmer of hope that this talented if perverse MC had a great album in him," Greg Kot writes in the Chicago Tribune, "Relapse is a wake-up call."

  • Neil McCormick, writing in the Telegraph, gasps at Em's "verbal dexterity and audacity," and applauds the move to drop "his own often substandard production work to let original musical collaborator Dr. Dre handle backing tracks."
  • Eminem may be a fantastic rapper, Jim DeRogatis writes in the Chicago Sun-Times, but "there's an air of weary resignation in those words and in the rapper's delivery as he returns to venting his frustrations and taking out his boundless anger on any target that's handy: This shtick is well and truly played, and he knows it."