Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Eminem, "Relapse" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) [1 STAR OUT OF 4]

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Nothing in popular culture ages more quickly than carefully calculated outrage.

For the first few years of the new millennium, Eminem undeniably was America's favorite cultural bogeyman--right after Marilyn Manson, and just before Paris Hilton. But the platinum-selling rapper has been hiding out in the Detroit suburbs for nearly five years, which might as well be a century in these hyper-accelerated Twittering times.

"I guess it's time for you to hate me again," the now 36-year-old Marshall Mathers intones in an annoying sing-song midway through "Relapse," his sixth studio album, which arrives in stores on May 19. "Let's begin, now hand me the pen/How should I begin it and where does it all end?/The world is just my medicine ball you're all in."

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. And lest you doubt it, realize that much of the rest of the song "Medicine Ball" is devoted to once again mocking paralyzed "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve--who died in 2004.

The precise moment when Eminem jumped the shark can be debated; I'm torn between whether it was the duet with Elton John at the Grammys telecast in 2001--which followed "The Slim Shady LP" in 1999 and "The Marshall Mathers LP" in 2000, both of which sold 9 million copies--or his starring turn in the 2002 film "8 Mile." But the impulse behind both of those projects was the same.

Eminem made his name and a fortune that bought him a 29-room mansion with an unrelenting spew of venom, hiding behind his alter ego Slim Shady while gleefully celebrating his homophobia and repeatedly fantasizing graphic homicidal violence against his ex-wife Kim Scott (whom he married a second time in January 2006, then divorced again that April). Underneath it all was a sensitive soul with the heart of a true romantic, he claimed: He didn't really hate gays, he jammed with Sir Elton! And he may have dreamed of dismembering Kim and his mother, but it was only because they didn't love him the way that he deserved. Remember those heart-wrenching scenes with Kim Bassinger as his mom in "8 Mile"?

Eminem may have had one of the most agile tongues and unique rhyming styles in the history of hip-hop, but that was only half the reason he had such appeal to the hordes of Generation Y teens trying to buy rebellion on credit at the shopping mall. The rest of it was that he shocked and horrified their parents--the audio equivalent of torture porn--but it was time to find a new monster as soon as he started asking America's soccer moms for a loving hug.

On "Relapse," Eminem spends half of the 20 tracks asking for love, understanding and sympathy for the drug problems that derailed his career. "I fall in bed with a bottle of meds and a Heath Ledger bobble head" he rhymes, proceeding to blame his addiction on his mother in "My Mom." He also tries to justify his feelings about homosexuals by rapping about incestuous pedophilic rape in "Insane," and he wraps it all up with the hoariest cliché in the world, actually asking us to "Walk in my shoes, just to see/What it's like to be me."

For the rest of the lengthy album, the star tries to reclaim his old status as the button-pushing bad boy, tweaking Amy Winehouse and her Kim, hubby Blake Fielder-Civil; making not one but two gratuitous references to Kim Kardashian's assets; confessing that he pleasures himself while watching "Hannah Montana" and imagining the ruthless torture and murder of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears in "Same Song and Dance," a title that provides another hint that he's aware of how tired this routine is.

Mostly crafted by his old mentor and producer, Dr. Dre, the music is just as stale and predictable, full of Dre's overrated bubblegum hooks and cheesy gothic ambience. The one exception is the Middle Eastern flavor of "Bagpipes from Baghdad," but Eminem blows the opportunity to offer a sequel/update to the track that remains his finest moment with more throw-away lines about Mariah Carey.

A fierce diatribe against President Bush floated on the Net not long before the release of his last album "Encore" (2004), "Mosh" for once found Eminem focusing his rage at someone who actually deserved it. "Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us/Mosh pits outside the oval office," he rapped as George W. Bush sent his peers rolling through Iraq in un-armored humvees searching for nonexistent WMD. "No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our own soil/No more psychological warfare, to trick us to thinking that we ain't loyal."

"Mosh" offered a glimpse of what a potent artist Eminem could be if only he abandoned his snotty teenage obsessions. But alas, it remains an oddity in his catalog, rather than the track that points to a worthy second act in a spectacularly lucrative career. And at the end of the day, commerce is what Eminem has always really been about.

In a particularly bone-headed, slavishly worshipful review
, Rolling Stone compares "Relapse" to "a hip-hop version of Richard Pryor's 'Live on the Sunset Strip,' the classic 1982 stand-up flick where Pryor makes the audience squirm through jokes about freebase addiction and setting himself on fire." The only problems with that comparison are that Pryor actually was funny, and that he shared genuinely profound truths with his audience while revealing his inner demons.

That may be Eminem's goal, but he fails miserably.

"Whether I'm someone's favorite rapper or not, whether I'm thought of as one of the best, one of the most half-assed, whatever it is, I am one of the most personal," the rapper contends in The Way I Am, the autobiography he published last October. "That's why people relate to me, because I show so much of myself. That's why random taxi drivers call me 'Marshall.' And the reason I put so much of myself out there in the first place is because I had no idea I was going to be so famous. I had no idea, no f---ing clue. If I had to do it again, I don't know if I would."

Well, that sabbatical was your opportunity to bow out if you really wanted to, Em old pal. Instead, you came back with a hackneyed retread that gives us no better idea of who the "real" Marshall Mathers really is. And I for one don't care to know.

UPDATE: Since this review was posted on the message board of Eminem's Web site, I've heard from many of his fans, and their comments have all been posted below. Many of them share Mr. Mather's, er, adult vocabulary and, um, "edgy" sentiments, so while every effort has been made to truncate offending verbs and adjectives that cannot be printed in the newspaper, these are so plentiful that you read what follows at your own risk. Comments have otherwise not been edited.

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You're a idiot.

Simply put, I disagree. Everyone, us normal people, the listeners, I've spoken to who have heard Relapse consider it a breath of fresh air, not to mention a piece of lyrical genious. The Rolling Stone guy was pretty spot on for the most part. I'd take the worst song on Relapse over "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" or another Flo Rida rip-off song any day, but that's also saying there is a bad song on Relapse. If someone actually LISTENS to the songs on Relapse you'll find there are no two songs alike, there are intracate sub-plots littered throughout, and untold variances in literary devices used. These all paint a picture of a mind being pulled in so many dirrections that Marshal Mathers explores the corners of. He knows when to make an insult, just to get a reaction, and then make you question your verry reaction. This is just the type of depth of work Eminem has not achieved since the Marshal Mathers LP, yes, I said it, the Marshal Mathers LP. Relapse could be his best work. He is an "artist"

Personally, I enjoyed the album because it reminded me of his older stuff, while also being technically more advanced and focused. With that said, I can respect someone not liking.

However; I think you jumped to a lot of conclusions, and let me just quote what you wrote for one second:

"He also tries to justify his feelings about homosexuals by rapping about incestuous pedophilic rape in "Insane," and he wraps it all up with the hoariest cliché in the world, actually asking us to "Walk in my shoes, just to see/What it's like to be me.""

Eminem has said many times that he is no a homophobe and this is one reason he dueted with Elton John -- to prove to the world that what he raps about isn't always how he feels; for shock mostly.

There is no reason to think this song has anything to do with Homophobia.

What's this guy's problem. Eminem's performance with Elton John was great and so was 8 mile. This author is retarded and Em's album Relapse is great!

Lolololol! That's all I can say about this review. Lolol! Gave Green Day 3 stars, and Eminem 1 star. LMAO!!! Dude, really, do you actually listen to music or do you just skim through it?

So, the new Eminem album gets one star but that garbage that Asher Roth released gets three stars?

I honestly cannot take any reviews you write seriously any longer. The vast majority of Relapse is great and, moreover, different from anything else is music, let alone hip-hop, today. However, you gave Asleep In The Bread Aisle a ranking 3x better because, what, his flow is simple and he doesn't offend anyone? I wonder if the two albums were switched if you would be praising Asher for his honesty about his pill addictions (Em does have an entire song about his child finding him passed out from all of the meds) and criticizing Eminem for lines like, "trying to get butt from Miss Muffet" because it was crass and juvenile.

It seems like there is something amiss here...

yo fuk dat little review u gave
dis shyt is 5 out of 5
dis shyt is 10 out of 10
fuk all ya bullshyt
he ripped every flippin tracc
jus remember whose bacc slim shady bxtch
eminem bxtch marshall mathers bxtch
fuk all of dat shyt u givin this shyt brings rap bacc up
aftermath all day
fuk dis newspaper nd da authors
rep dat new york/cali/detroit u bxtches
he's bacccccccccccccccccccc
j^blok bxtch
j^ds bxtch

Fyck off

Mr.Jim DeRogatison

Im a huge Eminem fan, but not a "Stan". I can honestly say your review is the worst article on Relapse I have reas, other than Spins review. Eminem isn't asking for sympathy. He is showing himself to his fans and after 4 years, Im glad he came back with some real stuff. I bet you gave Tha Carter III a 5 star. That was a great album. but Eminem has no songs about Lollipop or any stuff like that, does he? This is a great album, a 4/5 star album. Your review is terrible. Email me if you want to comment on my review of yours. Thank You.

Mr.Jim DeRogatison

Im a huge Eminem fan, but not a "Stan". I can honestly say your review is the worst article on Relapse I have read, other than Spins review. Eminem isn't asking for sympathy. He is showing himself to his fans and after 4 years, Im glad he came back with some real stuff. I bet you gave Tha Carter III a 5 star. That was a great album. but Eminem has no songs about Lollipop or any stuff like that, does he? This is a great album, a 4/5 star album. Your review is terrible. Email me if you want to comment on my review of yours. Thank You.

Finally someone gives an honest review! Everyone around the net has been praising these mediocre songs that sound like leftovers from his "Encore" album back in 2004. I don't quite understand why he constantly uses a (Caribbean?) accent throughout most of the album. I would have liked to hear "Lose Yourself" quality vocals. Dr. Dre's productions on this album are decent but, his sound hasn't progressed much in the last 5 years. The beat for the song "My Mom" was eerily reminiscent of Dr Dre's song "What's The Difference?", which came out in 1999. When compared to T.I.'s "Paper Trail" and Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III", which were the most influential rap albums last year, this album is not even on the same level. It seems as if Dr. Dre and Eminem are in a creative rut. Lastly, "Crack A Bottle" is a travesty compared to what the trio did back in 2004 in "Curtains Down".

This is one the worst reviews I have ever read about an album. This album is excellent and it doesnt sound like you noticed it all because your to busy allready hatting Eminem. I cant believe you actually posted this garbage. The album is very personal and goes into great detail his strugle with his inner demons and drug issues. Sorry he isnt rapping about rim's and hoes. For someone to review an album you should understand the artist's past. You obviosly know nothing about his past other than you hate him. This review isnt worthy of being posted and you shouldnt be allowed to review albums. Funny thing about this is the album is going to be huge and sell millions and Eminem will most likely win a grammy. But none of that matters because you just dont like Eminem so your not willing to actually give the album a fair shake. Great job on the review!

Wow you must be mentally retarded.

Awful review. You're obviously an Eminem "hater," as you have NEVER liked his work. Good job ChicagoSun for hiring a guy to do a completely biased review. Morally/ethically, journalists are supposed to be completely unbiased before giving reviews. You obviously have never liked Em, which delegates this extreme negative review.

Could we please get a review from someone how HASN'T hated Eminem his entire career? Thanks!

On a side note, generally, Eminem fans have wanted him to go back to his controversial style, and are more than satisfied with this album. Mosh is one of his worst songs, and most people agree that Encore was his absolute worst album.

1 star review = OBVIOUS bias from author.

The worst review of Relapse I have ever read. Relapse is not his best album, but actually pretty good. In Beautiful, his inspirational ballad, you realize what this man has really gone through. The fact is, we all really know who the real Marshall Mathers is. He's the guy that overcame adversity in a trailer park in Detroit to become who he is today. He's the man that's sending 200 laid off auto-workers to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel. The only thing the album lacked was a true tribute to Proof. I understand that Eminem tried writing one, but his words couldn't express how close he was to DeShaun. Forget the Chicago-Sun Times. Relapse gets 4.5 stars.

I really disagree with this review. Relapse is a standout abum, that is pushing rhyming and music in general to it's limit. Eminem's rhyming, flow and delivery fits every beat perfectly. Relapse is a great concept album and displays Eminems versatility, crazyness and storytelling. Eminem can go from deep personal songs like De Ja Vu, to crazy childhood songs like Insane, to wilding out club song like Must be the Ganga to a detailed story of a psycho killer in Sam Song and Dance. There is no other album with the varsatility of concepts, stories, rhymes, flows, beats, sounds than an Eminem album. Every songs sounds completely different from each other which just magnifys Eminem's talent and creativity. There is NO doubt Eminem has the best flow and rhymes in rap right now.

Hey Jimbo.. You're a f---ing goon! And Rich, you can eat a d--- as well. I agree that T.I. can put out some influential stuff and has recently, but to say Eminem isn't on the same level. Wow you're as much of a t--- as Jimbo the so called Journalist. That's why nobody likes Journalists cuz you all suck.
Both of you can go f--- eachother.

This review is just dumb. obviously the person who wrote this is just a complete dumb ass. just because your a critic doesn't mean your a different breed apart. That's what critics are, they always have to be the individual in this. The only difference is that this so called "critic" is just too stupid to know what good or bad music is, and somehow everyone likes the new rap music that has no lyrics, just a beat and a hook to the song.

You cannot tell a seminal album when you see one, probably even after all these negative comments on your review. Thats pretty bad for someone who reviews albums, maybe you should try something else?

I am pretty confident that you were dropped on your head as a child.

You have no idea what hip hop or rap is or how to review it. While this isn't the greatest album of all time it's certainly not as poor as you describe it. Personally I would give it a 3/5...but you have no idea what you're talking about.

Go back to and review some lawn chairs or something you hack.

horrrrrrrrrrrrible review. like most of the other posts here i stand by the assumption this author is an eminem hater from the start and is therefor biased when judging the music. this cd is PHENOMENAL, it pushes every boundary & every song hits with some serious power. i dont know how anyone can even give the album a true review, as i have had it for a number of days and cant stop listening to it picking up more and more fabulousness with every listen making my review higher and higher. no one out there can compare to eminem and if u dont get it, u probably dont get music in general.

Hey Jim, You clearly don't know what rap music is if you really gave this bad of a review. I don't know if you had cotton in your ears, if you don't understand english, or if Eminem is simply too deep for you... it really doesn't make sense to write a review this bad. This album is lyrically unbelievable, possibly the greatest lyrical album ever. Sure, he does repeat some same old themes that he likes to touch on, but THAT'S EMINEM you idiot! He's an artist and he's sticking to his same stuff. And you really need to re-think your notion that "Beautful" is not a heartfelt track. Oh, and next time, try to to bash on the Rolling Stone, one of the most respected music reviews in the industry. Just because you are working a newspaper doesn't mean you criticize other people's work. Marshall Mathers is a flipping genius on this album, and you are a flipping idiot with this review. And it looks like everyone agrees with me.

calling rolling stones "boneheaded and slavishly worshipful"? who the hell alludes to another critic's reviews in his or her own critic?

ultra fail.

That review was ridiculously bad. This guy hardly talks about the songs on the album, and it seems that he pretty much hated Eminem before he gave this CD a listen. That, along with the fact that he felt the need to criticize Rolling Stone's article, which was actually much better than his own, makes me disrespect anything he has written or will ever write. Honestly, one of the most bias, unprofessional reviews I have ever read. Ridiculous. Read the Rolling Stone review if you want legit information about this album...

So you hate the album that you downloaded illegally to listen to it ? Congrats on that one. Instead of slandering you left and right which you obviously deserve. I will simply say this. You obviously know absolutely nothing about rap, and it shows by your worthless comments.

Fire this idiot right away.

This is a review? Or personal opinion passed on as a review?? The first 6 paragraphs are wasted dealing with his remarks on celebrities you adore in his previous albums - Slim Shady LP, Marhsall Mathers LP and Encore...Are you reviewing those albums or the current one which is supposed to be reviewed to begin with?

Even then, you criticize MMLP and SSLP! Arguably his greatest albums. The fact that you use a 'review' to hate on his previous albums displays how much you dislike Eminem and that perception is further solidified when you delve on Mariah, Reeves and others in the remaining paragraphs instead on the music.

My review of your 'review': F-------

Jim DeRogatison- Logic Fail. Epic Logic Fail

This is a review? Or personal opinion passed on as a review?? The first 6 paragraphs are wasted dealing with his remarks on celebrities you adore in his previous albums - Slim Shady LP, Marhsall Mathers LP and Encore...Are you reviewing those albums or the current one which is supposed to be reviewed to begin with?

Even then, you criticize MMLP and SSLP! Arguably his greatest albums. The fact that you use a 'review' to hate on his previous albums displays how much you dislike Eminem and that perception is further solidified when you delve on Mariah, Reeves and others in the remaining paragraphs instead on the music.

My review of your 'review': F-------

Jim DeRogatison- Logic Fail. Epic Logic Fail


I can understand why you reviewed it this way, but I disagree. Honestly, I looked down on Biggie's Life After Death initially because it wasn't Ready to Die. Later, I came to appreciate the album as if I hadn't listened to Ready to Die obsessively and without the need to compare it. Relapse, like The Eminem Show and Encore, is proving to only get better with repeat listens. Anyway, if this album was released by someone else it would receive better reviews (probably.) You missed the boat...

hey jim, you obviously can't appreciate a solid ALBUM. This is going to sell copies because it is more than filler and a radio single. Your small mind can't comprehend that there is an element of black comedy to the album, which is why it offends you. You missed the point of why he says things like he does. You also failed to acknowledge the craft of his rhyming. This album is a breakthrough for hip-hop and will take it to a new place. you probably don't like the content because you didn't understand the concept that "Slim Shady" represents the duality in a person. You sir, should re-listen to the album, because you are so obviously out of touch with the ideas of creativity and artistic license, that you can't appreciate the meaning beyond what you saw on the surface. How did you get your job? your opinions about relapse are completely biased and worthless. You are close minded and should look for the next pop single to review so we hear something positive. INTELLECTRICITY at GMAIL dot com

This so called "review" is a disgrace and I'm not even going to waste my time pointing out all the reasons why. If the Chicago Sun-Times wants any credibility they'd take this down ASAP.

To Mr. JimDeRogatis,

With all due respect,
You are f---ing retarded.
It is nice to see so many others people agree with me.


P.S Eat S---

Eminem doesn't rap - he talks in a weird accent over bad beats.
terrible album. accurate review.

You suck, what a horrible review.

Nobody mind this idiot

i understand this isnt on par with his first 2-3 albums, but if asher roth, who actually does border on unlistenable in songs like 'lark on my go kart' (no offense to the 'king of the blumpkins') can get 3 stars, than this is certainly worthy of the same. i was disappointed, but this is undoubtedly a step up from his last album.

When I first heard some of the tracks on from Relapse I was like ...WTF? But then when I heard them in the order (I think) they are suppose to go in and actually listened to the album its probably one of the most unique rap albums to come out in a while. Sonically its great. Em's flow and rhymes and the beats are almost melting with each me its like he is rapping to show off that he can rhyme out of his mind both in the technical sense and in the content sense. It's almost like he's free-styling or just "1st taking" whatever comes show he can.

His mind is all over the place..because he's on drugs.. not literally on the tracks but the theme of the CD is a Relapse.. and its like he's going in and out of characters on the tracks.. Like he at one point he's talking about some personal issues he's coming down from the high.. then goes nuts again on the next track as if he just got his fix again.

The idea of the album is to almost take you on a journey through the mind of a man who is relapsing not only back into drugs but into a mad-man character, and at the same time is fighting to find himself. Starting with 3a.m., leading to stuff like Insane and Same Song and Dance ending off with tracks Dejavu and Beautiful, and finally ending with Underground just to leave you wondering enough about the next part of the tale...

This not an album that will have a lot of radio play type tracks although the beats are nice..but as an entire concept album its pretty good.

wooooooooow terrible review guy should be fired for being an idiot he prolly gave it 1 listen its a concept album and most of the songs are fire, terrible review look at everyone comments fire this guy

What the hell?

This is the first album review i have read of yours and it's trash.

This album keeps hope alive Jimbo and goes deeper into the mind of Em than ever before which is what people wanna hear from this dude. Alot of it is complete bulls--- which is just to shock listeners but never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn.

Em switches his flow on damn near every track, which i was glad about cause his voice and flow on his singles aren't that cool. He spits hard, he flows softly and he raps with that annoying cartoon voice but still it makes the album on a whole more interesting.

The style em spits, the way he can tangle those words in together and the s--- he can come up with is artistic poetry, he has lines which crack me up and then he has lines which make me think. If he wants to blame s--- on his mother thats fine with me, cause the way he delivers that blame to my ears is amazing!

dude you are a joke...
eminem is a lyrical genius
the man speaks the truth and gets deep with his lines..
he's not rapping bout pussy,money,weed like every rapper out there,including the so called best rapper alive(Lil Wayne)...
Dre returns with hot beats on this album..
the more you listen to the album, the more you like it because it starts to grow on you...
even if you have the album, go out and buy it on may 19th..!

This is THE most uneducated review posted on the net BAR-NONE. I have never posted on another site but I give credit where credit is due. Eminem has released ANOTHER CLASSIC - YES, CLASSIC. This album is genius and only people who don't appreciate the artform (*YOU*), will give this album a poor review. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to state my feelings. Sam.

Props to you Jim, for not jumping on the worhsip eminem no matter what bandwagon; and giving an honest opinion. This album is a gigantic flaming pile of horse s--- and I can't believe that someone who once made intelligent, thought provoking songs like Mosh and Stan, is back to making tiresomely shocking material.

This review is garbage.

I really hope no one pays him to write these reviews. Clearly this review is all derrived from his emotion and insecurities, and uses no intelligence or logic. Why dont you put your personal hate and jealously of eminem and LISTEN TO THE MOTHER F***ING ALBUM, you f***ing parasite!!

All credibity is lost when someone says:
"Mostly crafted by his old mentor and producer, Dr. Dre, the music is just as stale and predictable, full of Dre's overrated bubblegum hooks and cheesy gothic ambience. "

Are you serious? Worst review I have ever read. Get a new job.

My lyrical content contains subject matter
That sucks up all these f---ed up young kids
At an alarmin' rate, common denominate
Add it up and you'll see thats why I dominate
I try to stimulate but kids emulate
And mimmick ever move you make
"Slim you're great"
But wait, can't you see im only here to entertain?
I gotta be the one to go against the grain
Cuz man, I see it, feel it, live it
But its inhumane for me to see you be influenced
And pretend you ain't
But they don't understand that i've been through pain
If you get to know me I can be a friend you gain
But you can't just stand there and try to judge
It hurts but your jealousy probably tears you up inside as much
And its such a pleasure every button that I touch
I treasure every glutton that I punish in my lust

But you can't just stand there and try to judge
It hurts but your jealousy probably tears you up inside as much
And its such a pleasure every button that I touch
I treasure every glutton that I punish in my lust
Eminem... Stimulate

I've never read such an ill informed review of any album in my life. You've got to be kidding me. The fact that you could give this album a one star make the rest of your entire article worthless.

In a particularly bone-headed review, Sun Times slams "Relapse".

THANK YOU!! As a fan of Eminem, I am EXTREMELY disappointed in what I have heard so far from his latest venture, Relapse.

I beg to disagree with Brad, among others. UNFORTUNATELY, this is NOT a breath of fresh air! Have you even heard the single, "We Made You"? Not only is this disappointing it is extremely frustrating. I have been literally counting the hours until some new Eminem, as his most recent releases prior to this one were SO excellent and promising. I wanted to scream after hearing "We Made You". Do I not get enough stupid Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, BRET MICHAELS,etc, etc, etc, etc, etc on tv, radio, internet 24/7?? I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT! I could make all the jokes he's cracking to anyone that's around me! And what's more, neither the flow, music, nor the beat make up for the lack of intelligence or creativity behind the lyrics in this song. I could've watched TV for 20 minutes and written a song about some stupid people that already consume my life.

I love Eminem, I just feel after 5 freaking years we deserved better. And Dre, WHERE YOU AT?!

PS KaGe, thank you for the wonderful insight

The thing I find about most negative reviews of Relapse is that you can tell the writers have a huge grudge against Eminem. If you are a rap fan and you actually listen to rap music (which I sincerely doubt this reviewer does) then the honest rating for this album would be 4 stars. Not 1. 1?? That doesn't make any sense. This same person gave Asher Rooth 3 stars. I've listened to Asher's album. How's that better than Relapse? It makes absolutely no sense. It's like Eminem slept with the reviewer's wife and he's pissed off and trying to get his pound of flesh. But it's okay though. The streets have spoken. The unanimous cry about Relapse is that Eminem is back to being Eminem, and Encore was nothing but a bad dream. So I ain't bothered with this review, and neither will Em (I'm sure). I mean, since when does anyone take Chigago Times seriously when it comes to rap???

seriously all comments aside as far as the album goes your review is terrible. you call yourself a professional? i live in chicago and am very embarassed that the chicago sun times has hired someone like you to review an actually very good album. your opinion is def your opinion and if you dont like the album or eminem thats more than fine, but at least show some professionalism and class when writing a review for a publicly know syndication. very sad.

Mr Jim DeRogatis

Your profile says that you cover 'Pop' music. I suggest you stick to that instead of going into a realm of music which you clearly do not understand. Its good to know that most comments in this thread are ones that are open-minded.

Relapse is a great album, I heard the entire thing and it's exactly as I expected. I can't wait to buy it and leave my car parked in front of your office blasting it all day :)

Above is what Jim DeRogatis looks like, surely you must excuse him as he looks like he may have down syndrome. Jim, don't take everything so seriously slugger.

Oh, and Jim.. 8 mile wasn't based off eminem's life although it may have seemed that way.

Seems you know very little?

Good review; nevermind all the comments from the Stans.

This CD is just a collection of Eminem's same old schtick. The wannabe shock lyrics are repetitive and forced, obviously there to bait controversy and attention.

In the past, there were glimpses of what Eminem could be when he expressed true emotion or maturity (like the Deja Vu track). Instead, he returned with an album based mostly on the same homophobic & misogynistic content from 10 years ago, which smells a lot like desperation.

What an appalling and biased piece of journalism!

It always annoys me when someone with an obvious hatred or bias towards a subject gets up on their soapbox and attacks like this.

So you dont like Eminem. Thats cool, theres room for everyone in the world of music. Keep to things you do like.

But leave a little room and respect for those who do like Eminem. And try not to repeat yourself so often, its not good journo practise.

I like Eminem. A lot. And am so pleased he has made a return with such an excellent piece of work as this.

Yes its reminiscent of his earlier tactics and styles. But thats recognisable as his style and we want that. Especially as he has evolved it so well too and it shows maturity and retains a freshness.

So he slags off his mum and ex wife, and a bunch of media targets. This is what we expect from him. Its what eminem does.

I love the thumping bass line, his fast fluid lyrics, the skits.

In short. I love the album.

After reading the review, and having listened to the album I couldn't understand. Then I read the comments. I completely agree - this is a terrible review of the album. You clearly don't understand music. Period

Your a huge idiot.....


I mean, just, WOW.

This album is absolutely awful. I disagree with you, Jim, about when Em jumped the shark -- I think "Lose It" off 8 Mile was spectacular, one of his best singles, and even his later works had some gems such as "Like Toy Soldiers" and "Mockingbird." I think his jump the shark moment, like most other people who do the same, was his feigned "retirement." And this record just proves that, as he seems perpetually stuck in the first half of this decade.

But my gods, the response to your criticism is hilarity bordering on psychopathology. I mean, has there ever been more evidence that Eminem is as much a teen idol as anyone else? This is the kind of response you get from Jonas Brothers fans.

Specifically, I don't know what in the hell some of the folk on here listened to. I think Em has had the potential to make a really cool concept album (maybe something about schizophrenia, in which his personality is divided in a fight between the "real" Marshall Mathers and the fake Slim Shady, or something similarly metafictional), but the idea that this album has any semblance of literary merit is at best disingenuous, at worst ludicrous.

It's the same album he's made before. The songs are the same. The supposed playfulness of the lyrics is formulaic at this point. And this concept I keep seeing referenced... What is it, folks? And how does that concept differ from his past, superior efforts (notably The Marshall Mathers LP)?

Rob, above, is apparently the only one that gets this. Em isn't a true rapper. Those who keep criticizing DeRo for "not knowing" what rap is... well, that may be true, it may not be, but the better question is, do you? When's the last time you spun "White Lines?" Have you even heard of it? Or how 'bout "Zulu Nation Throwdown?" "The Breaks?"

I'm certain some people really do know these records, and still like Eminem. As I said earlier, I like a lot of his stuff, too. But there's something in here about stones and glass houses, and I think a lot of y'all tend to live in 'em.

You have got to be kidding me this review right? like seriouslY? "beautiful" alone is a reason this alumb is far above 1 star. i was shocked by the level he went to in some of his darker songs, even for him "Insane" was really graphic but lyrically, every song was pure genius. this guy raelly should get a new job
Relapse is an instant classic and everyone who downloaded it should buy it anyway
i know im going to.

your review - 0/10
relapse - 10/10

Great review. Spot on. Relapse is embarrassing, tired trash. He's 36 and still singing about his mom? Get a grip. Grow up and lose the serial killer fixation. Same crap he rapped about 10 years ago but worse.

this review is retarded

is this eminems best album? probably not, but it is not his worst.

maybe some of the same old shit, and the accent on some songs is a downer, but the lyrical content of this album is off the charts.

the multis and metaphors are absolutely insane

only a completly idiot who knows nothing about hip hop and hip hop song writing would give this album 1 star.

the pop music reviewer needs to understand hip hop before he reviews it

epic fail for the Chicago Sun Times

So all you guys leaving comments have illegally downloaded the album? Cause it's not out till the 18th/19th at earliest. :)

A fierce diatribe against President Bush floated on the Net not long before the release of his last album "Encore" (2004), "Mosh" for once found Eminem focusing his rage at someone who actually deserved it.

Hey Jim - you really look like you'd understand the first thing about hip hop. No, really.

Take a lesson in reviewing and taste from the real music reviewers at Rolling Stone. You look and sound like you should be reviewing Kenny G. or Michael Bolton's comeback CD's.

Someone get this guy to another desk or out of his reviewer's position, STAT.

ur crazy eminem is tha best

Track 20.


Verse 3.

What other rapper in the game took it to that level in 2008/09

Awful review

In an industry 99% reliant on boasts and autotune its refreshing to hear content and stories in rap music again.

If this was an unknown artists 1st album this would be 5/5 classic material.

You should probably go back to reviewing country albums and leave hip hop materials alone.

I am ashamed as a fellow Chicagoan that the Sun Times chose you as a reviewer. The only person failing miserably is you.


Jim, now that your review has been posted at Eminem's website, brace yourself - Stans are in full attack mode. How dare you point out the obvious flaws in this CD. How can you not see the lyrical genius that is Eminem, even though he's said it all before, more cleverly, 10 years ago?

This swarming pack of stans is further proof that Eminem can put out just about anything, no matter how tired or juvenile, and some fans will eat it up.

Eminem can do better than Relapse, he has a story to tell. There are a couple of worthwile new songs, the rest are an empty bag of pop star disses and rehashed lyrics for shock value.

I myself was hoping he would create a new formula not revisit his the past at all. But it appears that is what he is content in doing unfortunately. He certainly doesn't need the money, so why not take some chances. It has long been my criticism of Jay-Z as well.

Regardless, the album will sell tons and thats what his ultimate goal is.

Too bad he didn't start rapping about serious subjects.

I mean, a guy in his mid-30s all pissed off about Britney Spears is kind of pathetic.

Simply put, you ma'am, are an idiot.

Even before i read the review i knew exactly what you were going to write. Your Eminem hatred is getting old Jim, this album is an instant classic right up there with SS EP and MM LP. That asher roth cd is garbage. There isnt a track on the album I don't like. For those reading this, but havent heard the album yet, listen from start to finish including the intro and skits. You'll soon realize your listening to a movie in your head, one of the dopest rap albums in a long time. 4.5 Stars
King Mathers the greatest rapper alive

I feel like you definitely came into this review with an overwhelming bias. 1/5 stars is completely unjust. Some songs aren't that good, I will definitely admit that, but some are truly amazing. I find this review to be completely unprofessional. You should rethink it or rethink your career, because there is no room for bias in journalism. I'm serious.


this was a terrible and bias review. you just lost a reader because this is crap! your job is to give the reader an honest review and whoever wrote this didn't give it a chance. def should be replaced by someone who is not a bias and someone that knows about hip hop. better yet someone that knows anything about music in general.

I completely disagree with this review and the Spin review. I was pretty upset with the 3 of the 4 Relapse singles (Crack a Bottle, We Made You, Old Times Sake), but the album as a whole is great. The lyrical intricacies of 3AM along with the emotion of Deja Vu and Beautiful really put a spotlight at what we - as fans - enjoy about Eminem.

The plotlines in Eminem's songs aren't to be taken seriously. He took shots at Nick Cannon, Kim Kardashian, etc just to draw press. Its obvious. The song Same Song and Dance takes that to the extreme. People will listen to it for the first time and think "did he really just say that?" and he's the only one who will. I seriously doubt he has legit psychotic fantasies towards pop stars.

In conclusion, Em has taken a similar formula to his old work and expanded it, modernized it. 4 of 5 would be a pretty accurate review for the average rap fan.

Terrible review, very very awful - i cant even be bothered justifying my thoughts on this review i have better things to do but the author of this should be in a different line of work

You look like you should be criticizing polka or something. This album was great. Get your head out of your ass.

This is why I don't read reviews from people like this. I read reviews from normal fans like me. I haven't heard the album yet but I can't wait to buy it.

Dr. Dre's beats stale?! I could write a better review. Just wait for Relapse 2 and Detox!

What a joke this review is....RELAPSE....Hence the name of the Album...SHADY IS BACK nad not trying to be Marshall Mathers...This is the problem with people reviewing things that they clearly don't get.... this shady is as fierce as ever.....and this what it was meant for...even the way the album is sequenced...and yeah Asher Roth....sure if I was sixteen and wanted to get bored by track 8....this review was written b4 he heard the album....rolling stone could'nt have been more on the money....idiot.

Your a f---ing idiot. Eminem raps about his life while every other rapper talks about money, drugs, guns, and bitches. You say he is saying the same s--- over and over again? What about people like 50 cent who says the same stuff on every album. Eminem rips this album it is definetly one of his best of all time. Whoever wrote this review is an idiot and should get fired because he knows nothing about real rap

Hey. This guy (Jim De Rogatis) is - for some parts - right. No question! And it's ok to really criticise the new album. It's nothing new. It could have been better and Eminem could have done something new. But I like this kind of stuff, it's Eminem like he has always been. I like it, I like it, I like it so much!!! And there are great lyrics on it! And what is very important: it's a real concept album and all the songs fit together. And sure: there are songs that aren't so good, but there's no song that's really bad. I didn't like the ENCORE-album, because there are lots of real bad songs on it. So I did not expect anything from the new one! Maybe that's also the cause why I like it so much. Because I didn't expect anything! Not from this ugly Rap Business. RELAPSE is WONDERFUL!!! Just listen to the beginning of INSANE!

F--- YOU!! Whoever is the reviewer knows s--- what rap is bout. Em is f---in' lyrical genius and the Dr. Dre beats are crazy good. OUt of the 15 tracks, 11 are pretty good and 7 of them are without a doubt superior Em songs.

I'm just extremely confused as to why a 50 year old overweight man is in charge of reviewing "pop albums" at a newspaper?

I have heard the whole album at least ten times now, and while its not as a good as his first two, it definitely is better than encore. I'm actually more mad at myself than this old angry man is at Eminem simply because I clicked on this link and read this nonsense.

this review is extremely biased...the critic spends half the time pointing out reasons he didn't like eminem BEFORE relapse. cmon, really? i thought this album was really weak, and i gave it 4/10, but this review is still ridiculously unprofessional.

I completely disagree with this review.
The writer focuses too much on his past songs like "mosh" and his career. A review usually discusses the highlights and lowlights of each song, but this review only mentions about 2 songs. If you're going to show intense hatred for Eminem at least back it up with some concrete evidence.
I mean, yes, I can see how people dislike Eminem.
But you cannot deny his creative lyrics, flow and use of rhetoric.
And the song "Beautiful" should definitely be noted as a masterpiece.

I think the man who reviewed this, Jim DeRogatis, was molested by his step father as a child and the song "insane" made him uncomfortable and brought back bad memories so he took out his frustration by giving a bad review...


"nothing can stop me from molestin u
titty F*ckin u till ur breast nipple flesh tickles my testicles"


I think Benzino wrote this review! worst review ever! Too Much HATE! This album is Classic. Can't stop Listening! Great work of art!

mann you gotta be kiddin, you just hatin, hell if i was famous i'd be wantin to smack these f---s out that imma never see, can't even bring it to your face. lifes pretty f---ed if you ain't noticed, some people would rather f--- people like you up to get the f--- out of this "made so complicated world" then stay here and continue listening to hipocritical f--- like yourself. and s---... take a good listen to Insane, unless you can't get yah motha----in nuts off someone, sucka please you goona get smacked.

To the reviewer,

You are so dumb. Em's lyrics are deep, powerful, and amazing. This CD is amazing. Em is a genious, and a master at what he does. This isn't the best Eminem CD, but it's still the greatest thing 2009 has to offer. I don't like the accent, but I loved the CD. Relapse in stores May 19th!!! Cop it when it drops, people!! Let's make Em go Platinum. Let's show him how many really missed him!!


P.S. Reviewer, if you have a problem with my comment, suck my d---, b---.

Jim DeRogatis sure loves to hog the diss
cuz that's exactly what he'll get with all of this
s---, this f---ed up review will surely get his momma pissed
yes momma, cuz this fag lives in her basement like a sloppy kid
he know s---, an introvert who only sees life so ominous
will this fag eva make it, NO, not on top of this
hate that he's created from REAL reviewers, he should go gobble S---
you wanna know what this fat fag's hobby is?
i'll tell ya, it's masterbatin', only DREAMIN' havin' his c--- in b---
he's neva touched a boob, just look @ him, simply awfulness
stick to your Beatles album not what's hip, lose your cockiness
stop hidin' like Prufrock, talk to REAL PEOPLE, that's so obvious
go f--- yourself, you lil momma's B--- !

Jim DeRogatis covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Pop music please...fat f---

Your review completely overlooks the context and purpose of this album -- the lyrical prowess Eminem consistently brings to the table is genius.

You suck.

You, sir, are a dumbass.

Okay, obviously the reviewer is doing exactly what he accuses Em of doing -- generating shock value. Only in this instance, it's the absurdity in the review itself which could be considered "shocking."

I'm always a bit skeptical in regards to reviews that carefully "pick" and "choose" what pieces of the artist's work they comment on, especially if it appears they have an agenda. In this case, it's a misplaced hatred for Eminem - probably because such blatant hatred for an album of this magnitude would naturally generate controversy, bringing in more readers.

The sad thing is, Relapse is going to be compared with Em's previous albums, despite the fact "Relapse" is a different kind of animal. Yes, you can hear remnants of the old Slim Shady, but honestly, he's gone through a completely different phase in his life, and this album reflects that.

I will agree that the whole "middle-eastern accent" thing is a bit annoying (as well a few of the more "poppy" tracks), and the album would be better off without it. However, amidst all the twisted themes and gratuitous violence, Em really reveals a lot about himself in this album (as well as the nature of addiction) - whether intentionally or not.

I still consider the Marshall Mathers LP to be one of my favorite Em albums (and albums period), but Relapse definitely breaks new ground.

BTW, I think the Rolling Stone review was WAAYY more accurate and honest than this one.

please, for the sake of us all.. take this review off of your site.. and fire this man... please.

Everything Eminem talks about is what normal white kids joke about thats what the f---ing media doesnt get. We all arent on the edge of our seats watching american idol. Whats the difference between eminem rapping nasty s--- compared to plies rapping about banging bitches every song?

from what i've seen, the reviews of Relapse are on the extreme ends. Either praised or totally loathed. This is without a doubt due to the fact that his content is controversial, as he raps about sluts, stalking victims, murdering family members and incest. But lyrically speaking and the beats by Dr. Dre are incredible. IF you can see past this theme if you will of Em, then you'll love his music. He is a genius at work again after a 5 year hiatus.

Worst review ever!

Wow... I've read a lot of bad reviews in my time and this one takes the cake. I am a proud metal head that hardly has any rap in his iTunes playlist, but I actually think Relapse isn't half bad.

This is probably the worst interview I have ever read. You hardly spoke about the album itself, you merely used this review to take personal attacks at Eminem which in my opinion shouldn't be overdone in a review.

The production work on this album is phenomenal. Have you actually listened to this album all the way through? The beats and production quality is higher than any hip hop album produced in the last 5 years.

Eminem maybe getting older, but he's still got it, he's back in my opinion. Let's hope he doesn't blow it.

Stick to reviewing the music you like, pop music. Why is someone reviewing a hip hop album when your bio to the right of this page says this: Jim DeRogatis covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times.

You, sir, fail.

same kickin and screamin same cryin and sobbin

from this queer

WOW! What a terrible review. This is possibly his best stuff. I think you've been popping pills yourself. Something is seriously wrong with you if you think this album is anything less than 4/5... at least. You're probably just an old man who hates rap in general, nevermind Eminem.

I am very confused by this review. It seems that the author's interest is to criticize the performer, Eminem, rather than review the album, which the writer is (supposedly) paid for. Out of the total review, only six paragraphs are dedicated to the album out of 13! That's not even half. Even for those few words, much of the review is based on quotes picked mostly out of contest, which often do not reflect the actual contents and themes of the quoted songs.

"He also tries to justify his feelings about homosexuals by rapping about incestuous pedophilic rape in "Insane,". Another beautiful assumption by the author. Does he explain why is this so? Of course not. We just have to take the author words for granted and not expect that he backs it up with a worthy rationale. The author then, of course, fails to even understand the meaning for certain songs. "Same Song & Dance" isn't about torturing and killing famous people, as he likes to think. It's a personification of the idea of drug abuse and addiction, a narration of how they slowly take over one's lives and weaken us to the point that it torture us, "rape" us and sometimes kills us, but yet we need it for comfort and rely on it. Hence he uses famous people that have had drug-related issues in their lives. I'm also stunned at how the author could dismiss such a heartfelt and honest song like "Beautiful" to a meaningless and almost deceitful cliché, or how he equally dismisses the entire production of the album in one single line. Absurd!

The review then reaches the low-peak when it completely stops reviewing the album half-way through the article and whine about irrelevant and unrelated topics. An album review that criticizes another album review? Seriously? And if Rolling Stone really wrote a "bone-headed, slavishly worshipful review", then what is this? An utter rant? Whether you agree with their review or not, I can easily say that at least Rolling Stone actually published an article that comments on the quality of the album. Guess what, Mr. author...that's what a review is suppose to be!

And to end, in grand finale style...
"Well, that sabbatical was your opportunity to bow out if you really wanted to, Em old pal. Instead, you came back with a hackneyed retread that gives us no better idea of who the "real" Marshall Mathers really is. And I for one don't care to know."
If you didn't care about the music in the first place, then why would you review it in the first place? Are you the only person working for the Chigaco Sun-Times? Next time, try to pass the CD to the next writer.

This review is stupid. Totally uneducated, bias, and provocative. The album is far from 1 out of 4 stars, how you rate Green days latest effort 4 out of 5, then slam this record, proves your a retard on wheels.
Seriously the guy who wrote this is D U M B A S S.

Couldn't agree more. 5 star review....

honestly, a poor review, a part of me thought this album would be supernaturally good. On first listening i was disappointed, but the more i listen ( important it is in order!) the more the songs i didn't like grow on me, and whilst "beautiful" was a great song at first, i would argue deja vue is better.

A very good album, at least as good as any of his previous work, although maybe missing an excellent song ( i suppose some would argue "beautiful"),
for me its 4/5

jim, listen to the album a few more times.

Eagerly awaiting Relapse 2 ( do you think its going 2 b an extension of Relapse, or more Marshall Mathers?)

Hello everyone,

I think most of the "stans" on here are stupid and in full swing.

I do know hip hop. I have been involved with hip hop for 30+ years. I was there for the bridge wars. I saw LOTNS and the Wu play some of their first shows. Most "stans" were in their early teens when the first heard of eminem. They missed a great era of hip hop and think they can tell others what to think? Stupid. The golden era of rap is about 1985 to 1993/94. Most hip hop heads will tell you that the artform went down sharply in 96 and so on.

Eminem is the modern day sellout. What is a sellout? Well, let me educate you young kids on the subject. A sellout is someone who pretends to do and be someone they are not, in order to get some reward, cash, etc... Basically, people hated Vanilla ice, because he claimed to be from a rough neighborhood and had a street life. All of which was bs. People hated milli vanilli for lip synching. People hated mc hammer for being someone he was not for some checks.

Eminem is the same ilk of sellout, only he is much worse. Like artists that sing about bling bling, bitches, cars and hoes... he has a gimmick. It is murder, rape and shock value. All of which he has never experienced or done. Sellout? I think so. He does it all for entertainment purposes, but really we know he is about the cash.

He is also childish!

Look at it like this: Eminem is still blaming his mom for his drug habits on the Relapse album. Think about that? Do you know why he has many young fans? Because, he himself never really grew up.

Another myth is that Eminem is univerally loved by all hip hop fans. This is simply untrue. Most of us, who ACTUALLY grew up and lived in NYC where hip hop started hate is bs, but give him props for his skill level.

He also got a lot of his style from Pace Won. Who he later dissed in his dream to be the cash king.

Lastly, Eminem is a sad fellow. He doesn't like himself. It comes across clearly on his albums.

Relapse is more of the same in his sellout manifesto. Only this time, its not very funny. It's quite sad...

hey.. if you want a REAL review of the CD go here... ITS AMAZING the review ANALYZES EVERY SONG and you can see how hes connected with the illuminati, and knows about the NEW WORLD ORDER.. no joke.. watch the videos at the bottom of the article, they PROOOVE that illuminati is pulling the strings of all media etc

Are you kidding me ?! 1 star ?!! who post that s... I can't belive this EPIC review really!!

I find it humourous that this review is very much like Eminem in delivering shock value and receiving a large reaction while boasting the reviewers ego. Kudos.

omg idiot ..... thats all
this album rocks

Jim DeRogatis, please...

A good policeman also arrests his friends or family members, it might seems awkward but it is part of him being a professional.

But your hate against Eminem, partly based on jealousy (sentences as "Eminem made his name and a fortune that bought him a 29-room mansion with an unrelenting spew of venom" clearly indicate this) show that you are not worth being called a professional, just a clown with personal problems.

This article is offensive to me, to the internationally recognized PROFESSIONAL magazines (read: reviewers) and to hip-hop in general. Thank you!

If you love the art of being a journalist/professional reviewer, for the sake of it, quit your damn job today!

This is Eminems best material on an album since 2002 ... N' these are Dr. Dre's best beats since 2005s Game Documentary.

People love to give reviews like this for attention.

I would get into detail about how this album is really good. I would give it about 3.5-4 stars maybe ... Better then any other rap album right now, so be happy. You putting EMINEM on soulja boys level of ONE STAR is ridiculous.

I will buy the album; F--- this guy ... Mostly everybody enjoys this album unlike Encore.

Boy, because you didn't like this album people are calling it a bad review, but hardly anyone is saying what they like about the album. Jim you stirred the pot on these Slim Shady people. They are so duped by there hero that they can't see the album is more of the same, and they are so blind that they did not read how much you liked Mosh. By the way his name is Jim Derogatis, not Derogatison.

Suntimes sucks if people like this review music. Called in today and unsubscribed

this review is epic fail
the guy who reviewed this should be shot

i love how people complain it being more of the same content...


wat do u want eminem to do? start making political songs all the time like "mosh"? I for one don't look to marshall mathers, an admitted drug addict, for political advice. and anyone hu does is a complete moron. i turn to him for entertainment, THAT IS HIS JOB...and he does it everytime hes on the mic

the theme of his lyrical content may remain the same, but so is every other rap artist dummys...2pac had the same ish all the time too...but both 2pac n em have a way of saying similar things but in completely different ways with completely different flows on each beat...thats wat defines an artist

maybe this guy woulda been more happy with the same lil wayne, kanye west auto-tune garbage that has takin over hip hop

props to em for actually doing something that sounds different than any other rapper...great artists are easily identifiable in their music. as soon as u hear the track you kno its an eminem song. because he is instantly recognizable...the way all great musicians are. ray charles, bob dylan, u name it. every artist has their own style and props to em for sticking to being himself instead of pulling a kanye west and making a completely different genre of music

stupid stupid stupid stupid....

every song em has released from this album has done well on the charts. the highest one being ranked at 32. that's at least 4 songs that have been in the top 50 on the billboard hot 100. two of which were on the top 10 and one that reached any1 hu says eminem is no longer relavent needs to get their facts straight...his singles have never performed this well all around in his whole career...and "beautiful" just got released. i smell another top 10 with that one

hes on fire! gonna go platinum in the first week!


read the review above..some truth there

Wow I've never seen a reviewer entirely miss the point of an album...


Both Rolling Stone and EW Weekly gave Relapse Incredible Reviews. Which one should I trust? Those publications or this guy? Tough choice!! LOL :)

@ The Microphone Fiend:

Dude, bless you. Great points made one-and-all. I disagree that hip hop went downhill after 93/94, mainly because the end of the Golden Age led to some back-to-basics, organic stuff like the Roots, Lupe, Common (who only released one record pre-'94), Saul Williams, etc. But you're right on the money that a lot of people my age (mid-20s) have no appreciation for -- and worse, no idea of -- what came before.

To all the little Jonas Brothers-style Em fans commenting here: Get over yourselves! It's fine to disagree with DeRogatis on here, andi it's fine to criticize him, but you're acting like a bunch of pansies just because he didn't like your favorite artist's record. What do you think criticism is supposed to be? I like to debate with people who dislike the things I like, but y'all are just throwing insults at the reviewer because he offended your tender sensibilities. Grow the hell up!

If you want to look for feel-good stories stroking Eminem's ego and genius, go read that Rolling Stone review or the countless other schlocky magazines who'll make the claim that Em is the greatest rapper in history, an incredibly important artiste, etc., etc., ad nauseum. If you don't like your idols being criticized, don't read the criticism. But for me, this review is right on the money: An overhyped, underwhelming record that simply rehashes, in an even more bone-headed and clumsy way, the same themes Em has always gone on about, while showing no evolution as an artist whatsoever.

Why didn't they just get Bill O'reilly to do this review!!? lol

you didnt really review the album at all you just compared it to the old ones and said you dont like eminem

Why don't they have someone in the Album's audience range review the album... not some britney spears lover.

God...I'm gonna have to agree with the people saying that this review is absolutely dreadful. Did this album deserve one star? If you have any idea what you're talking about, then no. Jim DeRogatis reviews "pop music" for the Sun Times. Relapse is NOT a pop album. There is no sign of the Auto-tune vocals, materialism, or misogyny (discounting rape/murder fantasies) that plague modern hip-"pop". I will admit Eminem was the first rapper I listened to, but that's not to say I don't know what rap is. I listen to plenty of Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, Nas, etc. Eminem isn't even my favorite rapper. At the risk of losing my "street cred", that honor would go to Mike Shinoda. And Lupe Fiasco.

Anyway, Relapse is not Eminem's greatest work. It's hardly original; I can find parallels between these songs and his previous ones. He's still using shock value as a crutch. But even so, at least it's better than Encore and arguably, The Eminem Show. Now, I love "Mosh" as much as the next person. But Eminem is not Public Enemy; politics is not Em's strong suit. Most of that song was just random bitching about Bush's policies and offered nothing that hasn't been said before.

Y'know, I will give this album 4/5. But that's not saying it's a classic or perfect like so many of you Relapse-bashers seem to think. There are weak points in this album, mainly the petty disses towards various pop culture icons that go straight over my head because unlike most people, I don't watch MTV, VH1, or any other Viacom-owned channel that's even tangibly related to music or pop culture.

"Eminem made his name and a fortune that bought him a 29-room mansion with an unrelenting spew of venom, hiding behind his alter ego Slim Shady while gleefully celebrating his homophobia and repeatedly fantasizing graphic homicidal violence against his ex-wife Kim Scott" Is it just me or does this whole paragraph seem like a personal attack on Eminem and have nothing to do with the lyrical content of the album itself?

The author of this review, after creating a piece of writing that feels wildly out of touch with any audience that would potentially be considering purchasing this album, could at least spare us the condescending strawman-addendum on the message board comments.

First, the review- The author spends about as much time whining over his perception of the failings of pop culture as he does the album. DeRogatis comes across like a ranting old man angry at "the state of teenagers today" rather than a music fan offering his critical opinion of a new record. He compares Eminem to Marilyn Manson and patronizes him for the one school-acceptance track that deals with a serious, grown up issue like politics, rather than a trivial and heinously inappropriate issue like drug addiction. To his credit, the reviewer begrudgingly accepts Eminem's capacity as a rapper, but manages, in the same sentence, to cite parental rebellion as the real reason that people buy his CD's. In a nutshell, DeRogatis is not a credible author in this review; he not only states that Eminem has been a has-been since 2002, but does so in a sly manner that attempts to get the reader to go along with his assumption. He doesn't state that HE personally thinks Eminem "jumped the shark" at a particular point, but rather writers that "it can be debated" at what point this occurred. If Mr. DeRogatis is so sure about Eminem that he makes the over-reaching assumption that 8-Mile was universally disliked, why, then, is Mr. DeRogatis charged with writing a review of Eminem's new album? Why would someone who bears a clear distaste, not only for the artist, but for the entire cultural milieu that surrounds the artist, be reviewing his record?

Secondly, the update: Why is there a disclaimer here for negative comments of DeRogatis's review? Why does he feel the need to insult the people posting on his message board? This reviewer is a professional writer publishing in a semi-nationally read newspaper. To insult people posting on a message board is not unprofessional, it is also disrespectful and indicitive of the review's inability to stand up to closer examination. Does he really need to bias his audience against internet comments? "Oh, don't listen to these idiots, they don't write in standard English or they misspelled a word- they're just uneducated trash. I'm the authority here." His comment is more in line with the attitude of the teenagers he seems to abhor so deeply.

Poor review through and through.

I'm not going to say that I'm a huge fan of Eminem, but this review is ridiculous. Relapse is a great, albeit difficult, album which will stand alongside The Marshall Mathers LP as one of the greatest rap albums of all time.

I can understand admitting that it doesn't appeal to your lillywhite, overly suburban demographic, but slamming the album without justification other than "It fails to achieve what it intends" is ridiculous. Learn to critique things properly, Mr. Brent DiCrescenzo II.

This is a terrible review lol. I've been looking around and this guy seems to be the only one giving relapse a bad review.

Rolling Stone 4/5
this review is kinda F=ed Up

This is the same guy who gave Asher Roth a 3 out of 4, yet gives Em' a one? He must have a personal vendetta against him and there's no room for that if you consider yourself a professional critic.

It's ok not to like an album, but this review is just garbage. It seems like the author had made up his mind about eminem a long time ago. For me, this is one of Em's best album to date, a lot better then Encore, an album i didn't enjoy all that much. I think Chicago Sun should have given a biast journalist the chance to review this album, because this is horrible. Just horrible.

I completely disagree with this review. Granted, 'Relapse' isn't a classic by any means, but it is a great album. It has an interesting concept, one that deals with his drug addiction over the last few years. As someone said before me, 'Relapse' is a breathe of fresh air in a genre that is ultimately dying out due to rappers like Soulja Boy and Lil Wayne. Eminem's lyrics are undoubtedly clever, and it's amazing how consistent he was with his multi-syllabic rhyme scheme through the entire album. The delivery is incredible. I would have liked to see more songs like 'Beautiful', but fans were asking for the old Slim Shady and that's what he gives us. The Rolling Stones review for the album was spot on. It deserves a 4/5 in my book.

are you f---ing retarded :S please... fire jim.

Yo Yo,

Word up son. Relapse is some straight bullsh**.

Lyricism without a clear point is like a car without oil. Useless, it just looks good.

Instead of wasting your money on an album like Relapse. Buy, Q-tips Rennasiance. A far better album. Better delivery, feel and it actually isn't insulting to my intellectual capacity.

As someone mentioned, Eminem is a SELLOUT! Word Word

He never lived half the shit he talks about doing. Its all about shock value. He used to be funny. Now, he is just plain annoying.


This album, though a little better than 1 star was still very horrible. Thank you for writing such a honest review and not jumping on the Bulls*it ship like everyone else. Em could have done SO much better.

this, from the same guy who said Asher Roth is a bigger name than Busta Rhymes! hahahahaha

lets see your list of greatest rap albums Mr. DeROGATIS...

The Chicago Sun Times needs to get someone unbiased, with a knowledge of the genre to critique...

You gotta be kidding us?

Relapse is after MMLP the best Album Em ever made.
His flow, his lyrics are just so incredibly amazing
how can you rate it with the worse? I really dont get
it unless you dont know anything about Hip-Hop.

1 star? 1 STAR?!?! I completely disagree with with Mr.DeRogatis who, as the person before me said, knows NOTHING about Hip Hop as he is POP REVIEWER for the Chicago Sun-Times (it says right at the top). DeRogatis must have only heard the SINGLES that were released long before the album (Crack a Bottle?) he cant tell you that listening to "Underground", "Beautiful", "My Mom", "Deja Vu" and "Insane" doesnt take you back to the days of MMLP. Even 3AM is a good song. This guy has no clue whatsoever.



what a shock, Jim doesn't like the cd.

Dear Mr. Jim Derogatis,

I am by no means an obsessed fan of Eminem, or a 'Stan' as some people say, but I liked the album, though I was still a tad disappointed with it. The album could have been much better. He should'nt have used that annoying accent; he shouldn't have used that awkward sing-songy voice, he should've stopped talking about the same stuff again because he should've realized that stuff is getting tiresome.

Sure, there are many flaws in the album, given our expectations which have grown tenfold in the past few weeks. But you know what? An album like 'Relapse' is a breath of fresh air in an era where mainstream music is just F---ED UP, to say the least. And that's saying something, especially from a 17 year old male like me who stereotypically should be hooked on Lil Wayne or T.I. or any other f---ed up artist who has nothing better to talk about than going to the clubs, knocking up girls with the best physical assets, and sporting bling expensive enough to fund a child's college education.

No matter how honest you may be, a 1 star rating for an album that actually sticks to the primary elements of hip hop is just unjust. Lyrically, the album is just dope. The beats, I admit, should've been more refined, since they were produced by Dre. But they were not bad. Certainly not bad enough to accuse one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time of bringing out 'overrated bubblegum hooks and cheesy gothic ambience'. He is certainly not overrated, and he didn't become what he is now for no reason at all.

This may not be his best album. Granted, this doesn't even come on the same level as the Slim Shady LP or the Marshall Mathers LP. But definitely, this has got to be one the best albums hip hop has offered in recent times, and given the current situation, it will be for a long,long time. A 3.5 rating would have been reasonable.

It's highly improbable that you would read this, but it's highly improbable too that anyone else around here would appreciate your harshness. I'm sure 99.9% of the people who come here, Stans or not, will agree with what I had said. Reading your article, I fully understand why Lil' Wayne and Soulja Boy are reigning the U.S. charts, while real artists/bands like The Roots, Rakim and KRS One are never even noticed. Good luck dealing with all the Stans and people-who-may-slightly-agree-but-condemn-your-nazi-like-attitude-towards-Eminem.

Yours sincerely,
A Teen Who Actually Appreciates Real Music

Both the Sun-Times and Tribune need to fire their music "critics".

Enough said.

if you get your hip-hop reviews from Jim... you probably weren't going to ride that sh*t anyways... my suggestion, if you are looking for a QUALITY review, go somewhere else.

"And I for one don't care to know" Thats why this review sucks, you dont care about the music and what is being said on this album. You probably hate rap altogether. This is a bias review of a very good album. Next time your boss wants you to critic something you already plan to give a bad review without listening, just say no.

I mean why stop there Jim, try to give it a zero if you can. Get the f*** outta here, dont review an album if you don't know anything about lyricism or hip hop. Dr. Dre's production "stale" I mean is that a joke. And another thing, references and disses on pop stars provide entertainment value to me, and its entertainment that i want when im gonna spend my 13 dollars on a cd

This is the least intelligent review and least accurate interpretation of Eminem I've ever read. Give the album a few more listens. Listen to the rhymes. To the flow, the syntax, etc.

This is why Eminem will always make millions--millions given to him by fans who understand what rap is--and why you, Jim, will work for the Sun Times, and buy discount soup. You are a f---ng idiot.

Im not an eminem fan, but i bought the album cause i was curious, and I must say, this review is crap and unfair... it might not be Em's best album, but its not what this review says it is, there are good tracks, I specially liked "beautiful", just beacuse eminem is not talking about rims, hoes and spending doesnt mean its bad.

I think a lot of people are used to the "hoe bling rap", and when they hear something different, they criticize, and please stop saying crap about dre's beat, the beats are great, you should also give props, and constructive critics...i give a 3,5/5 for my first 3 llisten, probably after some days i'll give a btter mark...

and for that dude up there "The Microphone Fiend on" that said hip hop went down in 96, I desagree, you probably used to old school hiphop, cause you from that time and those tracks talkeed about your problems, but doesnt mean we younger people are unanimous on this!! there were a lot of great/classics albums after 96, a lot, i can name a few... "Jay-z Black Album, Kanye west's first 3 albums, ti's album, ludacris' albums, Nas etc..." they classics to us younger people because they relate to us, old school stuff might be good but it wasnt the best time in hip hop, for me... so i think hip hop went down a few years ago maybe 2004 around there...

But hip hop will be back on top... its just a phase!!!

Jim,Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting into print what I have been saying about Eminem sincehis second album! The only track I mildly like by him is "Stan" and that's because of the Dido sample, ha.But really, has there ever been a whinier superstar? Sheesh.

But to enlighten you, the moment he truly jumped the shark...the Triumph the Insult Comic Dogmoment. At some awards show, Triumph, a dog puppet (voiced by the rather fearlessRobert Smigel) from Conan O' Brien's show, was thereto playfully taunt some of the audience members. Many just simply giggled as Triumph poked funat them. But not our boy Eminem. He and his angry entourage almost tackled the offending puppetand Eminem said in his deepest macho voice, "Yo, I didn't sign up for this."


So a sneering manchild who makes his living making fun of other performers can't take a littleribbing? That's when I said this rap emperor has no clothes.

Your review almost made me forgive you for your recent Andrew Bird slams. Almost.

Thanks and have a good one,Brian in Chicago

Jim - extremely on point with the album review.

I was waiting for this record to save "hip-hop" and - f--- it -
current music in general.

Instead..........cliches, formulaic beats+rhymes, (with only very few flashes of brilliance), and more woe-is-me bull---t.

Yet another disappointment from one of my pop heroes (and I can go
back since the late seventies). I pray to ever loving God that
'Detox' lives up to it's hype. Or instead, I should just keep
'Encore' and 'The Chronic' on repeat.

No wonder Em and Dre are releasing 'Relapse 2' to compensate for this first cluster---k of a record.

P.S.- RS's 'Live on the Sunset Strip' analogy is absolute blasphemy. Like s---ting on the crucifix.

nice thumbnail picture you water-head retard. who in their right mind would let you write album reviews? relapse is nothing short of a masterpiece and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot and knows nothing about rap music. it is apparent that you have no sense of humor whatsoever. why someone with no sense of humor would listen to an eminem album is beyond me. this is by far the worst album review i've ever read. seriously dude, kill yourself

This reviewer is honest, concise, and on. Eminem's music quality is NOT what it once was, despite him being a "real artist." Perhaps all of you people whining in the comments should wait until the actual release date, and then promptly read the rest of the reviews.

I heard Eminem speak at the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony. He kept saying "two turntables and a microphone" when referencing Run-DMC. I'm pretty sure it should have been "one turntable and two microphones." If music is his therapy, he'll be rapping about his mom until he's 60. That's not fresh and it deserves one star. He can't even correctly honor his idols, Run-DMC, and it seems he's in a creative rut with RELAPSE. It happens.

the album is FANTASTIC! stop hating! possibly one of his best yet!

Considering the fact that most of Eminem's fans are trendy "ice ice" baby boys, I'm not really taking most of these comments seriously.

Anyone who uses "retarded" and "gay" when actually giving an opinion can be written off as a 12-year-old dunce who's probably still sucking on momma's titty.

I agree with the review. E is relying on his fame now. He should be pushing further. THAT is the price of success in this business: striving to climb up instead of flatlining with a bunch of dimestore rap-rhet.

I am inclined to half-agree with the review, as a long-time fan of Eminem's work. He has almost definitely jumped the shark, but I believe the beginning of his long recess was the "jump" itself. He's lost what made his rap special. I enjoyed EVERY track I'd heard of his before Relapse.

This CD simply isn't up to snuff. He set the bar for himself entirely too high with everything else he's released and couldn't reach the level of depth and quality he's achieved in the past.

To the critic:

Check out the new VIBE magazine with Em on the cover. I think maybe if you read that, you might understand the album more.

And how did you review this album anyway since it's not released yet? My guess is you illegally downloaded from the internet. You're an idiot.

That review is bias; in the review it clearly says Jim DeRogatis covers POP music for the Chicago Sun-Times, why is that fat piece of s*** reviewing a RAP album. I'm sure Rolling Stone is a much more reliable source. Why don't you take your fat ass and review Britney Spears, and Lady GaGa...

Eminem at least deserves three stars to begin with for the quality of his lyrics. You discount his album on grounds of personal dislike more so then the merits of the album. To so easily discount the album is like discounting Shakespeare because he alluded to porn (Sonnet 151).

You, sir, are an idiot, not a critic.

You hoped for shock value, and you got it.



Well, guess what, Derogantis, I didn't even know that Em has a website, and I'm not a fan of Em, yet I found your review, and let me tell you, it sucks! You are not being objective.

How can you critique someone's album on the grounds of your personal dislike (which is so obvious in your review) but not on the album itself?

I wholeheartedly disagree with your review of Relapse, one of the worst
written reviews I have ever read. You do not even analyze the album, but
Eminem as a person.

First of all, apparently you cover "pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times."
Just with that said, you probably have no authority to critique any hip hop
or rap album, as chances are you do not understand hip hop poetry or rap
as a connoisseur of the art would. Eminem, while mainstream, does not
produce "pop" music. A few of his hit singles are made for the masses, I
admit, but the majority of Relapse is filled with Eminem's trademark genius
in lyricism, rhyming, wordplay, etc. with which one must be familiar before
providing his or her opinion of it.

Just a few problems with your writing in your review:
If the times are "hyper-accelerated Twittering times", then time would seem
to pass more quickly, so five years would seem like less than five years.
You're logic is flawed.

A "bogeyman" is an evil character who frightens children - I think "object
of media's negative attention based on controversy" is more appropriate.

To "intone" means to recite or chant in a monotone - Eminem's rapping
delivery, especially in the hook of "Medicine Ball", is by no means

The "shtick is well and truly played": you have said nothing in that
statement besides praising Eminem's use of venting his anger. I think you
mean "this method has been overused by the rapper". Furthermore, the
greatest poets, songwriters, artists, etc. have all repeated such tactics
and themes countless more times than Eminem has; yet they receive no
criticism. Why? Because according to those who do not dare to criticize
them, they do it with variety. Eminem's lyricism and rapping ability are so
versatile, varied, and creative that he can get away with such antics. In
fact, he does not even repeat such themes as much as many metal bands might
discuss death or poets might describe love with respect to nature (sorry for
the stereotypes, but my point stands: other artists/poets are not criticized
even though they repeat lyrical content way more than Eminem does). It
seems absurd that Eminem is even being questioned about repeating his themes
and lyrical content.

Eminem never "gleefully celebrated his homophobia" - he has repeatedly said
he is not a homophobic, and he has stated recently that during his hiatus
since 2004, he has been talking with Elton John several times per week with
help for his drug addiction problem. His performance with John in 2001 was
not just a stunt.
Also, most people in society have such thoughts as Eminem presents in his
lyrics, such as murdering somebody or hating someone to the point of cursing
them and fantasizing about them dying. However, most recognize such
thoughts as very negative and dismiss them, pretending that they do not have
them, because by doing so they feel more "pure." Eminem recognizes that he
doesn't care, and that as long as he doesn't actually act in the way he
describes in his songs, he has a right to express his thoughts and
feelings. That's right, they are thoughts and feelings of another human
being, not an atomic bomb.

How does Eminem "fail miserably" at revealing truths? You can't deny that
what he says in his songs is true (unless it is one of his storytelling
songs) and that he does it with amazing lyricism. You yourself admit that
he has "most agile tongues and unique rhyming styles in the history of
hip-hop," and isn't that the point of rap? To have an agile tongue and
creative rhyming? Along with wordplay, "flow" (delivery and musical
aesthetics of the spoken word over a beat), etc.? Relapse by no means lacks
in those areas, which is why it is a great album. If content is the one
aspect that critics have to tear apart an album, then go destroy ancient
Latin love poetry by Catullus, or some of the gothic horror of Edgar Allan
Poe, or some rock band's album that is about sex. The latter would receive
praise because of the MUSIC, not the lyrical CONTENT. Same way, Eminem's
album, or any rap album for that matter, must be praised solely on
production, lyricism, and delivery.

You inherently hate Eminem, and your review of Relapse is based on that
hate. Don't deny it. Read some of those comments (the intelligent ones at
least) and take them to heart. The only one of the comments that agrees
with you cites "Tha Carter III" and "Paper Trail" as influential albums
better than Relapse, but anyone with half a brain knows that influential by
no means suggests talent or greatness (e.g 2Pac was influential. The
underground emcee Donny Goines is twice as good.)

By the way, I am not a regular teenager who acts like a rebel and loves rap,
does drugs, has sex or gets bad grades in school. In fact, I am a
straight-A student who attends TJHSST, the #1 public high school in America
as rated by US News/World Report.

Thank you.
Vivaek Mithron Shivakumar

Just to keep it short, I don't have much time, and i'm sure you don't. Don't bother reviewing a rap album again, you are one of the many older people that just hate on rap music, and will never understand what a rapper like Eminem is saying. The fact that you think "My Mom" and "Insane" were actually supposed to be real makes you retarded, that is him rapping in his alter-ego, "Slim Shady" If you listen to the rest of his album, it talks CLEARLY (if you listen) about his drug problem, and how it affects him each and every day and how difficult it is for him to muster the strength to not go back to his old self. You should just go back and listen with open ears, and probably not try to down Dr.Dre, the second greatest rap producer behind the great DJ Premier.

Good Luck trying to review more rap albums.

Great article.

Couldn't have wrote in better myself.

Good morning,

I just read your article in the Sunday paper. I realize your job is to critique up coming new releases and are entitled to your opinion, I must say your missing it on this one. People buy Eminen's music for the very reason that you say it's " tired and played out". I am a 43 year old truck driver from Tinley Park and listen to everything from Metallica to Springsteen. I buy an Eminem record to hear his clever juvinile rapping and funny ripping of celebrities and family members, not for mature ballads.


Scott Hauss

i have loved eminem for many many years.... he has always put out good stuff... but honestly i am not liking to much off relapse, besides 3 am there isnt much i like.... feel free to disagree but this is jus my personal oppinion....just gonna state once more.... big eminem fan

I understand readers frustrations about the article and agree that the Sun-Times needs a change of scenery if the paper wants to be taken seriously about pop-culture .

An example of Mr. Derogatis knowledge of hip-hop is seen in his recent review of Asher Roth's album in which he gave the production a 3 of 4. Hahaha, PATHETIC.

The following quote is from the Rolling Stone Review and is 180 from Jimbo's Review.

Rolling Stone gives Relapse 4 out of 5 stars.

"The power of Relapse comes from Em aiming his beat-downs at his truest target, himself. By letting Dr. Dre take over the low-end-funk production, and rhyming about things he actually cares about, he comes up with a more painful, honest and vital record than anyone could have expected at this late date, up there with The Eminem Show or maybe even better."

ROB SHEFFIELD - Rolling Stone

Jimmy Boy, stick to reviewing Celine Dion and Kenny G Albums

I'm not a big Eminem fan and I'm not going to read all these comments. However, I did read the review and completely disagree. Who are you, and are you even a fan of hip-hop? I feel like you didn't even listen to the album. You probably just skimmed through it or listened once. You are a sorry excuse for a music critic. I don't usually buy albums but this is actually a quality effort from Eminem. I hated his last album but I'm going to buy this one because it's so good. I hope it goes platinum quickly and proves you have terrible taste. Good luck keeping your job.

So happy to hear this review. When the first single was released, I thought "Hmm, aren't they supposed to release the best song on the album first?" I was an Eminem fan but this album is horrible. I can't believe the lack of creativity put into this album. Sad.

Jim, you are right on point. But, you made one mistake: giving this album 1 star. It deserves none. It is tired, ridiculous, an motivating, unimaginable, poorly written, even more poorly played (that's Dr. Dre's fault), and just plain a waste of time. This album should have been issued as a bunch of free downloadable throw-a-way tracks.

Personally, I think Feminem jumped the shark with The Eminem Show. This album officially justifies his career suicide. It's the same cliche as Janet Jackson...just keep making the same album over and over (ie from Janet. to Discipline).

When the sales numbers come out on this album, everyone else in the industry will finally be able to admit that Feminem is OVER..Good Riddance!

Jim, you are right on point. But, you made one mistake: giving this album 1 star. It deserves none. It is tired, ridiculous, unmotivating, unimaginable, poorly written, even more poorly played (that's Dr. Dre's fault), and just plain a waste of time. This album should have been issued as a bunch of free downloadable throw-a-way tracks.

Personally, I think Feminem jumped the shark with The Eminem Show. This album officially justifies his career suicide. It's the same cliche as Janet Jackson...just keep making the same album over and over (ie from Janet. to Discipline).

When the sales numbers come out on this album, everyone else in the industry will finally be able to admit that Feminem is OVER..Good Riddance!


You are quoted as follows "heard from many of his fans, and their comments have all been posted below. Many of them share Mr. Mather's, er, adult vocabulary and, um, "edgy" sentiments"

I am a college graduate and senior financial analyst for a fortune 100 company and I don't appreciate your viewpoint and tone in the quote above. Marshall Mathers vocabulary is well above mine and yours combined. The way he uses the english language through poetry/rap is next to none.

Though some of the postings are immature and unnecessary, they are are correct in their assessment of your review. "Mr. Mather's" is in a league of his own and has proven that over the corse of his career. Your arrogance comes off exactly as described in some of the postings on this blog.

The volume of postings indicates that this article is beneficial for the Sun-Times website hits, therefore increasing marketing and advertising, but that doesn't outweigh your bias/unknowledgeable option. Jay Marriotti came off as a jerk, but at least he knew what he was talking about and for that you have to respect his opinion. Jim, you may have knowledge when it comes to Rock, but your calling isn't rap, hip-hop or pop. I am no pulitzer prize winning writer and by no means know how to run a newspaper, but based on this review and others you have posted, I think it's time for the Sun-Times to go another direction when it comes to hip-hop, pop and rap. I understand there are financial restriction at the Sun-Times and hiring additional writers would not fit into their 2009 budget, but the Sun-Times desperately needs to review their music entertainment team.

Sorry, but true,
Life-Time Chicagoan

your whole story is wrong and you will see with his album sales

I find Eminem's wordplay is above-average in places, but besides that I totally agree with this review. "Crack a Bottle," the weird high-pitched accent, song after song about drug use, "We Made You" is a re-hash of 'Just Lose It,' unremarkable "Hello," reference after reference to rape and murder...

I listened to the album. It's not fresh and it sucked. Just because it's unmistakably Eminem doesn't mean it's good.

The author gave this album an "awful" review not because he has anything personal against Eminem, but simply because this album IS "awful." I am a huge fan of Eminem, and have been waiting for a long time for him to put out a new record, only to be disappointed by this half-assed attempt he's put forward. Relapse does not compare to The Slim Shady LP OR The Marshall Mathers LP. Now, I'm not saying he's lost "it," I'm a fan and am willing to give him another chance. But there is not ONE hot single off this album, and for one of the top selling acts ever, that's not a good thing.

this review is spot on! grow up people, his music sounds overproduced and the lyrics are incredibly childish.

this reviewer sucks @ reviewing. The lyrics and beat are great and fit the whole concept idea of relapse and drugs. AWFUL review. I give this review a 0 out of 4 STARS.

Please, Eminem is just about as washed up now as vanilla ice. Lyrical genius? Never. Take a closer look at real hip-hop artists (J Dilla, MF Doom, BlackStar, Deltron, etc) and you'll find a group of musicians that actually have a grasp of the english language and how to exploit it. Eminem just assumes that we're all still interested in hearing him trash talk every perez hilton story and celebrity figure seen in the media today. F--- That.

Eminem "jumped the shark" the moment adults, like the author of this review, decided to have opinions on the merits of his talent. You were born in 1964...maybe rap music is not for you. Writers like you, Mr. DeRogatis, should stick to what you know best. You make rock music, so please only review rock music. Unless you start buying, listening to, enjoying and reviewing all rap records, please dont start picking and choosing which ones to add your moronic opinions to. If only Eminem was from Chicago...I bet you would have loved Relapse! AND IT IS VERY INTERESTING THAT THE ONLY RAP ALBUMS YOU HAVE REVIEWED OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS ARE BY WHITE RAPPERS? ESPECIALLY WITH SO MANY BIG ALBUMS OUT! THIS SHOWS THAT YOU ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH HIPHOP.

^^^ indeed.

This is the most bias piece of s--- I've ever read. Just sounds like the guys hates Eminem and is in a position to let everyone knows. This can't even be called a review more like a rant...

Eminem sucks plain and simple.

hip-hop drove right past him.

stay retired 'slim'

you have nothing on weezy, or t-pain

your a 2 bit hack.

Dude, Your right on about this pussy rapper. This shz is old. Trying to make fun of people to make money. M is a clown. What happened to his face...way to young for a face lift.

After reading this review I'm ashamed of living in Chicago.

you're an idiot. lemme're a glass half empty type of guy? or maybe you're just bitter because you're one of the corny middle aged dbags that just sits on the sidelines critiquing everyone else with a negative pen...and you yourself have never contributed anything real to the "pop" scene...which you cover....

and you're going to put down dr. dre?????? have absolutely no idea what you are talking about...

you are so out of touch with the audience this type of music is intended for it's utterly rediculous....

approach ANYONE and I mean ANYONE in the rap industry and ask their opinion of Dr. Dre....and they'll tell you he is one of the greatest producers of all time

and lemme really didn't care for Notorious BIG's "Ready to Die" album...and 2pac was totally overrated...idiot

Right on point. Thank you to whoever reviewed this album. All you people need to realize that Eminem is a 36 year old man, who in the timeframe of 5 years or so went through death of a close friend, rehab, marriage, divorce, mother getting cancer, change in the hip hop music industry. When a true "artist" goes through so many points in his life, it should be inspiring enough to create masterpieces of emotional maturity evident for at least a little bit in MOSH. Eminem goes through all that and puts out a hack-y whinefests that we were already over with in 2000. Isn't there a second act to his career as an influential MC, or are these awkward "drug fantasies" all he's capable of?

I completely agree with this review! His album is incredibly boring. I actually looked forward to his last one... maybe I just grew up a bit in the last 5 years. It sounds like more of the same.


To the Author,

With all due repect, you have no right to judge a Hip Hop legend unless you are one yourself. So unless you are Jay, or Nas, Rakim, or maybe Pac or Biggie resurrected, DO NOT insult a man who has achieved more in a decade then you could in a million years.


i agree fully with this review. no better way to put it. I am an Eminem fan but this album is a disappointment. After 5 years you would expect something original and classic and something that would simply blow the industry away as he was named the best rapper in the game by VIBE Magazine. I do not understand how he can be the best rapper but his music is horrifying and terrible. It's just wack and a waste of time. He's still on the same old bullshit with the weird accent. Whatever, I know for a fact he will not be going platinum this time.

It's actually really scary that the person who wrote this review is an actual journalist. I can honestly say that Eminem is not one of my favorite artists. THAT being said, this is nothing short of the finest album to be released this year ESPECIALLY for hip-hop! There is nobody rapping today whose wordplay and rhyme schemes can compare to that of Eminem. And the Production is OUTSTANDING. This is the most irresponsible review I have ever read. Jim DeRogatis should review something that he actually knows something about because music clearly isn't his bag. See "food critic".

I agree that this is not his best work.

However...if you gave Asher Roth 3 stars, I have absolutely no respect for you whatsoever and you should NEVER be allowed to review another piece of music EVER again. You are a disgrace to critics.

First of all this guy has no idea what he's talking about. Eminem has always been the same so i don't know why everyone on here is acting surprised. He is an exceptional rapper!! I think this CD was great. If any of you heard the interview on Shady 45 you'll know he doesn't give a f--- what anyone thinks and he's done trying to please people he's just being himself and thats the shit that made him who he is today. So all you f---ing HATERS f--- off!!!! Oh and Ja would you rather him rap about drinking and going to the bar cause thats basiclly what everyone else is rapping about now. WTF are you talking about like do you listen to rap ever when does any rapper make "masterpieces of emotional maturity" like really?????You sound like a complete TOOL. Listen to the radio every once and a while. Is rapping about having sex or smokin pot better,is that what "good" rappers rap about????? Who r u kidding you are a hater who is jealous of eminem.

Good/Accurate review on the new Eminem Album

I been saying the same thing on my blog for a while (

Props amigo

After reading your album review and digesting the content for the most of the day, I decided to drop you an email. I really don't understand how you can honestly think that are correct, you are no musician. Despite the fact your involvement in many 80's bands which I never really heard of until I googled you. I digress, the review is really seeming to me that a certain someone is just a little jealous of music style he cannot possibly grasp, Look at Hip Hop today, Chingy T.I. Lil Wayne Jamie Fox and the numerous little artists who are employed by record labels until they no longer reap a profit. The lyrical content Slim Shady brings is far superior to most Rock and Roll. It really seems to me that your opinions are based more on your aggravation that a trailer trash punk white kid from Detroit has more talent in his finger than you could muster in two lifetimes. So go enjoy your mediocre existence, in your mediocre house. Stop being a jealous person, open your mind and realize that the music is far superior. Be a music critic, not a hater.

Glad to finish this email and rid my mind of the s--- you publish,


How can you have an article that says Eminem needs to grow up? Modern rap has become about sex and money. I've had enough of T-Pain like songs about buying a drink or a bottle.

"Mosh" offered a glimpse of what a potent artist Eminem could be if only he abandoned his snotty teenage obsessions. But alas, it remains an oddity in his catalog, rather than the track that points to a worthy second act in a spectacularly lucrative career. And at the end of the day, commerce is what Eminem has always really been about."

Bingo. That says it all. Em is Gen X and it is time to grow the hell up. All the celebrity bashing was fine years ago, but it's boring now. It's not over the top, it's week and uninspired. It's not edgy it just shows his mean spirited insecurities. We Gen X'ers are in our mid 30's, we are grown up's now and Em is acting like it's 1997.

Wasted talent.

you my good sir have poor taste in music and there for can indulge yourself in eating a sack of baby d---s.

All reviews are somewhat biased. Of course all of these people on here are going to think you wrote a terrible review because they're used to mediocre music being shoved down their throats 24/7. Of course they're going to love this album. It's completely mediocre. If he's been through so much in his life, then why does a grown man need to talk about other "artists" such as Mariah Carey all the while using a horrible fake accent? What was funny and cutting edge the first time around is definitly childish and stale five years later. I think it was the first honest review I've read. Good luck with all these idiots calling you unprofessional now that you don't agree with them.

Well put, i agree 100% with the review. Em is a 1 trick Pony. He only knows how to make stupid songs about celebrities. In Toy soldiers he waives the white flag saying he wants all the beef to stop. But goes back to talking trash in his next album, because that's the only thing he knows how to do and he hides behind bodyguards like a coward.

Sure your not just giving this album a terrible review because of the context hes released it in, i mean if he released this after the marshall mathers LP you would've given it at least a 3 out of 5 claiming it's not as good as the marshall mathers LP. I know i'll slaughter the album and get lot's of views, it worked mate but you know that this album isn't terrible, it's not amazing either but it's much better than what you've rated it. Want a decent review check out

No way.. Eminem rocks no matter what. And the songs on his new album is really him. All his previous albums has him "talking trash" its just the way he writes his music. Show him some love. he's back creating music! (:

wow... horrible. just by looking at you something tells me you should not be covering hip-hop music.

go suck a d--- you faggot. thats the only reason you'd one star this album, you're a FAGGOT. you should refrain from ever attempting to objectively review a HIP HOP album again. you talked about his personal life more than the album, and you're paid to do this. i know the content was probably unsettling for your c-- filled stomach, maybe you should've kept the album sealed up and skipped this review. oh, never mind. no one would know who you are if you didn't use this release as a platform to market yourself and stir it up with some bulls---. nice jorunalism faggot.

Not surprising Eminem's loser followers are here to defend his mediocre crap album.When they owe their hip hop identity to one man, they are prone to lash out at anyone who criticize,and/or defies their god.

Dear Sun Times,

Can you find a bigger douche bag to review this? It's obvious this guy is clueless to hip-hop culture, just look at his profile pic.


First, Id just like to say its a shame tht you get paid to do what you do.. and its people like you tht make people like me hate the media and reporters because they are all a bunch of twisting, turning... liars. Eminem is one of the best rappers ever in the history of hip hop you know why?? Because people like his s---. He talks about controversial things and he doesnt give a fuck what you or anyone else thinks. He would actually make a great journalist, he may have the balls to address some of the real problems in this country like police brutality and government fraud. That is unlike anyone in your little colony or US wide. So yeah you have the right to post all these lame ass articles but just remember while your typing them up.. no one really gives a f--- what you think.. Have a great day..

Crawl in a hole and die. not even a big eminem fan, your review for the Relapse album was f---ing horrible. You are a nobody, the amount of money you earn in a year is what I use for wiping my ass you poor worthless s---. Re-rate that review or kill yourself, or somebody else will.

Anybody who praises this album as "intelligent" is a moron. You can tell that most of these replies were written by Eminem superfans, the ones who would love anything he releases regardless of the quality. I understand rap music intensively, I probably have a better understanding of the genre than most because it's my job. 'Relapse' is a joke. It's nothing more than a transparent, desperate ploy for money from a drug-addict and his now-irrelevant master, Dr. Dre.

When I think about this album, I see both of those dudes hanging off a cliff desperately trying to get back on top.

This review was fair and honest. Those of you who disagree, obviously have no idea what you're talking about. You would have to be a jaded, unintelligent and easily-distracted asshole to enjoy 'Relapse'.

the cd sucks. you dumbf---s saying he is back, back in what? why would i want to lisen him talking about killing his mom, popin pills. being raped. if he wants to talk about himself, bitch should write a book name relapse not a damm cd. btw young mullla babeeyyy haha

The album dropped at midnight on Itunes, by 8 am it was already #1. So who's washed up again? Jim D. you look like you should be a food critic, stop listening to hip hop it isn't for you. Eminem is a rappers Rapper and this album is a classic 4.5/5. There is not one rapper in the game coming close to what this guy can do, sorry lil gay wayne fans its the truth. The man is back and hes saving hip hop, when was the last time EVERYONE was interested in a rap album. Whether you dig it or not, everyones paying attention.
King Mathers....its official now!

By Cam on May 13, 2009 3:39 AM

"In the past, there were glimpses of what Eminem could be when he expressed true emotion or maturity (like the Deja Vu track). Instead, he returned with an album based mostly on the same homophobic & misogynistic content from 10 years ago, which smells a lot like desperation"

Idiot, What albums in this game do you listen to that dont talk the same ol s--- as past ones? R&B has the same old Themes, the opposite sex mainly. Different ways to say i love you i hate you/dont need you and im sorry. Most rappers that get Credit talk about Dealing Drugs, wearing big Chains, The girls they get and the cars they drive.

Em's talking the same s--- he always has and your gunna prosecute him? At least HIS same ol' s--- aint the same as what every one else is talking...

Ummm... next time, stick to reviewing the MUSIC. Because you know, that what you're supposed to do. You seem to be more interested in telling us he is no more relevant in todays cultural landscape- may be true, but let the audience decide that- you don't get to decide that.

Ps: You come across as a smug a--hole

This review is just plain awful.

This is the most transparent and lamest attempt I've seen at trying to attract attention by deliberately winding up a fan base in ages. Is controversy more important to you than journalistic integrity? Apparently so. Your review only reveals, quite inadvertently it would appear, your lack of any credentials to review musical releases. I don't write as a fan of Eminem, but as a fan of music, and even thought I don't rate the album as a classic, I do recognise that it's worthy of a much higher rating than you have given it, seemingly in an attempt to draw attention to yourself, which you have been quite successful in doing, even tough the attention you have gotten has only been to highlight your ineptitude at your 'job'.

Your review is a joke, which actually made me laugh out loud more than once, so I guess for that I'm thankful.

First off, you seem to have no Idea! This Album is FANTASTIC!!!
Maybe not the best Eminem put out (so far) but definitely a masterwork...lyrics are genious and thought through and beats are deversified. The only two things I would have liked better are:

1. The accent is really annoying, although one gets used to it.
2. I hoped that there would be more sentimental songs...

but I mean look at all the sh*t that's gettin called music nowadays (Lil Wayne, Flo Rida, etc.)and it's so nice to hear some new good hiphop!!!
And you must be really stuck up if you don't find his insults hilarious...
I just hope you quit doing what you think is your job cause you're just not qualified!

this reviewer is retarded and obviously knows absolutely NOTHING about hip hop music. why get a 40 year old white guy who obviously knows nothing about rap to review a hip hop album? also i dont know how anyone can say this album is garbage compared to all the other mainstream rap that comes out like 50 cent and s---. this is beautiful music compared to that crap.

also its obvious this reviewer is ultra childish and obviously has some grudge against eminem and his fans cause this review is a obvious attempt to just piss his fans off by taking shots at them... etc. get a life you faggot. you're never gonna get anywhere in life reviewing albums you know nothing about on some website noone cares about... talk about a dead end job. glad im not you.

you're probably some failed musician who can only talk smack about music now. critics can lick my balls.

everyone ignore this reviewer this guy is a idiot and knows absolutely NOTHING about hip hop music obviously. this probably the first hip hop album he ever reviewed or ever even heard. hes probably 50 years old and listens to classic rock (nothing wrong with that, but dont review hip hop idiot).

hes probably also a failed musician who can just criticize real musicians. also id hate to be him working at some dead end job writing reviews for some online magazine noone cares about. you're life must suck sir.

oh god and i just saw your picture you're some fat ugly weird looking guy with f---ed up teeth who probably has never touched a women. now im really glad im not you. nerd. also all the music he reviews is lameass emo indie rock so he obviously has no place reviweing a hip hop album considering he didnt review the things that matter in hip hop (flow, lyrics, delivery, cadence, rhythm...etc. do you even konw what these things are man?) because its IMPOSSIBLE to deny that eminem is a f---ing amazing rapper and his flows and rhyme schemes ect on this album are lightyears ahead of any other mainstream mc.


I thought the album was really good. I don't agree with any of the reviewer's arguments. To me the album is funny, offensive, over drugged, catchy, clever and good. Just remember you are listening to Eminem... Not your Sunday morning church music or backpacker hip hop.

Uh, yeah, I'd agree with Brad - Eminem is an "artist", punctuation intended...

The funniest thing of all is the fact that all the threatening readers here can't accept the fact that someone expressed a negative opinion on one of their favourite artists. If you liked the album, don't threaten, simply reply on here stating WHY, and then you might actually be of some use to those who haven't heard it yet. You are not helping anyone. Judging by the quality of writing from the majority of comments on here however, most threats to the reviewer seem to be from fans barely making it into their teenage years. Perhaps that is why they dont understand how the new eminem album is just 'more of the same', tired-out themes from an essentially tired-out 'had his day' artist ran out of ideas. Rhyming about Christopher Reeves without legs yet again in 2009 just isnt funny to anyone apart from immature 12 year old fans who will laugh at almost anything to engage their little minds. The fact that he has passed away and Eminem still wants to rant on and laugh about it shows the ideas clearly ran out a long time ago. Some time around 2004 if I am not mistaken. Why cant he rap more about what whats happening in the world today, with a comedic tone on that? Now that would be a true artist.

Eminem clearly expresses his own often negative opinions of other people on all his records, so why cant you let one reviewer express his own opinion? I will not give mine until I get to hear the album fully. Even through a negative review, Eminem would say the same. Let the reviewer, and everyone else, have their say. Thats what rap is all about-although for Eminem to say the same things on and on is just scraping the barrel. Some countries in 2009 still do not even allow this. Now, think more intelligently, exactly why did you enjoy this album? If you havent heard it yet, dont judge the review, until you have heard the album yourself, and remember, it was just one review. One opinion. Think about it.

For its genre it is an excellent come back piece of work.

I think its ridiculus so many people are offended by this guys review. He has no credibility, from his review i think he listened to one song and then tried (and failed) to sound intelligent.

An opinion is an opinion though......

I give your article 0 out of 10 because it was Unbearably boring, unincitefull, and made me just think you must be some bored 50 something who is divorced from his wife because she read one of your bland reviews and realised she could do better by buying a cat and living alone.

But thats just my opinion.

i am a real eminem fan, from the beginning.. but encore was allready very much going downwards... only dre's beats and few other songs were ke ... but I hate to say but this album just realy sucks, the choruses realy sucks, almost evey dre beat is just not what we are used to. and the annoing f---ing accent... some lyrics are stil the old slim.. but where is this great rapper who could rap a story and you wouldjust feel every word he says.. the music industry melts the f--- down and thats proofen by putting this album out by the greattest white rapper and greatest producer alive i hope so much , that this album was some kind of joke and relapse 2 is just the s---.... and not to forget detox hopefully still is the s--- and not with these simple loop beats
don't fool yourself by defending em and dre cause this was justa mistake... i still believ in him but he realy needs to rereset himself or just take a beer.....tomorrow im changing his cd for something else cause this is just not my money worth... plus im probably the only one who bought it cause you all fake em fans probably only download his s---..
bytheway the dutch hiphop is nowadays much more progressed then all that american crap like lil wayne
Opgezwolle, Delic!!

Relapse is a great cd. My favorite tracks are Hello and Stay Wide Awake. "Hello" is just clever n joking, n definately a catchy Dre Beat "Bubble gum, sure watever" with clever wordplay, Em's verbal way of painting pictures is great on "Stay wide awake" . Just when you thought em couldnt get more sick, n grahic than previous albums he does it on Relapse. Which wouldnt really shock anymore than give ya little tingles.His raps are more complex before. Another great part of this album is you dont have to half listen to D12 till ems verse comes on. 50 cent is on the worst song. Crack a bottle makes me wanna crack a bottle on my own head. We Made You is clever with the birthday cake sawblade part, maybe refering to the repeated ways the Beagle boys tried to break outta jail in Ducktales? But its a simple song that gets old quick. Also on "My mom", When I first the Heath Ledger Bobble head part i laughed my assss off. The way he goes into so much depth in "my Mom" You can really feel his resentment towards his mother. Hes never went into that much detail of his moms pain pill addiction before and and how he was exposed to them. Cycle of addiction, maybe Em will never forgive his mom."Deja Vu" is basically Em recalling an Overdose of Methodone, which is straight forward and Real, and you dont get that from too many artist these days. As for the rest of the album, I say Dre should stick to beats and not rap. I wonder whether or not Em writes all Dre's raps, anyways Its an Em album, and just like every Em album you get a variety of personal Em "Marshal", joking Em "Slim Shady" , Hanging with Dre "Gangsta Em" , Say what we wanna hear Em, "Peer Pressure Em", or it could be stickin to the same ol catchy formula "Rich Em" lol, My favorite is the "real eminem" wherever he his standing up at, And on this Cd you get such a scattered view of Em's many styles that you may not like the whole Cd(Personally Eminem Show was his best, Can listen to that whole cd front to back. my opinion)But thank god Ems back, Maybe now T-Pain can go away, n Lil Wayne can quit trying to hold the whole rap industry on his shoulders. 2-3/4 out of 4 stars.

Ooops I forgot to get my Jab in there! Jim ur an idiot, You put "Mosh" as Ems finest moment, and try to say Em should go in what direction? Political rap? Em evolved on this album, and 1 out of four stars should get you put on a track n lyrically picked apart by Em. Im surprised you didnt give Eminem more than one star simply because he's also the name of a candy of which you look like youve obviously had many of. Square Head

Wow, you should not be allowed to do music reviews. honestly if you don't like relapse, you clearly don't appreciate good music, or at least not good rap music. it's by far the best album that has come out in 2009.

LOL at everyone that is so up in arms over a music review. It's a music review folks, nothing more.

And I seriously doubt a well-established and respected music critic is going to lose his job over, well, doing his job and criticizing something.

I'm thoroughly entertained by the outrage.

i just want to say that your review for relapse is just stupid... rolling stone gives eminem 4 of 5 stars, and you gives eminem 1 of 4??? STUPID

After reading your "review," wading through the many comments regarding said "review," and skimming through your piece of work once again, I feel compelled to voice my opinion. After my first time reading this questionable attempt at a description of Relapse, I was scowling by the seventh paragraph. By the end, I was nothing short of enraged. The worst part of this is that someone new to Eminem may read this and get the complete wrong idea, and steer clear from all of it. Maybe they"ll grow up to be a close minded old creep, just like you. First of all, to say that Eminem has been hiding out in the Detroit suburbs while in reality he has been struggling with drug addiction is a pretty good way to piss off people that don't even like rap. Next, there's the comment about his "annoying sing-song." Yes, it is true that some people may not be happy with his change in accent, but labeling something as "annoying" seems to me to be more of a personal opinion, while your job as a critic would seem to be to give a critique free of bias and personal opinion. As you can see, I highly doubt that at least 85% of these people give a s--- what you think is annoying. Regarding an "air of weary resignation".... Oh yes, he clearly has resigned if he's just released a new album, his fifth straight debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200. That in itself is an oxymoron. You stupid bastard. Boundless anger; Yeah, I would have boundless anger too if there were morons like you writing up this garbage about me on the internet. Well and truly played; Would you keep watching your favorite television program if the main character was removed? Or eating your favorite food if the main ingredient was removed? People like what he does, why should he change his act now? This business about Christopher Reeve... Let me refer you to the second half of the first verse of Rain Man, particularly the line, "And let's clear this up too I aint got no beef with him (Christopher Reeve) either, he used to be like a hero to me." Jumped the shark? You dumb s---, he performed with Elton to prove to pricks like you that he didn't have a problem with gays, and then you talk about his homophobia??? And then you start on 8 Mile, his successful attempt to broaden his horizons, after you complain that he's putting out the same old stuff??? And were only on the fourth paragraph!!! Gleefully celebrating... Anyone who knows a damn thing about Eminem knows that gleeful is one of the last words that can be used to describe him. You mention Kim, something you have no business bringing up, as it is unlikely that you have ever been involved with any type of romantic relationship, at least with the opposite sex, and it is therefore unlikely that you could understand something like marriage and divorce... And when he opens up and shows a sensitive side, you pick at it like a f---ing vulture, talking about the love between him and his mom and his wife, and trying to strengthen your point by referencing to a movie you just tried to bash!!! Dumb s---!!! You compare his music to the "audio equivalent of torture porn"... Well, you may have me there, after seeing a picture of you, I have no doubt that you have a vast knowledge of porn. A shame the same cant be said for your knowledge of music. So Eminem spends half the album asking for love, understanding and sympathy? You've got a problem when he hates, but you laugh when he wants to be loved? You say how he blames his drug addiction on his mother, but were you there? And the same goes for Insane. Did you witness his childhood? No you didn't, so can you really frown upon his justification for his actions, another attempt to get through the thick skulls of dips---s like you and try to lessen your unjustified hate of the greatest rapper alive? And then, on top of that, you take possibly the deepest track on the album, Beautiful, and twist it? "He wraps it all up with the hoariest cliché in the world, actually asking us to "Walk in my shoes..." Your use of the word "actually" here compliments your close mindedness and brings you to new heights of stupidity in my eyes. How dare this former drug addict bare his soul and shoulder his pride and ask you to try and imagine what it would be like to be both hated and loved, to never have a moments privacy in public, to never know your father and have an abusive mother...I was happy to read your eighth paragraph however, it seems to be the exact desired reaction. Would he say it if he didn't get a rise out of pricks like you? I also laughed at the ninth paragraph, at the fact that you could dislike all tracks except for the one with the "middle eastern flavor"... Im sure there are terrorists saying the same thing! You mention that you liked Mosh, astounding that you would pick that one to admire out of the many others... Mosh wasn't the greatest song. And then you attack Rolling Stone? Really? Are we 6? Were you jealous that they were able to think with their heads, rather than their backsides, or were you just unhappy to see that your hatred of an outstanding artist was not mirrored in the more popular voice of music news? You say there's a problem comparing Eminem with Richard Pryor, that "he (Richard Pryor) shared genuinely profound truths with his audience while revealing his inner demons." So are you saying that Eminem has been lying to his audience, and hasn't revealed any inner demons? If thats the case, he would have to be the most screwed up person on the planet, because there isn't much worse than what he has already revealed. But you might have been too busy listening to Asher Roth to notice that, forgive me. He fails miserably? By selling more than 34 million records and becoming the best rapper alive? Ha, what have you accomplished in life, besides writing s--- reviews? You say you don't care to know who the "real Marshall Mathers" is? Then do the general public a favor, and stop writing f---ing reviews.

Eminem is by far the most lyrically inclined rapper as of now and maybe ever in my opinion. Eminem's Relapse album is exactly what hip hop has been missing in the past four years. The lyrics in this album are directly aimed at people like the person who gave the 1 out of 5 stars review. So I wouldn't expect anything more than 1 star. Just wait until Relapse 2 comes out! Eminem is a beast on the mic hands down!!

you sir, are a FAGGOT

oh, boo hoo. i guess my comments automatically make you intellectually superior to me in your bitch ass faggot mind huh?

well, bitch. i can e-mail you a picture of my nice, handsome c---. you can see if your punk, bitch ass wants to suck it all lovingly like.

you bitch ass faggot.

did i mention your a punk ass faggot?

well, you are.

horrible review this album is amazing bring back the oldschool days with a twist of the new era


I have to disagree to an extent. This album is not his best. Lyrically, it manages to nearly match the marshall mathers lp, and is his best since then. That said, overall it cannot match the eminem show. This is mostly due to the voices and accents he chooses to portray on just too many songs.

The beats produced by dre are good on most tracks, but simply fall short on some songs. The thing with this album is, it is not as much hit or miss as I had initially thought. At first, I was just excited for him to be back, but many of the songs simply were not very good. There were a few standout tracks, such as the twisted Insane, the intense Underground, the bonus track Careful What You Wish For, and the true feeling of Beautiful. But for the most part, upon first listening, this album was sub par. Those tracks instantly can be considered some of his best, but the rest are not as bad as you may think. After several listens, many of these songs are ones that will certainly grow on you. The other bonus track, My Darling, is genius lyrically. There are only a couple songs on this album that do not eventually begin to leave a positive impression on you.

The worst thing and my biggest problem with this album is that the first three of the four singles released are, in all honestly, the worst on the album. 3 a m is brilliant lyrically, but the accent manages to kill that off. We made you and crack a bottle are two of my least favorite songs he ever released. The last one released, Beautiful, is possibly the best song on the album, but is somewhat spoiled by this release. What is so special about it is the way it plays within the album, discounting Crack a Bottle.

The best thing about this album is that it plays through like it is chronicling his relapse. It feels as if we are having the looser tones in the beginning and toward the end, you feel his pain.

So, overall, no, this is not his BEST work. But if you listen carefully, especially toward the end of this album (discounting the bullshit single Crack a Bottle) you begin to feel a change in tone, and an understanding in what he is trying to do. It becomes more serious, in the sense that he is no longer trying to do what he has always done. Insane and the earlier tracks, even the best ones, are, to a degree, more of the same. Twisted and brilliant lyrically, but all about his sick past. As you go on, you begin to see a change. Beautiful in particular stands out, as he discusses an end to his career and what he sees for his future and what he has done in his past, and his trouble with maturation. After enough plays of this, I believe he is setting up for something special with Relapse 2. He shows he still has Slim inside him, but time changes everyone. I feel that, if done the way I think, (or at least hope), he has brilliantly setup for the release of his new tone and mood in his music.

I would give this album 7/10. He does show he can still do what made him who he is. At the same time, as mentioned in this review and several others, it has become tired to some extent. With the exception of Insane, it is hard to feel the early tracks on this album the way you could before with hits such as Stan, Guilty Conscience, or really, the entire Slim Shady LP and Marshall Mathers LP. The middle portion of this album grows on you, but is still not what makes him who he is. The later parts of the album really manage to save it, and without the bonus tracks I may not have been able to see what I do. Not his best work, but his genius may be able to shine through yet...

To all the teen Eminem fan boys ....
Being lyrical doesn't mean s--- if there is no content. I've been an Em fan since the beginning even when people ragged on me for liking a white rapper. But this album blows. The author has this review spot on. You can't say that every Eminem album is 4 or 5 stars. Not even all of Tupac's albums were good. At his age, Em should be rapping about social and community issues and trying to inspire people. None of this bull--- about Christopher Reeves, everyone hating him, mommy, mommy. Find some new s--- to write about. And get a new producer. 2 out of 20 tracks cannot sell an album.

This is a very biased review. It seems pretty clear you simply do not like Eminem, and for that reason you were unable to write a fair review. This is evidenced by the fact that you said virtually nothing positive about the album. No matter how bad an album is, there are almost always bright spots that are worth mentioning, but yet you failed to highlight any of the outstanding elements of this (very good) album. What about his flow? You stated in your review that he HAD (thereby insinuating that this is no longer the case) one of the most unique rhyming techniques in hip hop; did you actually listen to the album? I would argue that his delivery in Relapse is right up there with the Slim Shady LP and the Marshal Mathers LP, and it is certainly presents a nice break from the styles that many artists are using today (e.g. those electronic voices that "rappers" like T-Pain use)

And about the Dr. Dre beats- I personally like them. They are very appropriate for the album, and they have a sort of subtle complexity that is all too lacking in hip hop today. Listen to "Underground"- it uses a 5/4 time signature, which is not only rare in hip hop but also extremely difficult to rap to. But yet Em kills it. Yeah, the whole Christopher Reeves thing is played out and so is the celeb bashing to some extent, but this album is certainly good.

Your review should not have been printed simply because you let your preconceptions get in the way of a fair analysis. Although reviews are inherently subjective, you have let your biases take over your writing here and I think this damages your credibility as a journalist (or whatever you are). I cannot say that I am unbiased myself because I have been an Eminem fan for many years, but you take it to a whole new level that is unacceptable for your profession.

As an Eminem fan, I was super excited for this new release. I figured Em would have come out swinging at society, drugs, politics, etc. He really could have made a huge impact on society with this one, similar to what Green Day did a few years ago with American Idiot. Instead...well, we got more pop culture rap and incredibly weird and misplaced accents. Needless to say, I am highly disappointed. The day the CD came out, and before I read this review, I listened to the 30 second previews on iTunes. That was all I needed to hear to know that this album, overall, is sub-par, trashy (Christopher Reeve - really?), and generally boring.

Furthermore, I have three things to say to all of you uneducated, psychopathic Stan commentators that can't even write a few sentences without dropping an expletive:

1) Grow up. Seriously. Why are you attacking a man for doing his job and writing a review? IT'S A REVIEW. Get over it.

2) Keep in mind that Jim is a CRITIC! He gets paid to write about his OPINION! You Sherlocks are the mistaken ones here - this isn't supposed to be an objective piece of journalism. Of course the critic's biases are going to come out here! This isn't a news report or fact based. You aren't watching CNN or the NBC Nightly News. If you don't agree, then don't worry about it. Focus your energy elsewhere instead of getting worked up about a critic's opinion about a flippin CD.

3) So many hypocrites here; you Stans are telling Jim that he is an idiot (to put it lightly) and that his review is crap (to put it nicely) because he is being biased (which, once again, is part of his gig)...but what you guys are failing to see is that you are being infinitely more biased by saying nonsense like, "WHAT? u retard this is da best cd ever it gets 11/10 stars you piece of s---!" So, yeah...if your bias actually mattered, then you would be getting paid for writing reviews. Homos.

As an Eminem fan, I was super excited for this new release. I figured Em would have come out swinging at society, drugs, politics, etc. He really could have made a huge impact on society with this one, similar to what Green Day did a few years ago with American Idiot. Instead...well, we got more pop culture rap and incredibly weird and misplaced accents. Needless to say, I am highly disappointed. The day the CD came out, and before I read this review, I listened to the 30 second previews on iTunes. That was all I needed to hear to know that this album, overall, is sub-par, trashy (Christopher Reeve - really?), and generally boring.

Furthermore, I have three things to say to all of you uneducated, psychopathic Stan commentators that can't even write a few sentences without dropping an expletive:

1) Grow up. Seriously. Why are you attacking a man for doing his job and writing a review? IT'S A REVIEW. Get over it.

2) Keep in mind that Jim is a CRITIC! He gets paid to write about his OPINION! You Sherlocks are the mistaken ones here - this isn't supposed to be an objective piece of journalism. Of course the critic's biases are going to come out here! This isn't a news report or fact based. You aren't watching CNN or the NBC Nightly News. If you don't agree, then don't worry about it. Focus your energy elsewhere instead of getting worked up about a critic's opinion about a flippin CD.

3) So many hypocrites here; you Stans are telling Jim that he is an idiot (to put it lightly) and that his review is crap (to put it nicely) because he is being biased (which, once again, is part of his gig)...but what you guys are failing to see is that you are being infinitely more biased by saying nonsense like, "WHAT? u retard this is da best cd ever it gets 11/10 stars you piece of s---!" So, yeah...if your bias actually mattered, then you would be getting paid for writing reviews. Homos. (HAHAHA just kidding gays, you know I love you.)

I heard Usher makes a guest appearance on this album. Can anyone confirm or deny these rumors?

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on May 12, 2009 2:18 PM.

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