Full of ‘tragic endings’

New Eminem album “Revival” falls flat


Photo from Eminem.com


Story by Nick Mitchell, staff writer

Eminem. Slim Shady. Marshall Mathers. Whatever you call him, the self-titled “Rap God” is back on his game with his newest album, “Revival.” Continuing his series of albums including “Recovery” and “Relapse,” Mathers switches up his flow and his motives in his latest release. The album’s hot debut took it to number one on the Billboard 200. Heavy criticism from critics and lots of praise from fans brings an interesting aura to the album.

The album starts off with the lead single, “Walk on Water” featuring dreamy vocals by Beyonce, and a self-conscious Mathers, showing a side we haven’t seen before. Another uplifting song follows, named “Believe,” where a still insecure Mathers asks listeners if they still believe in him despite his flaws and how he has changed.

Two deep and touching songs, followed by a rather forgettable track named “Chloraseptic” is completely thrown away by the album’s second single “Untouchable,” which comes next. A politically charged song about inequality amongst race in America is meant well, and the lyrics alone speak truth, but Mathers’ stop and go flow and constant screaming makes the song worthless, and by far the worst on the album.

Despite the awful note left by “Untouchable,” an interesting duo of Ed Sheeran and Eminem make “River” a song worth coming back to with a folk vibe chorus to aid it. After an intro and an interlude, the song “Like Home” featuring Alicia Keys arrives. Debatably the best song on the album, Mathers raps over a joyous piano beat about Donald Trump. Not only does Eminem appear to return to his classic flow, he also scorches Trump with jabs like none other, such as “Can’t denounce the Klan because they play golf with you.” Keys swoops in with a spunky pop chorus, truly bringing the song together.

Even though “Like Home” was a spark of hope for the album, it is quickly extinguished by “Bad Husband” featuring X Ambassadors. Mathers’ lyrics are fantastic, and he shocks listeners by apologizing to ex-wife Kim Mathers, who he has constantly dissed throughout his career. This exemplifies his maturity and moving on as a person and artist. However, as is the case often found in “Revival,” a bizarre indie chorus by X Ambassadors ruins the song by adding an unnecessary touch of indie pop to a hard rap song. Eminem’s following song, “Tragic Endings” featuring Skylar Grey is another song worth only a single listen. Mathers raps well over a beat reminiscent of the “Stranger Things” theme song, creating a song that is not bad but rather average.

Mathers follows up with “Framed,” a song that I am not sure what is exactly about. He raps about Donald Duck, Tonka trucks, putting Ivanka Trump in his trunk and proceeds to nasally wail over the chorus. It wouldn’t hurt to skip this song. However, Eminem adds another political pop song with “Nowhere Fast” featuring Kehlani, who sings a hopeful chorus about taking chances and living life. Sadly yet predictably, this song is followed by two average songs.

From this album, there are two obvious types of songs: nonsense songs where Mathers raps by himself, and decent songs where pop singers sing the chorus. “Need Me” featuring P!nk is the latter, but the following three songs are all the former. After more nonsense rapping, Mathers goes on about how this could be his last album, then ends the album very fittingly- with a toilet flush.

“Revival” by Eminem was obviously a shot by him to enact the name of the album: Revive. However, a pop heavy track list with plenty of explicit and blatantly pointless songs filled with angry politics creates a blundering mess that only needs one listen.

Where to listen:

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/revival/1321744921

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0U6ldwLBEMkwgfQRY4V6D2