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Eminem’s new Revival falls short, former icon disappoints once again

EMPHATIC EMINEM:  Hyping up his fans, Eminem performs at his 1999 tour in Munich, Germany. Eminem was a best-selling artist in the 2000s and recently released his newest album, Revival.

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EMPHATIC EMINEM: Hyping up his fans, Eminem performs at his 1999 tour in Munich, Germany. Eminem was a best-selling artist in the 2000s and recently released his newest album, Revival.

Ben Olson, staff reporter

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Eminem has always been about changing the game. The first truly popular white rapper, the best-selling hip hop artist, and now, the furthest fall from a mountain he once crowned himself on. Not that anyone exactly had high hopes. Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers, hasn’t had a truly solid album since 2001’s The Eminem Show, although he has shown proof of greatness littered throughout his works since then. But for every emotionally and technically impressive song such as “Like Toy Soldiers” (2004), there’s an endless amount of nonsense like “Big Weenie” (2004). It was clear that Eminem was falling from his throne this past decade, but on Revival, he truly hits the bottom.

Put simply, Revival is a failure. But, it’s not the kind of failure that you can hate and still admire for the work ethic or idea that was proposed. There’s almost nothing redeemable about this album. The beats are the worst he’s ever put out to date, his choppy, shouting “flow” doesn’t mesh with the production, the features are phoned-in cash-grabs, and the title seems to imply a return to form, something that it obviously fails to do. To top it off, the album comes in at 19 tracks, for a total of 78 minutes. It took me three separate listens to get through this, and each time I kept going, I thought to myself, “Is this review really worth the vomit I’m sitting through?” And while it’s not, I was too far in to stop myself. Take this piece as a warning.

The largest, most unforgiving criticism is crowned to the beats. Even though contemporary hip-hop is constantly pushing new frontiers, Eminem retreads on the most basic of production. The fact that Eminem had to approve of these beats to be released under his name demonstrates a huge oversight in quality. While his early production was nothing groundbreaking, he made up for it through his storytelling.

While the worst aspect may have been the fault of the producers, the biggest tragedy falls on himself. Eminem sounds angry in every lyric, even the ones that didn’t need to be shouted. Add that with the constant unevenness of his flow and for 19 tracks, it sounds like a rap fan’s inferno. Gone are his witty and shocking lyrics, and in comes lines like “this type of pickle that we’re in is hard to deal.” Yes, you thought right. He said “deal” like “dill”. A B-class Soundcloud rapper would know better than to include that lyric. There are at least five of these types of lines in each song, so any point Eminem tries to get across, whether it’s about racial inequality or sexual abuse, is destroyed through these vapid and hollow lyrics.

In short, Revival is hip-hop’s version of Tommy Wiseau’s cult movie, The Room. Except nobody’s laughing. We can only hope we’ll forget about this one ten years from now.

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Eminem’s new Revival falls short, former icon disappoints once again