When a new Eminem album gets too many negative reviews, his response is to rush out another one. It’s what he did with Recovery in response to the mediocre reception critics gave to Relapse, a personal favorite of mine, and what he does here. Revival, released barely nine months ago, was panned more than any other album of his. I don’t think it’s much worse than the two before it, but the general public; a sad amount of which are simply too stupid to classify music they don’t love/like as anything other than “trash”; apparently disagreed. Eminem first responded by releasing a Chloraseptic remix with a new verse addressing the matter. That should’ve been the end of it. Instead he drags it over to a whole new project.
I like the two skits. On the first one, Paul Rosenberg leaves Em a phone message strongly implying that he thinks the album concept is a bad idea. I don’t know whether or not he really feels that way, but I certainly do. Eminem, as renowned as he is, going after detractors who aren’t nearly on his level only tarnishes his own legacy. The best thing to do is ignore them and go on with his life. The second skit plays on that opinion with a funny reply to Paul’s message in which Em talks about reading a negative comment some “moron” posted about Revival and going to his house to fight him. These skits should come later in the set, perhaps joined as one, but they get it right. I just wish they were included on a better album.
Kamikaze, titled as it is because Eminem presumably knows he could be committing career suicide with its release, is actually worse than Revival. Not by much; none of his albums are trash to me; but damn. Where’s Dr Dre? These beats sound like Drake album rejects. Fall and Greatest are potential standouts ruined by sucky hooks. I’d add Stepping Stone to that list, but it’s just the bridge that’s sucky there. The song, for an interesting side note, also has a connection to my site in that it was my popularity as a member of the official D-12 message board that inspired me to start it. “It’s 2002,” Eminem says, “Everything was totally new.” Now it’s 2018 and, though D-12 is officially “over”, their bandleader is still at it, for better or worse.
The worst chorus is the one on Nice Guy. It’s dumb and annoying. But that’s not Skylar Grey singing. It’s another hack named Jessie Reyez. Nice Guy and Good Guy have two of the best beats though, albeit coming across as tacked-on demo tracks. Good Guy is the better of the two, but there’s only one good song; nevermind a Stan-level classic; in the lot. Venom; a theme from the movie, which makes it an odd way to end this album; is a banger, but it’s not enough. What happened to the Eminem that didn’t jump on political bandwagons; Donald Trump wisely ignores his attacks; or give a fuck if people got offended by the word “faggot”? Framed is the best song on Revival. Perhaps I should mail him a copy of Relapse to study.
Forget family relationship problems and near-death drug overdoses. Eminem’s biggest blunder, as far as this (“ex”?) fan is semi-seriously concerned, was following the pop crowd and downing his own album; one of his best albums; an album that, even with those silly accents, shits on not only everything here but everything he’s released since. He spends this whole Kamikaze project defending Revival; listen closely and you’ll notice that he never actually agrees with the people who trashed it; but backtracked on Relapse, which he apparently thought was good enough to release and even plan a part two for at the time. “I write songs for me,” he once rapped, “Fuck what you like.” Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
my rating = 3 of 5