Sunday 21 January 2018

Loaded Review: Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Eminem back where he belongs

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2
John Meagher

John Meagher

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Polydor)

Eminem's headline show at Slane some months ago showed that he still boasts a pulling power that few can match, and now he's got an album that returns him to his glory years.

The belated sequel to 2000's Marshall Mathers LP finds him in typically confident, confrontational form that is as likely to repel as many as it excites. There is a greater maturity on display – he is 41, after all – but 2 still offers plenty of score-settling and bravado.

There is no shortage of big-name rap albums that are angry and twisted and macabre – and this one certainly fulfils all three – but what marks it out from the pack is the excellence of Eminem's rapping and his marvellous word play.

His rapid fire delivery on Rap God is nothing short of awesome and his lyrical prowess puts all of his competition in the ha'penny place. A swaggering example of his ferocious talent, it's every bit the match of his best work.

Once more, Dr Dre has proved the perfect foil – and his production manages to be both opulent and gritty, often in the course of the same track. For his part, Eminem has coaxed great performances from others including the great rap find of the past five years, Kendrick Lamar, and Rihanna whose vocal on The Monster makes so much of her own, overly prolific songs look very dull by comparison. A brilliant return to form.

Rap God; The Monster

Irish Independent

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