While I am still not a fan of his first single “Not Afraid”, the tracks I have been hearing off Em’s Recovery album are, dare I say it, sounding good? I know, it sounds odd considering I questioned him so hard on my “Not Afraid” post, but these new songs for some reason just feel right, if that makes sense. Maybe all Em needed was a couple succesful pop female singer to do his hooks for him. And now I think his Recovery album might end up being actually very good, and maybe one of the best we’ve heard in a long time. I came to this conclusion after a very slow and sad realization.
The other day while playing FIFA 10 on Xbox, I was listening to this new “Love The Way You Lie” track and his other song with Pink called “Won’t Back Down” (which you can download here) and was actually trying not to enjoy them. Coincidentally, I flipped on MTV Jams and they were having an Eminem mini marathon of his music videos (for those wondering how I managed to keep playing FIFA and watch MTV Jams, I keep 2 TV’s in the living room of my apartment strictly for the purpose of FIFA and MTV Jams action at the same time, it seems unneccesary until you try it, I’ve now had a 2 TV living room for 3 years)
Sorry for the tangent, anyway they put on his video for “The Way I Am” which may be the quintessential angry Em track of all time. I mean that is classic Eminem, he’s dropping F bombs left and right like its a game of battleship, and he’s just pure adrenaline angry at the world he finds himself in. Then they played the video for “How Come” (sorry,but truly a god awful song) where Em then becomes this sad and nostalgic character and finds himself questioning his friends loyalty. Lastly they played the new video for “Not Afraid” and, for me, it was like a moment of clarity, angry Eminem is pretty much gone, the pilled out nostalgic self conscious Eminem is nearly dead too and now we are watching him enter this strange weird 3rd phase of his career.
So this 3rd phase is where he’s clean, still working on coming back into the limelight and after all his hard work in the past, he is now super succesful so he can’t be overly angry at anyone now, making him pretty unsure of how to move forward. His tracks seem like they are meant to be a personal reassurance to him, their titles essentially are like cheerleaders to him, “Not Afraid” “Wont Back Down” “You’re Never Over” & “Going Through Changes” just to name a few, like dude needs these songs as reassurance he’s going to be alright, it’s not like back in 2002 where he was making tracks called “Kill You” and “Criminal”.
Frankly, it’s a jarring thing to see Em this way. It’s like buying an angry young pitbull that’s just crazy and chases everything and everyone, then it gets sick, ages a little bit, and now it doesn’t even chase after people as they walk by, it just barks from where it sits. But ultimately that’s still your pitbull and Em is still Em, just like your still going to love your pitbull, people are always going to still love Eminem, so people are still going to listen and people are still going to buy the album and while he might not be able to go back to the Em we grew up knowing, he has the opportunity to transition into something completely new. He hints at this past anger, this underlying self doubt, yet seems to be mature and old enough to move past it and is ultimately trying to hit on something bigger. For the fans sake, I hope he does.
Download “Love The Way You Lie” right here