by EminemEminem


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Eminem placed himself in exile shortly after Encore wound down, a seclusion initially designed as creative down-time but which soon descended into darkness fueled by another failed marriage to his wife Kim and the death of his best friend Proof, culminating in years of drug addiction. Em none too subtly refers to that addiction with the title of Relapse, his first album in five years, but that relapse also refers to Marshall Mathers reviving Slim Shady and returning to rap. Relapse is designed to grab attention, to stand as evidence that Eminem remains a musical force and, of course, a provocateur spinning out violent fantasies and baiting celebrities, occasionally merging the two as when he needles one-time girlfriend Mariah Carey and her new husband Nick Cannon. Strive as he might to make an impact in the world at large -- and succeeding in many respects -- Relapse is the sound of severe isolation, the product of too many years of Eminem playing king in his castle in a dilapidated Detroit, subsisting on pills, nachos, torture porn, and E! Daily News. As he sifted through junk culture, he also tweaked his rhyming, crafting an elongated elastic flow that contrasts startlingly with Dr. Dre's intensified beats, ominous magnifications of his thud-and-stutter signature. Musically, this is white-hot, dense, and dramatic not just in the production but in Eminem's delivery; he stammers and slides, slipping into an accent that resembles Paul Rudd's Rastafarian leprechaun from I Love You Man and then back again. His flow is so good, his wordplay so sharp, it seems churlish to wish that he addressed something other than his long-standing obsessions and demons. True, he spends a fair amount of the album exorcising his addiction -- smartly tying it to his never-abating mother issues on "My Mom" -- but most of Relapse finds Eminem rhyming twitchily about his old standbys: homosexuals, starlets, and violent fantasies, weaving all of them together on "Same Song and Dance" where he abducts and murders Lindsay Lohan, suggesting more than a passing familiarity with I Know Who Killed Me. The many, many references to Kim Kardashian's big ass and minutely detailed sadism can get a wee bit tiring, Relapse isn't really about what Eminem says, it's about how he says it. He's emerged from his exile musically re-energized and the best way to illustrate that is to go through the same old song and dance again, the familiarity of the words drawing focus on his insane, inspired flow and Dre's production. That might not quite make Relapse culturally relevant -- recycled Christopher Reeve jokes aren't exactly fresh -- but it is musically vital, which is all Eminem really needs to be at this point. [A clean version of the CD, with all profanities removed, was also released.]

Product Details

Release Date: 05/19/2009
Label: Aftermath
UPC: 0602527032139
catalogNumber: 001286402
Rank: 39779

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eminem   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Jeff Bass   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Luis Resto   Keyboards
Mark Batson   Keyboards
Tamara Powell   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Mike Elizondo   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Sean Cruse   Guitar
Traci Nelson   Background Vocals
Lisa Ivey   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Tavia Ivey   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Erik "Baby Jesus" Coomes   Guitar
Kip Blackshire   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Eric Danchick   Sampling
Dawaun Parker   Keyboards
Elizabeth Keener   Vocals,Voices
Matthew St. Patrick   Vocals
Charmagne Tripp   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Angela Yee   Track Performer
Trevor Lawrence   scratching,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Walter Egan   Composer
Dr. Dre   Audio Production
Jeff Bass   Composer
Don Black   Composer
Andy Hill   Composer
Luis Resto   Composer
Mark Batson   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Melvin Bradford   Composer
Mike Elizondo   Composer
Deborah Mannis-Gardner   Sample Clearance
Paul "Bunyan" Rosenberg   Composer,Engineer,Writer
Andre Young   Composer
Paul Foley   Engineer
Julian Alexander   Art Direction
Eminem   Producer,Writer,Audio Production
Sean Cruse   Composer
Marshall Mathers   Composer
Ruben Rivera   Engineer
Curtis Jackson   Composer
Dennis Dennehy   Publicity,Marketing
Doc Ish   Audio Production
Dawaun Parker   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Andrew Flad   Marketing
Dominic West   Producer
Sauce   Audio Production
Trevor Lawrence   Composer,Producer,Audio Production

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