Eminem: Relapse (2009)
Rating: 7/10
Best Tracks: My Mom; We Made You; Beautiful

So; 5 years passed between Em’s somewhat lacklustre Encore and this, his ‘comeback’ album. I rushed out and bought Relapse on its day of release, played the first 5 tracks, and promptly shelved it until now. Why? I don’t know. What I’d heard wasn’t in any way bad; but neither was it inspired. What it undoubtedly deserved was another chance, and I’m finally giving it that.

Eminem has a huge amount to say on this album, and his lyrics vary between laugh out loud funny, and toe-curlingly gruesome – just like his best work on The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show. The Skits are hilarious; often providing a welcome spot of relief in between dark, unpleasant imagery, and the sing-along choruses we have come to associate with Em’s singles are all there (We Made You and Beautiful in particular).

Where Relapse falls down, in my opinion, is Eminem’s over-telling of his struggle with drugs over the past few years. Granted; the whole album is supposed to focus on this subject, but it does seem that Em starts to repeat himself somewhat, and the lyrics do lose impact after a time. This said; Relapse is a welcome return to form from Eminem, and an album I will enjoy again and again, along with (most of) his back catalogue. I’m just sorry I didn’t listen to it sooner.

Listen here: