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Eminem - Music To Be Murdered By (Album Review)

Friday, 31 January 2020 Written by Milly McMahon

Eminem has been penning borderline psychotic, murderous bars for over two decades. Inspired by self-hatred, trauma, neglect and anger, Marshall Mathers has always remained defiant in the face of judgement.

But on his recent surprise release, the Alfred Hitchcock-inspired LP ‘Music To Be Murdered By’, Eminem achieves the base goal of numerically adding to his discography, but little else of note.

Where on his best albums the Detroit native’s damage and pain were discussed with clarity and wild abandon, on this latest episode a regressive attitude is revisited that does not evolve the vision of an artist who remains an outrageously talented wordsmith. 

Produced by long-term collaborator Dr Dre, among many others, an overload of humour and fun come into focus on the LP’s weakest tracks.

Little Engine is a patronising and lacklustre attempt at recreating Eminem's mid period vintage, and at other times he sounds like an annoying child unable to refrain from making noise because of the attention it commands him. 

Stepdad, meanwhile, is a devastatingly weak grab at the originality and prowess of his grisly masterpiece Kim. That said, fleeting moments of brilliance appear. Ironically, on tracks Eminem seems to invest less of himself in, that effortless flow peeks through. But when he sets his mind to producing a track that recreates who he was back in the day, something is lost. 

His fear of complacency is fought against so desperately that ‘Music To Be Murdered By’ never measures up to the benchmarks of old. Collaborations with Ed Sheeran on Those Kinda Nights, Anderson .Paak on Lock it Up and Eminem's standout track Farewell remind us that Marshall's lyrical prowess remains potent. But his inspiration is a mess of ideas that leads nowhere.

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