Eminiem Is Back, But His New Album Is Majorly Disappointing

Eminiem Is Back, But His New Album Is Majorly Disappointing

Shady's back, but not without a few unfortunate missteps.

As an Eminem fan, and someone who appreciates all of his records (yes even "Recovery" and "MMLP2"), I was greatly anticipating his latest album: "Revival." And, despite what critics and fans are saying, I think it's a great Eminem album. Its 19 tracks are, for the most part, rife with Em's second-to-none technical prowess and lyrical ability. It also checks off a big box of mine, which was for Em to maintain his now aging rap style instead of adopting anti-lyrical modern rap trends. There's enough here to keep me content.

Yes, Eminem does continue to infuse pop into his music, much to the distaste of his hardcore fans. But I'm not so hardcore of a hip-hop fan where I dismiss the infusion of catchy pop hooks. In fact, I think they can sometimes add meaningful impact to his songs.

Look at his massive pop-rap hit "Love the Way You Lie" for example. When Eminem raps, he's best at translating one emotion and one emotion only: anger. So when Rihanna jumps in with her soft and mellow chorus, it helps balance out the song, changing the tone from what would have been pure anger, to something more along the lines of angry regret – certainly more befitting of a song about the collision of love and hate.

Therefore (getting back on track), I don't throw my arms up in angry disapproval when I see features from the likes of P!nk, Ed Sheeran, and of course, long-time collaborator Skylar Grey.

In fact, I was a big fan of his previous pop-infused album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2." MMLP2 sampled classic rock on a large scale, with beats crafted from songs like "Time of the Season" by The Zombies and "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh, and I thought it all worked pretty well. In "Revival" Eminem continues that trend in songs like "In My Head," which samples The Cranberries.

However, to my disappointment, there was one trend he didn't continue in "Revival."

Most Eminem albums are split into two different types of songs: goofy and offensive "Slim Shady" songs and introspective and personal "Marshall Mathers" songs. In the latter type, Em immerses us into his own personal dramas – almost always involving his parents, his ex-wife Kim Mathers, or his daughter Hailie. In "MMLP2," Eminem, rightfully, abandoned these worn-out rants.

He even wrote a song apologizing to his mom. Instead, the album showed a new Eminem, someone who is well-aware that he's in his 40's, rich, and on top of the rap game. That was a grown-up Em and I hoped I would see that same Em throughout his next album.

But in "Revival," he goes back to ranting about Kim, Hailie, and the usual drama. Now that Em is 45, it's strange to see him continue to rap about the same things he was rapping about in his 20's. The emotional impact of these types songs has been well watered down.

In addition, perhaps out of an awareness that these topics are getting increasingly repetitive, Eminem did something that he's never done before: rap about politics.

There are quite a few songs in this album directed at Donald Trump, and they don't really have a place in the Eminem canon. Maybe he did it to maintain relevance, or maybe he did it because he genuinely cares about social justice issues, but never has Eminem ever adopted a persona of someone who cares about social justice. Instead, the persona that Eminem has cultivated throughout his extensive career, has been someone who is deeply controversial.

His songs have been violent, misogynistic, hedonistic... you name it. So when he comes after Trump, it's not impactful, it's laughable. It's especially pathetic because there are still offensive and violent "Shady" songs mixed into the tracklist. You'll have one song where he goes on a moral crusade, and then in the next track he says "Cut my public defender's jugular then stuck him up in a blender."

Taking a moral high ground is something I never expected Eminem to even attempt; it's uncharacteristic, and it's pretty sad to see him try.

Although there isn't a lot here that adds anything new to the Eminem canon, there are still some worthy songs. In my favorite song of the album, "Arose," Eminem sheds light on his near-death drug overdose with vivid description.

In "Castle," Em goes through his entire career in a series of self-written letters to his daughter Hailie. It's a great and worthy throwback to "Stan."

In "River," Em comes up with another one of his hilariously good instances of wordplay: "This love triangle left us in a wreck tangled."

There's definitely a lot I like about "Revival," but I'm disappointed to see him try to get into politics after having made a career out of being the guy that sticks up his middle finger and doesn't care. It's also sad to see him waste his talents rapping, for the umpteenth time, about the same personal drama.

Nonetheless, in whatever form, Shady's back and I'm glad.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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