18 Songs, 1 Hour 10 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Eminem has always been something of a shape shifter, a constructor of elaborately self-referential personas whose penchant for self-exploration can often take the form of snide, self-consciously juvenile lyrical play, bracingly bitter tirades, or ice grilled hip-hop classicism. On The Marshall Mathers LP Eminem cleverly resurrects the earnestly self aware, Masta Ace-idolizing backpacker of his indie debut The Infinite, and introduces him to Slim Shady’s gleeful nihilism, birthing a compelling new persona to guide us through this, his third, and perhaps finest album. Though still operating under the aegis of Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label, Eminem uses The Marshall Mathers LP as an opportunity to display his talents as a producer. He proves capable of crafting moodily compelling soundscapes, such as the chiming, Rakim quoting “The Way I Am”, but his productions generally hove to a single, somewhat plodding template. However Eminem is ably supported here by a cadre of veteran producers who provide The Marshall Mathers LP with many of its most exhilarating moments. Former Flavor Unit mastermind 45 King loops a Dido sample to unexpectedly mesmerizing effect on “Stan” while Dr. Dre drapes large portions of the The Marshall Mathers LP in impeccably produced, shimmering G-Funk. In the midst of this embarrassment of sonic riches and Eminem’s playful identity crises, it is easy to lose sight of his remarkable talent as an MC. In the end it is his incisive lyricism and elusive off beat/on beat delivery that make The Marshall Mathers LP a true classic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Eminem has always been something of a shape shifter, a constructor of elaborately self-referential personas whose penchant for self-exploration can often take the form of snide, self-consciously juvenile lyrical play, bracingly bitter tirades, or ice grilled hip-hop classicism. On The Marshall Mathers LP Eminem cleverly resurrects the earnestly self aware, Masta Ace-idolizing backpacker of his indie debut The Infinite, and introduces him to Slim Shady’s gleeful nihilism, birthing a compelling new persona to guide us through this, his third, and perhaps finest album. Though still operating under the aegis of Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label, Eminem uses The Marshall Mathers LP as an opportunity to display his talents as a producer. He proves capable of crafting moodily compelling soundscapes, such as the chiming, Rakim quoting “The Way I Am”, but his productions generally hove to a single, somewhat plodding template. However Eminem is ably supported here by a cadre of veteran producers who provide The Marshall Mathers LP with many of its most exhilarating moments. Former Flavor Unit mastermind 45 King loops a Dido sample to unexpectedly mesmerizing effect on “Stan” while Dr. Dre drapes large portions of the The Marshall Mathers LP in impeccably produced, shimmering G-Funk. In the midst of this embarrassment of sonic riches and Eminem’s playful identity crises, it is easy to lose sight of his remarkable talent as an MC. In the end it is his incisive lyricism and elusive off beat/on beat delivery that make The Marshall Mathers LP a true classic.

TITLE TIME

More By Eminem