On December 15th 2017 Eminem released his ninth studio album Revival after months of anticipation. The 15th was one day after our deadline for Viberant’s end of year lists i.e album of the year and songs of the year, this didn’t matter either way, as Em wouldn’t have gotten a look in.
The anticipation I mentioned earlier was all but dead when Em released his first single from the album, the opener Walk On Water, it has a Beyonce feature which was exciting before you hear it, but when you do actually hear it you realise nobody could save that track, it’s as whack as any song you’ve ever heard. The lyrics and meaning to the track are all well and good (Eminem’s struggles with current times) But the delivery, flow and production are all so woeful. I wouldn’t even call this a rap song, it’s just some really bad spoken word. It feels like an add on to his BET Donald Trump diss.
The features are nothing more than an attempt to gain some commercial success, having Ed Sheeran on your album doesn’t make it good, it doesn’t even make it a tiny bit better. The features are in fact, the most irritating part of this whole thing, because as soon as I saw them I knew this album would never live up to Eminem’s gigantic legacy.
It’s not 100% negative criticism, though. The lyrics are often times heartfelt, it’s clear that now more than ever he’s mature, it can be seen throughout. It’s impressive how fast and precise Eminem raps in Offended, truly remarkable how fast it is, even surpassing Rap God for words per second. For positives, that’s about all I can muster up.
It just doesn’t feel like a rap album, certainly not a rap album you’d expect from somebody who has the credentials Eminem has, but then again it has become a bit of a theme for him in the 2010’s. When you look at the evolution of Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, it’s clear that Eminem has been left behind in every aspect, the game has changed and he hasn’t.
This is Eminem’s worst attempt yet, it’s yet another album that has fallen miserably flat on it’s face, and it’s a damn shame. It does nothing to help his legacy, but it might go some way in taking away from it. Maybe it’s time to take a look at the statement from legend Andre 3000- the older you are the worse you can get, maybe it’s time for Em to consider calling it quits, before he does any more damage to his reputation.