I have been an Eminem fan since I was in the sixth grade and I first heard the song My Name Is off of the Slim Shady LP. It is a testament to the mans music that I still anticipate his new work after eleven years and he is one of the few that artists that my twelve year old self and present day me would both listen to. So with that in mind I decided to make a list of the best songs on Recovery, the most recent addition to his catalog (also check out my article: Best of Eminem: The best songs by Eminem). Eminem released his new album in June and it quickly became the number one album in the country selling over 741,000 units its first week out. As of this writing he currently has seven songs off of the album in the Billboard Top 100. That is an amazing feat in itself for someone who battled addiction and personal tragedies for years that admittedly hampered the quality of his music. While his last CD Relapse was a good starting place to bring his career back to where he wanted Eminem wasn’t very happy with the project. Recovery is not a disappointment and builds off of Relapse to create one of Em’s best releases to date. Recovery has been in heavy rotation in my car and headphones for as long as I have had it and without further ado here are what I think to be the six best songs on the album:
No Love: You would think that you couldn’t really take a song that samples Haddaway’s club hit What is Love? seriously after Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan’s SNL skits but you would be pleasantly surprised by this one. Lil Wayne provides the first verse on here and Weezy definitely brings it which is a welcome relief because he can be so hit or miss lyrically. His flow is very slow and laid back on the beat and then starts to pick up the pace for the last half of the verse and concludes:
You can keep knockin’ but don’t knock me down/ No love lost, no love found
As good as Wayne was on this song Eminem proceeds to absolutely kill the song with an extended verse with his flow in fantastic form. He says so much in the time allotted that I don’t want to begin to break it down here so give it a listen for yourself and see what you think of it.
Going Through Changes: This is my absolute favorite song on Recovery. I had this one on repeat from when I finished listening to it the first time and still play it back to back. It delves so deep into his addiction to pills and into the death of his best friend, Proof, it ultimately haunts you while listening. Ozzy Osbourne is sampled for the hook that gives the song its title and it works very well much like the sample on Eminem’s song Beautiful off of the Relapse album. Going Through Changes really brings you into his world of anger, depression, and self loathing that comes to a head in the third verse that simulates his overdose complete with the voice of a little girl representing his daughter and a heart monitor flat lining. One of the finest songs he had ever made in my opinion.
Talkin’ 2 Myself: Is anybody out there? It feels like I’m talkin’ 2 myself. An artist named Kobe sings the hook on this track that expresses Eminem’s loneliness on a rather uptempo beat. In the first verse of the song he speaks on the jealousy he felt towards other rappers and how it almost pushed him to diss Lil Wayne and Kanye West. Eminem says that he would have had his ass handed to him by either one of them, which I doubt I would definitely put him above either in a lyrical contest drug addiction or not. What I love about this song is the conflict he has going on in his head between hating what other rappers are doing and realizing that he has too many problems of his own to really speak on other people and has to focus on getting his life together.
Space Bound: This song for me is like Eminem unplugged with its acoustic instrumental and I have heard people say that this is Em being soft. The topic may be about love and broken relationships but it is definitely chock full of darker emotions like these lyrics from the third verse:
But I loved you so much never mistreated you once/ I pour my heart out to you let down my guard swear to god/ I’ll blow my brains in your lap lay here and die in your arms
There’s nothing soft about that and the verse goes even further off the edge after those bars. When I first listened to this track I wasn’t in the mood for it I guess and skipped on to the next song, the second round of listening I didn’t make the same mistake and now it’s amongst my favorites of the moment.
Cinderella Man: Fuck my last cd that shit’s in my trash. Eminem really makes it clear on this track that he wants to reclaim his old form and it’s obvious from listening that he has. This song signifies his recovery and marks a different mindset from the other songs on the list, he is more appreciative for the life he has and owns up to his mistakes and any lackluster material he put out over the last few years.
Love the Way You Lie: Some people don’t like it when their favorite rappers do songs with pop artists on the hook and I’ll admit there have been some bad collaborations over the years but this isn’t one of them. Rihanna sounds perfect on this song and not just because of the subject matter but her voice fits perfectly on the hook. Between Eminem’s intensity and the beauty of Rhianna’s voice this song is going to be played a whole lot in the coming months and as of now is already #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
And right now it’s a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight
High off her love, drunk from my hate, it’s like I’m huffin’ paint
And I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
These are my favorite six songs off of Eminem’s Recovery and it’s not to say that they are the only worthwhile one’s to listen to. While it isn’t a perfect album it is still very good and in short Eminem is back and has the work ethic again to keep himself on top.