Having released six albums in the period 1996 – 2009, Eminem is perhaps one of the most controversial rappers in the hip hop scene. Having been labeled as being disruptive throughout his career, Marshall Bruce Mathers III has indeed undergone many phases throughout these 13 years including his incredible second album “Slim Shady” (1999), but also his poor comeback after 5 years of silence trouble with “Relapse” (2009). Now, with “Recovery”, Eminem seems to have found his steps, walking on a more stable road, ready to recover for good; hopefully.
“Recovery” Is Nothing Like “Relapse”
“Recovery” is nothing like any previous Eminem’s studio albums. Leaving the satire aside and sounding more mature than ever, the 37-year old rapper accepts the faults of “Relapse” (2009) and “Encore” (2004) in an attempt to reposition himself in the hip-hop crème de la crème.
Overall, the album’s lyrics are written in a simple, straightforward way, yet they sound weird at first audition. Some people may be repelled, but with closer attention, it becomes clear that Eminem knows his business. And in the mainstream, industrialized rap that produces commercial, light tracks, Eminem’s “Recovery” sounds like a gem in the rough.
“Not Afraid” Is an Apology Single
The first single of the album, “Not Afraid”, is an apology for the fail of “Relapse”. Eminem sings in a slow beat “And to the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back, I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact, Let’s be honest, that last Relapse CD was “ehhhh”, Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground”, being blatantly honest and exorcizing his demons. Whatever his dark days have been, he is ready to take the stand, along with his fans and walk the road of recovery.
In tracks like “On Fire” and “Won’t Back Down (feat. Pink)” Eminem uses his old, well-known offensive language while exposing his great ability in emceeing. As the album progresses, Eminem reveals his emotional side in “Talking to Myself (feat. Kobe)”, “25 To Life”, “Seduction” and “Spacebound”. Eminem features also Lil Wayne in “No Love” and Rihanna in “Love The Way You Lie”. Without being too commercial, Eminem reminds us of his old good MCing days, but he also introduces some rock touches with “Going Through Changes” that momentarily evokes good Rock ballad of the 70s.
“Recovery” Chart Performance
During its first week of release, “Recovery” sold 741,000 copies and peaked on #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums. During its second week, the album sold 313,000 copies and another 229,000 copies during the third week, reaching 1.2 million copies in almost a month. The album did equally well abroad. In the U.K. sold 140,000 copies in its first week peaking on #1 on the UK Albums Chart, while in Canada sold 85,000 peaking on #1 on Canada’s Albums Chart. “Recovery” went Platinum in Australia with 70,000 albums sold.
Recently Eminem has claimed that “Selling 80 million copies of ‘Recovery’ would mean nothing’. Apparently, the album is on the right track with Eminem’s admirable transition from various troubles on previous releases to a more substantial, comprehensive, self aware release.