Albums like this are what tarnish a great rapper’s legacy. I couldn’t believe my ears here. What happened to one of the best? This is certainly garbage. Although known for pristine similes, Eminem’s talent in that department has mostly dissipated. Somehow, Revival contains his worst bars yet. While Em can still rap at a high level as far as technical skill, this album is not remotely compelling. Listening to these painfully harsh 19 tracks, he has undoubtedly lost his edge. The stop-and-go flows heard throughout are more annoying than impressive. Forced metaphors are abundant. This album hurts to listen to. These tracks are either a rehash or a hot mess. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a GOAT. Conversely, Eminem just buried Slim Shady six feet deep. Revival fluctuates between boring and vexing. The fusion style production boggles the mind and stabs the ears. Wow, this is bad.
I figured this album would be shit. Once I saw the track listing, I sighed. First of all, 19 tracks are about 11 too many. “We’re in a pickle that is too hard to deal”. “Actually, just shit on my last chick and she has what my ex lacks”. Continuing to quote Em isn’t necessary, honestly. Just writing these horrendous bars makes me sick to my stomach. Speaking of sick, I’m sick of Eminem ruining rock tracks. The rock-infused tracks accomplish nothing except a migraine. They sound awful, and Eminem’s singing is utterly atrocious. Not every rapper is a good singer, I get it. However, if they sound this whiny, they need to use Auto-tune or stop entirely. At times, he finds himself spitting personal and reflective verses. The concepts of “Bad Husband” and “Untouchable” have good intentions. But good intentions don’t automatically lead to great music.
“Bad Husband” is contradictory. The hook from X Ambassadors takes one step forward and two steps back. Other than the incredibly drab vocal performance, the lyrics are distasteful. Em is asking how he can be such a great father, but a terrible husband. He reiterates his skills as a father. “A good dad, a great father, but a bad husband”. It’s like he’s trying to brag but demean himself at the same time. It simply does not work. “Untouchable” might be the worst activist track I’ve ever heard. Slim attempts to represent blacks and bash the media and government for keeping us down for all these years. His recurring use of the word “us” bothered me. As much as I joke about drafting Eminem into the black race, he’s white. And, Em, if you’re going to try to be our ambassador, make a better song! Is he using black struggle?
It definitely feels like it to me. His frustrations with Trump and the media and his critics end up meaning little when executed this poorly. Perhaps my biggest gripe with Revival is the redundant material. All of the singers do the same exact job. So why are there seven of them? They are copies of the same bland pop song over and over again. Em showcases little to no musical chemistry with any of these vocalists. Beyoncé sounds elegant on “Walk on Water”. Nevertheless, I hate that it is the opening song. It has a closer type feel to it. It’s also one of the better performances from Eminem. So starting with Track One this album has nowhere to go but down. And, boy, does it go downhill at the speed of light. This album cannot be defended, even by the most loyal Eminem fans. We deserve better; remember that.