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 411mania » Music » Columns

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411 Music's Versus 06.23.10: Eminem - Relapse vs. Recovery
Posted by Daniel Wilcox on 06.23.2010



SELECTED FEEDBACK

Megadeth all the way! Anthrax is the weakest band of The Big Four, no question. Slayer is awesome but I don't know, they are a bit lower than both Ms. I pick Megadeth. Yes, Mustaine isn't perfect singer but he hides that with his insane and creative vocals. They're full of anger, grudgy and... It's hard to describe but vocals are awesome even though they don't sound perfect. IMO Megadeth's riffs are better than Metallica too. But! The biggest thing that decides my vote is that Metallica sold out. It makes it easy to choose Megadeth.

My rankings would be:
4. Anthrax
3. Metallica (even though I said Slayer is a bit lower but I like Slayer more)
2. Slayer
1. Megadeth
- Unbroken

If I were to rank them based on epic albums, Metallica would win having one more than Megadeth and 2 more than Slayer. Anthrax, while an important band, only has one epic album. - Jack

Like any self respecting Slayer fan, I would rather hear Slayer than breathe. Slayer > ALL. They're just too badass. All four bands are mega win though. :D - Frank

As for the article...

During the mid-late 80s it was a toss up for me between Anthrax and Megadeth(Among the Living is one of my favorites)Megadeth what can you say Dave is god(Killing, Peace So Far(which is vastly underrated)Rust are just as good as Kill'EM, Ride(my favorite Metallica moment)Master, And Justice.

The truth is both Megadeth and Metallica went on to try and be more mainstream (read sellout)while Metallica drastically altered their sound and softened up quite a bit(not to mention Lars's infamous rant about metal being dead and over with)shit on their whole legacy...Megadeth also changed but never so drastically as to alienate their core, Mustaine and Co. output during the 90s was far more acceptable to metal/thrash fans than Metallica's Load/Reload(which had a few decent hard rock moments 2x4,Ain't My Bitch, Fuel)but are truly forgettable, I even consider Death Magnetic questionable, it just seems a mess to me, and James's sad attempts at "singing" sorry it's just not him.

Slayer fell off my radar after Seasons and their current obsession the last few years with sucking on Slipknot's cock hasn't helped matters either.
My love affair with all things Anthrax ended after Sound of White Noise (Bush's vocals never fit any more than Blaze Bayley's fit Maiden) So for now Spreading the Disease, Ride the Lightning, Haunting the Chapel, Killing is My Business are occupying my time the last few weeks (along with Testament's New Order and Overkill's Feel the Fire)
- guest666

1.Megadeth,I love almost every one of their songs, hell I even like Risk. Rust in Peace is bar none my favorite album of all time.

2.Metallica, Though, recently they haven't been up to snuff (Death Magnetic was nice but just not up to the legendary standards of the past),their first 5 albums were a gold standard but the trespasses of Load, Reload, and St. Anger just stop them from being top dog in my opinion.

3.SLAYER, they are a very good band, I love their music but a lot of their music blends together for me and I get bored with them for a number of their albums, Reign in blood is still a favorite but I just haven't gelled with them yet.

4.Anthrax, I love a lot of their music, but they aren't as nearly as lasting as the other 3,but they've show some sparks of greatness, with Spreading the Disease and Among the Living being some of the best of the genre, and The Sound Of White Noise and We've Come For You All being string efforts, but not as good as the other 3.
- Str8EdgeCoop

Dave Mustaine is the Thrash Metal god, he created two greatest bands: Metallica and MEGADETH!.
He Rules!
- WUR

So taking those half dozen or so opinions as a sample and having looked through all of last week's comments, the consensus has Megadeth at the top of the big four pile, with Anthrax most definitely bringing up the rear and Metallica and Slayer battling it out in the middle. I imagine there'd be great support for Metallica but actually this was the result I'd agree with.

But it's another week and another hot battle in the 411 Versus Arena!

411 Music's Versus: RELAPSE vs. RECOVERY

VS.

Seriously, what the fuck is with all these negative reviews for this new album? People saying that Em's lost it, that he's disintegrated into a mere self-parody? Fuck that.

Growing up I was into rock music and Eminem. That was pretty much it for a long time. Over the years my enjoyment for Eminem opened up numerous musical doors for me in terms getting into hip hop. He's music's encouraged me to become as big a fan of hip-hop both old and new as I am a rock fan. And considering how massive Eminem was at the turn of the century I imagine that this was the same for a hell of a lot of people. Taking into account influence on pop culture, Eminem has to be considered one of the all-time greats not just in the hip-hop game, but in music as a whole.

Recovery is a very, very good album. Admittedly it took me a few listens to get into, and it's not quite on the same level as The Eminem Show or The Marshall Mathers LP, but it's still head and shoulders above any other mainstream hip-hop album I've heard in 2010.

I said a lot of the same things about 2009's Relapse and while all that spiel may still apply what is clear from listening to the two albums back-to-back is that they are distinct, two entirely different pieces of work.

Relapse marked Eminem's first album in five years and it turned out to be a pretty polarizing record. Things I loved about the album include the fact that it was all Em with very few guests. I also liked the whole serial killer motif than ran throughout, and the fact that it genuinely managed to push boundaries of decency in a time when it's damn near impossible to shock anyone with music or anything else, such is the desensitization society has gone through in recent years.

The album was far from perfect though. While they didn't irritate me as much as they did others, Em's odd accents were all over that record for no obvious reason. There was still a lot of talk about Mrs. Mathers, and Kim. And the ever-present pop culture references bordered on desperate at times.

Some of these elements are again present on Recovery. The first mention of Mariah Carey comes in opening track "Cold Wind Blows," which also features that overly nasally snarl that could be off-putting but oddly works quite well here. Other celebrity references are just bizarre – Dane Cook and Brooke Hogan get a mention at one point.

Really? Brooke fuckin' Hogan?



The Kanye West-VMA reference is genuinely funny though and catches Em at the top of his game.

"Man get these whack cocksuckers off stage / Where the fuck is Kanye when you need him? / Snatch the mic from him, bitch I'mma let you finish in a minute / Yeah the rap is tight / But I'm 'bout to spit the greatest verse of all time,"

It's worth pointing out the one of the album's highlights comes in a track where Em appears to be bitching and moaning about Kim again but toward the end of the track, "25 to Life," we get the line "fuck you hip-hop / my life sentence is served." This generally caught me off guard on first listen and after repeated listens this has become one of my favourite tracks from the record.

And while the lead single "Not Afraid" is one of the most uplifting tracks Em has ever penned, there's nothing on this record that's quite as powerful as "Beautiful" from Relapse. And that may be the weakness of Recovery, that there are lots of very strong tracks, some even great, but none that really touch the best of Relapse, "Beautiful," "Underground," and "Stay Wide Awake."

When this new record was set to be Relapse 2 there were rumors that it would include a ton of guest spots but this did not prove to be the case. Only Dre and 50 Cent appeared on Relapse and only Kobe, Lil Wayne, Pink and Rihanna feature on Recovery.

As cautious as I am about any music involving Pink, her work on "Won't Back Down" is one of the highlights of the album. Similarly Eminem brings the best out of Rihanna on "Love the Way You Lie." Just as he always has done, Em once again makes great uses of samples on Recovery. The "Reaching Out" sample on Relapse was a big part in making "Beautiful" as powerful as it was and on Recovery we get a kick ass "What is Love" sample on the Lil Wayne-featuring track "No Love" and some Black Sabbath love on stand-out track "Going Through Changes."

Ultimately in deciding which is the better of the two albums one has to recognize what I mentioned right at the beginning and that's these are two distinctly different albums.

Eminem himself described Relapse as "just rap records," which I suppose is accurate but one has to concede that they're very, very good rap records. Recovery is more "emotionally driven" and has a clearer focus. Em manages to convey vulnerability while still standing atop the rest of the pile that is the hip-hop game. He's confident because he seems to have found himself, or maybe re-found himself and he has an arrogance that has truly been earned.

As such Relapse was perhaps more of a fun record while Recovery is a truly great record.

But that's just one man's opinion. Both records have received mixed reviews and now I want to hear your opinion – which is better - Relapse or Recovery? Has Em lost it? How does the new album compare to other previous works? Let 411 know by hitting that comments section.



"Beautiful" – Eminem, from Relapse (2009)



"Not Afraid" – Eminem, from Recovery (2010)

My All-Time Favourite Eminem Tracks:
1. "Kim" from The Marshall Mathers LP
2. "Stand" from The Marshall Mathers LP
3. "Beautiful" from Relapse
4. "Sing for the Moment" from The Eminem Show
5. "Cleanin' Out My Closet" from The Eminem Show
6. "Mockingbird" from Encore
7. "Going Through Changes" from Recovery
8. "Stay Wide Awake" from Relapse
9. "Brain Damage" from The Slim Shady LP
10. "Lose Yourself" from Music from… 8 Mile

411 Versus' Readers Archive;
Megadeth def. Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax
The Album def. The Live Show
Red Hot Chili Peppers'
Blood Sugar Sex Magik def. RHCP's Californication
Pearl Jam's
Ten def. Nirvana's Nevermind
Vampire Weekend def. MGMT
My Chemical Romance def. Fall Out Boy
Blink 182 def. Green Day
Lady Gaga def. Rihanna
U2 def. Oasis






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