Earlier this year, Eminem made headlines across the nation, with a performance of an anti-Trump political freestyle during the 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards. Needless to say, Shady pissed off a major percentage of “White America,” but that was the goal.
His new studio album, Revival, falls short of having any lasting impact. It opens with the lead single, “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé, a sappy pseudo-inspirational rap ballad about trying to be the best “you” that you can be.
Ever wonder what it would sound like to hear Eminem over a trap beat? “Believe” answers that question. Shady continues to experiment with the electronic-infused track “Chloraseptic” named after the oral anesthetic, featuring Brooklyn rapper Phresher and producer Mr. Porter.
“Untouchable” is the one redeeming factor, for its sample use of Cheech and Chong’s rock song, “Earache My Eye,” which cleverly enough sounds more like Shady’s M.O. than any other track.
Eminem’s collaboration with Ed Sheeran, “River” is another song that the world could have done without, although it is nice to see the ginger-haired pop singer show his love and appreciation for hip-hop.
Perhaps the most unsettling factor of the album is how Eminem’s sensei, Dr. Dre, only appears on the 27-second-long “Remind Me (Intro).” It almost seems as though Dre has washed his hands clean of the entire album.
Meanwhile, the track itself, “Remind Me,” was produced by Rick Rubin and features noticeable samples Joan Jett’s classic “I Love Rock and Roll.” Rubin also samples clips of John C. Reilly and Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, “King of Rock” by Run DMC, and “Girls” by the Beastie Boys, on the track “Heat,” and producer Scram Jones samples the ‘90s rock staple, “Zombie” by the Irish rock group, The Cranberries, on the track “In Your Head.”
The album is 19-tracks long with a running time of 77-minutes, but is not by any means a double album, though by recording industry standards it should be.
The newly political-fired Eminem wraps things up with the tracks “Castle” featuring DJ Khalil and “Arose,” a clever reference to the interpolation of “The Rose” by Bette Midler, which is sampled on the track.
Generally speaking, this may be the least impactful composition from Eminem in quite some time. Even though we see Shady take a much more political and outspoken tone, it still manages to fall short of what fans hoped to hear.
It also leaves us wondering why Shady didn’t feature his most recent label signees, Buffalo rappers Westside Gunn and Conway.
Revival lacks subtlety and finesse and is really only worth the attention of diehards Shady fanatics.