Maybe this is just because ever since college, (when I was a reluctant fan of The Marshall Mathers LP, despite my best efforts to be repulsed by it), I've been dreaming of what Eminem would sound like if he ever attempted to peel through the layers of posturing and bullshit and make a "mature" album. Anyone hoping 2010's Recovery would be that album will be disappointed, but I still personally find it to be kind of a fascinating mess.
"Fascinating" is not to be confused with "good". At best, this album is unbelievably erratic, and contains numerous moments that made me literally wince the first time I heard them (who is laughing at all the Michael J. Fox jokes? For your own good, Marshall, cut it the fuck out!)
Eminem sounds at war with himself on Recovery. On the best songs you hear a man struggling to achieve a new level of honesty, and to figure out what a more grown-up, reflective, and even repentant Eminem might sound like. And then on the very next song he's right back in the sewer, doing tired, lazy retreads of the kind of shock songs he used to....wait, did he just make another Michael J. Fox joke? It's not funny, it's just stupid! Even those knuckleheads who might have thought it was funny the first time don't want to keep hearing it. Stop it!!
Well, anyway, this obviously isn't a recommendation of this album, but for anybody who's ever been quietly rooting for Eminem to grow up and achieve something more profound, you might want to go to YouTube and listen to "Talkin' to Myself" or "Love the Way You Lie" or "Not Afraid" and keep on hoping. Or at the very least, listen to "No Love" on which Lil' Wayne rhymes "broken bottles" with "open Bibles," and hope that maybe that guy's best days could still be ahead of him as well.