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on May 27, 2009
Well I'm wasting my lunch break to write this review so it must be something I feel deeply about. I am glad to see so many positive reviews despite some very average to below average ones. I don't think this album is for everyone but nor do I think Eminem is! A lot of negative reviews have pointed out that this album is all over the place, a desperate break to try to regain the spot light. They say there's no content. Some of that I can understand but let me shine some light on the negativity. Yes some of the content is not there. A lot of times in this album there's nonsense and no point just rhyming words and sick flow. For instance the Christopher Reeves lines don't impress me and on Bagpipes from Baghdad he does a miraculous job tearing down Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey but why did he switch to talking about haveing sex with brain dead lesbion vegetables? He could shot out another verse about Drum Line or some other Nick cannon corny moments and Mariah breakdowns. And the final negative moment for this album is 50CENT. God, let that guy go and get some credible MCs. Can you imagine if Royce and Shady put out a duet. Crack a bottle is a very very average track but the rest is all GREAT and let's get to that!

If you don't love this album you either don't like real hip hop, you like that krunk club crap you hear on the radio with fools who sound like they have a mouth full of food. You only like songs about bitches, blunts, clubs, guns, and cars, or LOVE and SEX. YOU don't watch Law and Order SVU cuz you can't stomach it. Or you are jealous and hate the white boy cuz his flow and lyricism are better than anyone else who gets radio play. This is Slim Shady at his finest!

You have to start there, this is a SLIM SHADY album. If you're more of a fan of his Marshall Mathers persona theres songs like Mockingbird and When I'm Gone and the 8Mile soundtrack for you. If you love Eminem, the Eminem Show is an incredible album along with all his mixtapes and destruction of JaRule and Benzino. Encore could have been much better! And if you love Slim Shady this album is hot. I dare anyone to listen to The Slim Shady LP and then listen to Stay Wide Awake on this album and tell me any track on TSLP is better. He has evolved. Em locked Shady away and now he's out breathing the air, taking back whats his and reaping hell on a mainstream that has deteriorated into American Idol and Krunk Juice mixed with a little bit of over synthesized voices(Lil Wayne) and annoying voice samples(Kanye West). Ya he changes his voice throughout the album but that adds to the dimension. Its clever and amazing and exactly what it should be after years of anticipation. Think about artists like Jay-Z who are great but every time he comes out of retirement and puts something down its the same recycled stuff dumbed down and we never like it as much as the old original stuff. Em and DRe returned to the formula and put out something both raw, fun, spooky and real! Its fresh and different and unexpected and that's why they are the best! No he's not a mass murderer but we watch horror flicks and are entertained by the gore without criticizing the actors for acting. Em's lyrics are just that telling a horror story. Its fun and doesn't have to be "real".

Just sit back and listen to some the most intelligent rhymes ever put together. Try to recite some of them, its insane hard. This is Slim Shady at his best. I would say Eminem at his best is The Eminem Show and Marshall at his best was songs like Lose Yourself. Love it for what it is people and stop getting so hung up on it being different. Its supposed to be!
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on May 20, 2009
Eminem is BACK with his genius wordplay, flowing incredibly through each beat with finesse in syllable emphasis. I'm SO glad this album is a departure from Encore. IMO, Encore was going a different direction for Eminem that wouldn't have been good if he kept it up.

To this Day, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show reign supreme as my fav. Eminem albums, both different in MANY regards, but Relapse finds a way to intertwine both. It's leans more to Marshall Mather LP because this is the return of SHADY so it makes sense, but Eminem has also infused his brilliant flow from the Eminem Show. Both combine to make one incredible album.

I do wish there were a few more serious tracks that we've all come to know and love, but I feel he intentionally didn't add them, we all know he can do it, we dont need more proof of it, so maybe this album conceptually was proving that he can still be the "Shady" that attracted so many fans in the first place. So to those who wish for more of the 'serious' Eminem, I'd just say to be patient, I'm sure he will return to that style in the future, afterall, that's how EMINEM raps versus SHADY. Again, this album is SLIM SHADY, respect that. Eminem has his reasons n I personally feel he did the album this way with respect to Big Proof. If you read "The Way I Am" autobiography, you'd get the hint that Slim Shady was created because of Proof, so what better way to dedicate an album for your best friend than what Eminem has done with Relapse? Thanks for reading.
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on March 1, 2011
I received it in new condition. The first time I listened to it, I didn't like it. The second time I kinda liked it. Eminem's other work is better than this one. I wouldn't let my kid's listen to it. That's for sure. Don't recommend this.
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on December 8, 2013
A classic in its own way, it is the Slim Shady as we all imagine him to be, reckless, evil, spittin mad rhymes and killin' b1tche5, Slim trying to overcome drugs, maybe not his best appearance, but hey, he's walked a very harsh road to get this far after recovering from his drug addiction, this will probably suit more mature fans or some s*** like that idk.
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on June 8, 2014
I'm a big Eminem fan. Even saying that, this is far from his best album, a fact even he acknowledges. Still as a discounted purchase (5 bucks) I am not disappointed with my purchase. Wouldn't pay full price though.
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on February 16, 2013
After nearly five years (from 2005 to 2009) of not hearing a word about Eminem, we find out that he had a pill overdose in 2007 that almost claimed his life. The first thing we saw upon his return was a new, slimmer Eminem with brown hair. At first, my reaction to this was, "Is he just gonna be serious from now on?" Most fans thought he would. We thought that perhaps Slim Shady actually had changed for the better.

But like he said in No Apologies, He'll never give a f***.

Relapse is Eminem rapping like he's back on drugs. Which makes sense because he claims on the album "Encore" which for some reason, Eminem himself now hates, he said he was heavy into drugs and usually high when he wrote and recorded. Now on this album, his lyrical energy and controversial creativity we grew to love from all those years is back and stronger than ever.

When Eminem raps with such a high pitch in his voice as heard in 3 A.M., he actually kinda resembles the same voice he used in Infinite. This album, however, contains hardly any of his metaphoric creativity and relies more on bending words and rhymes around each other. For example the song "Bagpipes From Baghdad" and "My Mom" have interesting rhyme styles that we were anticipating since his disappearance. "You better lick the f*in plate, you ain't wastin' it, put your face in it 'fore I throw you in the basement again, and I ain't givin' in!"

The sick sense of humor Eminem has, we as fans have learned to develop. In the song "Insane" Eminem unflinchingly makes light of a supposed molestation he went through as a child from a stepfather. We all know it's not funny, but Slim says so many ridiculously random and over-the-top things that you KNOW it's not true. In "Same Song And Dance" (which in my opinion is probably the only song on the album I don't like because of the beat), Eminem raps about abducting actresses and singers and killing them. The song and dance referred to in the song is the victim's kicking and screaming for help. In the song "We Made you", Em hits on female celebrities all across the board from Sarah Palin to Ellen Degeneres, and tries to convince them that they have feelings for him.

My two favorite songs off the album are "Medicine Ball", which he continues to poke fun at Christopher Reeve, who passed away in 2004, but in a more sympathetic manner, if you can believe that's possible. And finally, "Underground", in which Eminem (in his old rap style from the Slim Shady EP) raps about relapsing from drugs and straightening out Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.

The album was released on May 19 and I bought it when it came out. There's still one line in the album he said that I cherish a lot. "F*** Jason, it's Friday the 19th. That means it's just a regular day. And this is the kind of s*** I think of regularly." If there's any moral lesson to be taken from this album, it's have a sense of humor. The world is a very sick place these days and if you're going to let all the negativity in the world drag you down then life just isn't worth living. Eminem learned that he had to live for the sake of his daughters and this album is proof that he put the world's problems aside to focus on providing for his family. This album is a must-have unless you're offended by the extreme sexual content that appears on Insane. But if you don't like the track, skip it! This album just screams "SLIM SHADY" and really shows off his crazy side. As I said, very little of the album was disliked but because to me, "Same Song & Dance" seemed like it was thrown together too fast. But the main reason this album shines so much is because Eminem uses the world's problems as a shield and plows right through his opponents with it.
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on July 18, 2011
Let me start off by saying this album isn't for everyone, you either love it or hate it, I would say it's a hit and miss for certain people. For me, it was a definite hit, I love Eminem's darker songs no matter if they're serious or not. What people don't realize is that there is a serial killer side to Slim Shady, and that's what this album is about about for the most part. This album is produced mostly by Dre, and the beats are very dark, matching the content of the CD. Every song on this album is good, but 'Crack a Bottle' and 'We Made You' stick out on a dark album like this, and would fit better on an album more like The Slim Shady LP or Encore. The very dark songs about murder and rape are 3 AM, Insane, Same Song and Dance, Medicine Ball, Stay Wide Awake, (and if you have Relapse: Refill) Buffalo Bill, and Music Box. And even when the songs aren't about murder or rape, they have a dark beat, for example: My Mom, Bagpipes From Baghdad, Hello, Must Be the Ganja, Deja Vu, Beautiful, and Underground (Old Time's Sake being the only exception other than Crack a Bottle and We Made you). Overall this is a very good album, and there's never been an album this dark in the history of hip-hop. (My standout songs are the songs about rape and murder - Medicine Ball + Must Be the Ganja, Deja Vu, Beautiful, and Underground).

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on May 19, 2009
The year of 2009 seems to have reversed the trend of sloppy music which characterized the last three of four years of hip hop. Jadakiss and Rick Ross both released solid(if somewhat uninspired) albums. Following on the heels of these releases, Eminem's "Relapse" seems surprisingly risky. There are no catchy singles on the album which compare to the rapper's previous chart-scaling efforts, just solid hip hop throughout. More importantly, Relapse represents the rapper attempting to come to terms with his tumultuous personal life--Proof's death, his daughter and mother, all leave their imprint on this album.
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on March 11, 2011
I've been a fan of Eminem for years and while I was very happy to see he was back I was also cautious because his last album left a real bad taste in my mouth. When reviewing an iconic artist like Eminem you have to take a couple of things into consideration. What are the standards of the genre, what standard has the artist set for himself and what is the current state of the genre.

When Eminem first come out on the scene, he was shocking and absolutely hilarious. Like he said, "I'm like a head trip to listen to, cause I'm only giving you things you joke about with your friends inside your living room. The only difference is I got the balls to say it in front of y'all and I don't gotta be false or sugarcoated at all." When the shock value fades then we look at what the artist is actually saying and believe it or not Eminem has a lot to say.

Has he matured? Absolutely. Did he tone down the vulgarity? No at all. This album seems to be the missing link between the Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem show. We have to wait and see what he does next but it seems Shady is back on track with this album. This album re-introduces us to Eminem and goes a long way in removing the bad taste he left in our mouth with Encore.

Has he come back to save rap? No. Sure the album is great but his time has passed. An artist saves a genre when he breathes new life into and while Shady has not do that here he has moved the chains. The album is great and rap is better for having him back but there is nothing new from Em here. Does this album meet Em's lofty expectations? Well if it doesn't, it's damn close. It's definitely not the masterpiece the Marshall Mathers LP was but not many records are. Relapse is a better album than the Slim Shady LP but it's not it's not fresh or new like the Slim Shady LP was when it was first released.

Stand Outs:

Same Song & Dance - Song about killing out of Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears; really funny and creative.
Stay Wide Awake - This is a very clever and dark song, sounds like something straight out of the Marshall Mathers LP.
Deja Vu - Talks about his battle with drug abuse. This is a very honest song where paints a very vivid picture of why it's so hard to quit bad habits.
Beautiful - This song is very similar to "Sing for the Moment", it talks about retiring and setting new goals for yourself.
Underground - This song is intense! Like "Til I Collapse" intense, it's great to hear him sound so passionate. This is an excellent way to end the album. It's been 4-5 years since Eminem has dropped a record and he is here to remind us of what he brought to the table.

8/10 - Great.
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VINE VOICEon November 2, 2009
Addiction, or so any self-respecting 12-stepper will tell you, is about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. And the biggest rap on Eminem--at least since The Marshall Mathers EP--is that he's just repeating himself, trying with ever-more-evident effort to shock an increasingly jaded public. Granted, he may be expecting the same results--earning the love (or at least the dollars) of millions of fans, gaining attention (positive or negative) from every media organ in the land, regaining his place atop one of the higher hills in the pop-culture landscape. But otherwise he acts like a rap addict, and--as has been pointed out by other reviewers--he plays it up with a title that's about both substance abuse and a reversion to his Slim Shady persona.

And he has his fun playing to the public perception on this awesome album: "I know you're probably tired about hearin' about my mom, whoa-hoa-oh-oh," he says on "My Mom," an infernally catchy earworm of a song about someone whose face seems perpetually taped to the family-members-only section of his lyrical dartboard. "Hello" sounds similar to any number of earlier anthems--"My Name Is...", "The Real Slim Shady," and so forth. And he drops a few more fantasy murder songs of the sort that would give most post-Columbine psychologists an aneurysm, even entitling one of them "Same Song and Dance."

But I don't buy it.

For all the similarities, the seeming sniping at slow-moving pop-culture targets (or immobile ones, like Christopher Reeves), the family feuds that make most others seem like tame game shows, the Paul Rosenberg and Steve Berman skits, the awesome beats from Dr. Dre, there's some subtle-but-important differences.

First and foremost is a notable absence--the only Kim he mentions here is named Kardashian. It may seem like a little difference, but it seems Eminem's now committed to settling some things behind closed doors, or at least outside the studio. In place of the finely-detailed and often Kim-directed violent fantasies on earlier discs, this album's violence is a lot more cartoonish and absurd, easier to laugh at than to get worked up over.

Elsewhere, though, he feels honest about things that he hasn't--ahem--touched on yet. Indeed, "Insane" feels like Eminem's Rosetta Stone, unlocking the meaning of all the perplexing homicidal homophobe persona with lyrics that somehow make scenes of childhood incest both hilarious and horribly believable. ("We're going out back to the shed," he says in his stepfather's voice, to which his young self replies, "Can't we just play with Teddy Ruxpin instead?") It's like his fifth album is his 5th Step and he's finally being honest about the nature of his wrongs; later on, he raps convincingly and, one presumes, honestly, about his experiences battling drug and alcohol addiction. (Granted, he's never been one to avoid drug-and-alcohol raps before, but there's a lack or romanticism and bravado here that's a far cry from songs like "Drug Ballad.") It's entertaining to hear the devilish voice of his own addiction added to the cachophony of characters in his raps, and even more so to hear him turn the lyrical artillery he'd used on others around and fires for effect on his own distorted thinking. And near the end, there's even some fairly positive and optimistic stuff, like "You're Beautiful." We've never heard much positive from Em; it seems like even when he's been profound and sensitive and moving (as on "Stan" or "Mockingbird," for instance) he's been negative and depressing, but this song seems almost lovey-dovey, and when one hears it, it almost seems like everything else, all those bitter pills on the album, were just medicine to make the sugar go down.

Granted, the ratio isn't dramatic. There is far more of that same old stuff we collectively OD'd on back in the day; it's still executed with sick flow and wicked beats, and it passes what, for me, is the only important test for music--when I listen to it, I find myself wanting to listen to it again. And the blending of old and new, of renewal and relapse, makes this perhaps his tightest album, conceptually--it's almost a shame no one's buying CDs any more, because unlike the scattershot "Encore," this is thematically solid down to the packaging, with a CD that looks like a pill-bottle top, and prescription-type labelling.

But of course, it's the contents of the bottle that we're after, and everything here is just what the doctor ordered--or rather, what we talked the doctor into giving us. And I am not complaining about that in any way. Although I've given up on some other addictions, listening to Eminem's one I hope to fall back into time and again for years to come.
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