With ‘Marshall Mathers LP 2’ Eminem sets out to do exactly what he did with its absolutely flawless prequel; giving an insight into what his twisted mind makes of this world. He succeeds in that respect. What has changed though is his twisted mind, which seems to have sorted itself out a tad bit. Eminem is still vitriolic in his delivery but it somehow burns less.
Eminem was very pop-oriented when selecting beats for his previous effort ‘Recovery’. This trend has been carried forward to this album as we get another tedious Rihanna collaboration in ‘The Monster’ after the very popular ‘Love The Way You Lie’. ‘Berzerk’ which has Rick Rubin at the helm as producer is probably the least entertaining song on the album. It is baffling that Eminem chose it to be the lead single. Eminem’s attempt at singing in ‘Stronger Than I Was’ is a bitter pill to swallow and it is dragged down further by a corny beat. ‘Headlights’, a track in which he finally apologises to his mom and ‘Legacy’ are the only two tracks off the album where the poppy beats are not detrimental.
When he is not fuelling his newfound fixation for questionable beats Eminem is busy producing work on par with his best. ‘Rhyme or Reason’ which samples The Zombies’- ‘Time Of The Season’ totally hits the spot. It is good enough to be on the original ‘Marshall Mathers LP’. The album opener ‘Bad Guy’ is a sequel to the masterpiece ‘Stan’ and it does not disappoint. Eminem seamlessly changes his flow midway through the track which goes on to show why he is held is such high regard. His virtuosity as a rapper is in full display throughout the album but never more than in the closing verses of ‘Rap God’ where he breaks into a machine gun flow.
Eminem has tipped his hat to ‘Marshall Mathers LP’ on this record on many occasions. While it works more often than not, his references feel a little outdated sometimes. However, his lyricism and wordplay are supreme throughout. Had it been revealed in the garb of better production and focused more on Eminem’s anger laced wit, it could have touched the original’s brilliance. Sadly, it’s just another Eminem album.
8eight8music gives MMLP2 a score of 6.5/10