First Hit #1: May 22, 2010
Eminem’s comeback period began with an attempt to recapture the Slim Shady character, and it could have gone better. Part two, an attempt to recapture that other big part of his career, the more confessional part, leading to Not Afraid. I do prefer the quasi-inspirational Eminem to the plucky trouble-maker, and the chorus even gets to an odd hip-hop gospel vibe. Eminem wants to inspire, and while he’s not exactly treading new ground musically or lyrically – he’s really channeling Lose Yourself a few years later – it’s at least a bit better than Crack a Bottle. Eminem has always been better when he’s his own muse, and while people familiar with his music will be basically familiar with most of the stories he relates, and his pet obsessions, and his personal life which he constantly brings up, it’s still at least trying for something. It’s not essential really, but it’s welcome.