Eminem - Revival Album Review

December 15, 2017

 

 

I've been waiting a long time to do this review. Eminem was one of my favourite rappers for a very long time, until I discovered the music of his I didn't like, and unfortunately there was a fair bit. I still think that Eminem is one of the greatest rappers to ever pick up a mic, however, he does have very cringey habits in some songs. My biggest problem with him is his delivery not fitting with a lot of features he chooses, not matching the mood of the songs he's making, and his singing can be really annoying, but only sometimes. But, with all that being said, when Eminem is at his best, he is an absolutely amazing MC, his lyrics, rhyme schemes and wordplay are actually insane. So I really hope that Eminem makes an effort with this album, I really want this to be as good or better than The Marshall Mathers LP2, but if I really like even half of the songs on this album I'll be happy. Let's get into this.

 

1. Walk on Water (feat. Beyoncé) (Produced by Rick Rubin and Skylar Grey)

 

Beyoncé sounds really nice on this hook, I don't really think it's really gonna suit Eminem's voice though, but we'll see. I have no real problems with this production, but again, I feel like it's not going to really match Em. Hmm. I don't know. I like the lyrical content of Em's verses, and I don't mind his delivery, but he sounds like he doesn't belong on this beat, and his pretty typical delivery doesn't help his case either. He only ever sounds angry on every single song, or just way too serious. He seem's more like he's angry than he is sad and reflective on this song. Considering it's all about his failings and insecurities as a person and an artist, it makes sense that he'd be angry, but I just think he could have done this a little better. Beyoncé is the best part of this song,  and she does mesh well with Eminem, but something is just off with this song. I do think that this is pretty damn solid when it comes to lyrics and message, and even production, but I think Em's delivery makes this song just ok to me, despite the strong content. 4/5

 

2. Believe (Produced by Eminem, Resto and Batson)

 

This production sounds pretty solid, I like it a fair bit. I don't really like how Em is starting his verse so far, his flow sounds kinda awkward. Ok, it improves as the song  progresses. This is good so far, not great, just good. This hook isn't that bad, but it could be better. Sometimes I really like Em's singing hooks, but other times I really dislike them, this is somewhere in the middle. The second verse is pretty cool and Em sounds a lot more focused, but he sounds a little awkward for some reason every now and then. I don't know what's wrong with him so far on this album. I do really like the production, but again, this doesn't really seem to fit Eminem that much. At least he's trying something different I guess. That hook did grow on me a little bit though. I hate to say this, but I'm just really not feeling this song, I don't think that I'll ever want to hear it again. Em does sound great towards the end of this song when he steps up his flow and aggression, so it's enough to make the song decent. If he didn't end the song like that then this would be kinda bad, but it's just average. Also this song is way too fucking long, if it had the second and third verse and no hook that'd be awesome. I might change my mind after a few more listens, but this is pretty average. 

 

*SEVEN ALBUM LISTENS LATER (and after hearing the Chloraseptic Remix)

 

Well, after several listens of the album I can confirm that I haven't really changed my mind. I actually like this song a littlemore now as Em has some good lyrics for the most part, and I got used to the overall sound of the track. I do like the production now, and I feel like it does actually suit Eminem pretty well. However, I still think it's way too long, and I feel like there's really something missing, this song isn't good for Eminem standards at all. 3/5

 

3. Chloraseptic (feat. Phresher) (Produced by Mr Porter)

 

I don't think I'm gonna like this song. This production is cool, but it doesn't really sound like it'll suit Eminem at all. What was he thinking? Was he trying to sound more modern to fit in or something? Eminem's rhyme schemes are great as usual, but he doesn't sound right on this song at all. Ok, Em is kinda making this production work I guess, at times it sounds pretty neat, but other times it sounds awkward and doesn't fit him at all in my opinion. Phresher's hook is pretty cool, but this song just isn't that great to me so far. I don't even like the production that much. I don't really enjoy much about this song except for the title, the production and Em's rhyming. Why are the first four songs of this album over five minutes long???? This song could be 3 minutes long easily. Eminem is just kinda talking about nothing in this song. Overall this is just pretty below average to me, it just feels kinda off. I really didn't like this song at all at first, but now I think it has a lot of good moments, but unfortunately it just doesn't come together well for me, it feels a little forced. 1.5/5

 

4. Untouchable (Produced by Eminem, Batson,Haynie and Mr. Porter)

 

It sound's like he's about to start singing again. Oh nevermind. Some rock production just came in, I don't know why but I kinda like this instrumentation. Em is making it work. If it wasn't for the fact that the lyrics are about a racist cop threatening a black man I think I'd really be able to bump this song. I really liked how this part sounded, but the lyrics aren't really something to get hype to considering the context.

 

"And just in case a chase might ensue, we got that tried and true
Pistol drew right at you, we'd be delighted to unload it
In your back, then walk up and lay that taser on the side of you"

 

This is a song I have really mixed feelings on. I think this might be Eminem's best delivery so far on the album and this has the best flow, plus I think he matches the production really well. But the way he put's emphasis on certain words is really annoying. SIGHT OF YOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. The hook isn't too bad, but it definitely isn't the greatest. It's catchy and all, but the context of the song kinda ruins it. The production just changed up, and I really like this beat as well, I think it suits Em's voice and delivery that he's using a lot. He's rapping from the black man's perspective now. Yeah ok, I see what he was trying to do with this, but it could have definitely been executed a little better. Joyner Lucas did a similar concept to this more effectively, and he had the same amount of time. Six minutes is once again too long, if there was better execution of the theme this would be cool. I'll respect Em for trying, and I really liked the flow of the entire song as well as the message, but it just fell apart in a few sections. (PLUS IT'S WAY TOO LONG).

 

*SEVEN ALBUM LISTENS LATER

 

Honestly, this isn't a good song, I like this song less and less the more I listen to it. I really think that Em could have approached this whole theme a lot more effectively. I still appreciate the intention behind the song, but I really don't like it. 1.5/5

 

5. River (feat. Ed Sheeran) (Produced by Haynie)

 

This was by far the most questionable feature to me when I saw it. Ed Sheeran is a pretty good singer, but I just don't see him and Eminem working on a song together. Huh. Ed actually doesn't sound too bad at all on the chorus to be honest. I think I might end up liking this song. I like this instrumental a lot. Eminem actually doesn't sound too bad at all over this production. I can see a lot of mainstream listeners liking this song because of the instrumental and Ed Sheeran. I do actually enjoy Ed's contribution, and Em does match him surprisingly well on this song. This song has good subject matter. The central idea of the song is Em struggling with this cheating woman when she has an accidental baby and eventually ends up aborting the pregnancy. When he reflects back on his decision he really regrets it and wishes he could take back the decision. I do like this song sonically and the idea that Em presents, I think he ended up executing it pretty well. Not gonna lie, this will probably end up being a guilty pleasure of mine, I do like Ed Sheeran's singing and the sound of this song a fair bit, so yeah, it's a nice song. I think this might probably be the best pop crossover Eminem's ever had, however it isn't completely because of Em, it's more so about the chorus and the production. Eminem has some pretty cringey lines at times that take you out of the experience though, so I gotta dock a point for that. 3/5

 

6. Remind Me (Intro) (Produced by Dr. Dre, NEFF-U and Lawrence)

 

This is just an intro so I'm not gonna rate it. It sounds like this is about to be another song about women. I hope he doesn't it make it too cringey.

 

7. Remind Me (Produced by Rick Rubin)

 

Wait a minute, this is the instrumental for I Love Rock 'N' Roll! This might end up being cool if Em can make it work. His verse is starting now. Ok, I love his energy on this song, but unfortunately he's back in his fucked up pervert mode again. He's basically just being creepy and rapping about how much he loves fake tits and how obsessed with this chicks ass he is. I mean I can releate to really being attracted to someone, but this shit just sounds stupid to be honest. Apparently this is a story about when he first met Kim.

Wait a minute. What the fuck Em....

 

"I'm lookin' at your tight rear like a sightseer
Your booty is heavy duty, like diarrhea"

 

Why would you mention diarrhea man?? It makes me wanna laugh with how fucking stupid that line is. This sound is pretty cool just because I like the song that it samples, however this is really just a run-of-the-mill cringey Eminem song. This shit is just kinda bad to be honest, even if it is a little entertaining with how outlandish it is. 1/5

 

8. Revival (Interlude) (Produced by Frequency and Aalias)

 

This is pretty nice interlude. Whoever is singing this sounds pretty angelic. I like this a fair bit actually. Since it's less than a minute and labelled as an interlude I won't rate it though. I really don't understand why this is on the album, Eminem has no involvement and this is the title track. Oh well, maybe the next song will explain it.

 

9. Like Home (feat. Alicia Keys) (Produced by Just Blaze and Eminem)

 

This isn't  looking good so far. This is nearly the halfway mark and I've only picked up 2 tracks I can honestly say I enjoy. Hopefully this song ends up being good, I always like Alicia Keys, so I doubt the hook will be a let down. I don't mind the instrumental on this song I guess, but it sounds a little too poppy and over the top for my liking. I think Eminem is rapping about Trump again. Alicia Keys' hook sounds really anthemic, but I'm not really feeling anything when I hear it. This song is just the definition of unnecessary.  Eminem talking politics and trying too hard to be inspirational is the one of my least favourite kinds of Eminem. I don't mind when he does cyphers like that BET one he did dissing Trump, but I don't like this to be honest. This isn't really that good. I think that Alicia sings really well, but other than that, I don't want to listen again. (Even after listening to the album over 7 times I still don't like this song). 1/5

 

10. Bad Husband (feat. X Ambassadors) (Produced by Alex Da Kid and Eminem)

 

I thought all of the longest songs were out of the way, until I realised almost every song is 4 minutes or longer. The fact that there's still another five minute long track is really discouraging. Oh well, let's get to this song. I don't mind Wicked Ways on MMLP2, so maybe this song will end up being pretty good. Eminem's rapping now. This sounds like it's another song about how shitty of a person Eminem is, and how badly he treated Kim. He seems like he's genuinely sorry now, but I really don't like this flow that he's using at all. This hook is pretty corny and over-dramatic. There's nothing wrong with the lyrics, but X Ambassadors are just really overdoing it. Over-dramatic seems like the word that might end up describing this whole album. Yeah I really don't like this song. This subject matter is somewhat interesting, but it drags on for way too long, plus that chorus is just so over the top.

 

"HOW COMMMMMMMEEEE HOW COMMMMMEEE" 

 

This track does have good subject matter, but it honestly is just a terrible song to me. 1/5

 

11.  Tragic Endings (feat. Skylar Grey) (Produced by Alex Da Kid)

 

I really like the sound of this. Skylar sounds pretty good against this instrumentation. She's not too overdramatic or anything. Is Em rapping about Kim again? Nah, it seems like it's just another Love the Way You Lie. He's saying he's an abusive piece of shit and he's sorry. I like his aggression a lot. I don't like Skylar's hook, but I really love her singing at the end of the hook that she has at the start of the track. I also really liked how it transitioned to Eminem's aggressive verse. If it wasn't for the hook, then I might think this song was good. Unfortunately the track just falls apart for me at the start of the hook, it really kills the whole vibe. Plus Eminem's verses aren't anything crazy, they just sound cool. This isn't very good. 1.5/5

 

12. Framed (Produced by Fredwreck and Eminem)

 

I really like this instrumental a lot, but man, Em sounds so weird on this song. Apparently this is more in the style of his Relapse album (I haven't heard it yet). I like this beat a lot as well as Em's weird storytelling he's using on this song. That hook isn't that great, but it's pretty funny and boy is it catchy.


"FRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMEEEEDDDDDDD!!!!!" 

 

Yeah, that hook is kinda bad, but I actually like the rest of the song a lot. This is a really entertaining song to be honest. That hook definitely isn't that good, but it's kinda growing on me just because it's funny. I actually like this song a fair bit. The first three times I heard this song I really hated it, and I even thought it was the worst song on the album, but weirdly enough, I actually really like it now. I guess I was in a bad mood before when I first heard it. The hook really adds to the personality of the song to be honest, it's just funny to listen to. This is easily the best song so far. 5/5

 

13. Nowhere Fast (feat. Kehlani) (Produced by Rock Mafia and Hit-Boy)

 

This beat sounds like something that would come up if you typed in "dramatic violin beat" on YouTube. Kehlani's chorus sounds too dramatic. She's a good singer, but this is just over the top for what he's actually rapping about, whatever that is. Em is trying to be inspirational I think, this song doesn't really make any sense. Eminem goes from dissing people to saying that he said some stuff that's tough to swallow, then talks about being forced in a corner. I just have no idea what this song is supposed to be about.  I really wish I liked this, but I don't. Kehlani's singing is nice, but her and Eminem sound like they're on two separate songs. Em starts singing in the last minute of the song and now it makes more sense and they feel more connected. This is Em's kinda singing that I don't mind that much. Unfortunately though, the singing doesn't save this song at all, it's not very good. 2/5

 

14. Heat (Produced by Rick Rubin)

 

This instrumental isn't that great to me. I'm not feeling this song at all either. It seems like

Em is just sexually harassing some chick in this song, and he has corny lines every second sentence.

 

"Grab you by the (meow!), hope it's not a problem, in fact
About the only thing I agree on with Donald is that
So when I put this palm on your cat
Don't snap, it's supposed to be grabbed
Why do you think they call it a snatch?"

 

I don't like this song. The guitars are cool I guess, but I'm just not feeling it. The delivery that Em has on this song is good in some parts, but I don't think I'm never gonna listen to this again after this review. Honestly, after listening more, this might be one of Em's worst songs he's ever made. This is garbage. 0.5/5 

 

15. Offended (Produced by iLLa Da Producer and Eminem)

 

What is happening in this song. This production better improve soon, cuz I really don't like it at all. Ok it did get better, it sounds pretty cool now. This hook sounds like a fucked up nursery rhyme, it really messes up the flow of the song. I also fucking hate when rappers use the word "turds". Especially when they say stuff like"I kill shit, in other words I slay turds". That shit is fucking terrible. Em didn't say that, but I have heard a certain rapper say that before. Anyway, this song is just jammed full of dope rhymes and flows though. It's about how Eminem doesn't care about all the people that he's offended over the years. This song is pretty damn good until it gets closer to the end, then he picks up the pace a lot. This last verse is actually really damn good. This last minute of the song is the best rapping that Em has done throughout the entire album. He just goes full chopper mode and switches his flow a lot. That last part sounds amazing honestly, he wasn't saying a whole lot, but it sounded great until the damn hook returned. That fast part is really fun to rap along to. The rapping was great in this song, but I just wan't feeling that hook at all to be honest.. That damn shitty hook. 3/5

 

16.  Need Me (feat. Pink) (Produced by Alex Da Kid)

 

Well this is the last feature on the album. I didn't mind the last song that Eminem did with Pink. It was the best Easter egg song in Black Ops Zombies back in the day. Well this isn't what I was expecting at all. How is Eminem gonna make sense on this song? It's two minute in and Em hasn't done anything besides sing background vocals. This is another song about a toxic relationship. I understand that this is Eminem's album, but why couldn't he just make one really good song about relationships instead of a bunch of average ones? Well, the song's over. Eminem had one verse. This song was nice. Em's rapping was good, but I just wasn't that crazy about it. This really feels like Pink's song. Pink sounded really damn good so it gets points for that but overall this is just cool, I really liked Pink's contribution though. 3/5

 

17.  In Your Head (Produced by Scram Jones)

 

Now they're sampling Zombie? Interesting choices of production on this album. On this song Eminem is saying he's regretful about some of the stuff he's rapped about. This makes no sense. Earlier in the album he was saying that he didn't care who he offended, but now he's apologising? Oh ok, he's apologising to his family. Man, Em sounds so damn remorseful on this album. It almost seems like he regrets every single aspect of his career so far. Ok, it's not quite that far, but he seems really unsure of himself. I think it's good that he's being personal and honest with himself. There isn't anything innately wrong with this song, but it's just pretty average to me. I do really love the production since I liked the original zombie song, but this is just ok. 2.5/5

 

18. Castle (Produced by DJ Khalil)

 

I need to take a break, I've listened to every song several times now to try and give them another chance, but this album is just so disappointing to me. Ok, last two songs. I saw some comments about this album saying these last two songs are the best on the whole album, so hopefully we can finish on a high note. Alright, this seems like it's gonna be another introspective track. It sounds like he's writing a letter to Hailie before she was born, when he was still trying to figure out how he was gonna handle it all. Interesting, as the verses progress Hailie is getting older and he's rapping to her at different stages of her life. He's talking about how he regrets all of the shit he wrote about Kim that he never meant to have Hailie involved in. Em sounds really honest and genuine on this song, I like this a lot. I think that Em is taking a shit ton of pills at the end of the song. This was actually a really good track. I don't really have any problems with this at all, and I liked the production a lot too. 5/5

 

19. Arose (Produced by Rick Rubin)

 

One of the comments I read said that these two songs were both better than Stan apparently. I highly doubt that. The last song definitely wasn't, but maybe this song will shock me. Bad Guy is the closest that Em has come to writing a song better than Stan, but it definitely wasn't better. Wow, this song is about Em nearly dying after him taking too many drugs on that last track. This is the most emotional I've ever heard him on a song. This song has really great lyrics so far, but I don't really love the beat. This song is really touching and heartbreaking, he's describing all of the thoughts that are going through his head as he's dying. He's actually describing what happens after he dies, but then he comes back to life and the song rewinds to the end of Castle, but now all of the lyrics are different. In this version he flushes the pills down the toilet instead of taking them , preventing the overdose from ever happening. This track is really good, I think I can honestly say that this is some of the more creative storytelling that I've heard from Em. Sonically though, it is lacking a little tbh. 4/5.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Wow. What an album. This was a bit of an interesting experience to say the least. After my first listen I almost didn't give this album any 5/5's at all, but after listening to the album about 10 or so times I had to give a few songs that score. My favourite song sonically on this whole album is probably Framed, but the best songs are by far are the last two and Framed. Walk on Water is good too. Eminem still has a great talent for rapping, rhyme schemes and wordplay, but I think he's started to lose any edge he ever had for creating cohesive songs. I hope this isn't his last album, because I want him to keep making music, hopefully the deluxe version will have some great songs (IDK if there is one). I heard that Tech N9ne might be on there. 2 Chainz did a verse with Em and I doubt that it wouldn't have ended up on the album, so I'd say that's a deluxe track as well. (Apparently it was meant to be on Chloraseptic) When the deluxe versions drops I'll update this review and have a new section about the songs. Overall, this album had a lot of potential, a lot of the ideas in the album were good, but just didn't quite work out, and Eminem sounded really out of place in a lot of areas. At least on MMLP2 he never sounded too out of place, even on the songs that weren't as good. I really hope that Em can come back from this, because I'd hate to see him end his career on such a disappointing note. This album was awful, despite what my rating might suggest. It was just lucky it had a few great songs. But there is some serious garbage in this album. I might have been a little bit too easy on this album. At first I was going to give at 2/10, but a lot of the songs aren't bad enough for that. Every single one that was bad had some redeeming qualities, but this album's score got better every listen. I think I've finally reached a score that I'm happy with. I still think this album is terrible for Eminem standards, its not an album I want to listen to all the way through again. Funnily enough, if it wasn't for the production and the singing on some of these tracks that brought these songs up, this would probably be an easy 3/10 or lower album. 

 Overall Rating: 47/100 

Favourite Tracks: Framed, Castle

Least Favourite: Heat

 

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