Eminem - Recovery Album Review

January 31, 2018

Despite the ups and downs, I have no regrets about deciding to listen to Em's discography. Yeah, Encore was terrible, Revival was disappointing, and Relapse had some pretty rough moments, but the good music I've discovered along the way has been totally worth it. I've finally come back around to the album that really started it all for me back in 2010. Recovery. The first Eminem song I ever really paid attention to was Love the Way You Lie, I had heard Lose Yourself on the radio, but I didn't really pay attention. This was a point in my life where I had absolutely no interest in Hip-Hop whatsoever, the only reason I even heard that song was because of Rihanna. I'm so glad I heard it though. Yeah, Love the Way You Lie is nowhere near one of Em's best songs, not even in the top 30, but it still started a journey for me that I'll appreciate for a lifetime. This album is the reason why I started listening to rap, although it would take a very long time after this for me to really start getting into it, this started it all. But I'd only heard 5 tracks from it when I started listening. This was the last Eminem album besides Infinite I hadn't heard in it's entirety before, so I was nervous, but also excited. Recovery had very mixed reviews, the mainstream loved it, but close fans of Eminem really disliked the direction it took for the most part. As for my thoughts... well you'll just have to read and see.


1. Cold Wind Blows (Produced by Just Blaze)

I was very worried when I first heard that intro, I thought this was about to be another damn Encore. But boy was I fucking wrong. As soon as Just Blaze's production came in I nearly fell out of my chair. This is easily the most hype instrumental on the album. I love Em's delivery on this song, he really matches the energy. Unfortunately I have two major issues. 1. The hook, and 2. The cringey immature lines. He has come up with far wittier lines than a lot of the stuff he says on this song. The lines definitely don't ruin the song, but that hook is terrible. It's bad enough for me to bring down the rating of the song. Also that line where he gets struck by lightning... I hope it's not meant to be taken seriously, because it just cracks me up with how dumb it is. This is still a pretty good song I guess. Just Blaze murdered the production, and I really loved Em's aggressive delivery. Fuck that hook though. And the intro. Unfortunately this song doesn't quite make it to 4/5 territory for me. 3/5


2. Talkin' 2 Myself (feat. Kobe) (Produced by DJ Khalil)

This song really took me by surprise. I absolutely love the instrumental on this song, I'm a sucker for guitar, so this was fantastic to me. I loved all the old-school sounds scattered throughout it as well. At first, I hated the chorus by Kobe, I thought it was overdramatic and ridiculous, but sung very well. Now though, I love it. Kobe is a fantastic singer and he provides a great break from Em's delivery on the song. Speaking of Em, I love his delivery and flow the entire song. I was also really surprised by his honesty on this song. Although I do think he was completely wrong when he said that he would have gotten his ass handed to him by Wayne and Kanye, I really disagree. Em is a master of battle rapping. Wayne would give him a run for his money, but if Wayne or Kanye pissed him off... he would've shit all over them. Em is great at writing diss tracks when he really wants to. To be fair, Wayne was doing really well in the mid 2000's, plus Kanye was in one of his best eras, so I can understand why Em thought that. But honestly, if his Chloraseptic remix is anything to go by, even when he is uninspired and losing touch, all he needs is someone to piss him off and he'll go back to being an amazing rapper again. Anyway, I like this song, it grew on me dramatically the more I listened to it. I honestly think it's one of Eminems best and most underrated songs. 5/5


3. On Fire (Produced by Mr Porter)

The production is pretty cool on this song, but I don't really think it suits Em to be honest. Considering the crazy energy of the first two songs, this feels kinda abrupt and out of place, it's really jarring to listen to the first two songs and hear this fairly lowkey beat. With all that in mind, the hook sucks. It's definitely the worst part of this song. This song really exposes Em's ability as a rapper when he isn't using his biggest strengths. He isn't doing crazy rhymes, he's trying to have witty lines, but they're just uninteresting, he's basically aggressively rhyming fairly well over a good beat, but there's no substance, it just feels really forced, a lot like Revival. Em even admits in the song these lyrics are just a bunch of leftovers he really had no use for. This song is just boring, he wasn't really trying at all. He even said he had a bullshit ass hook, disappointing. 2/5


4. Won't Back Down (feat. Pink) (Produced by DJ Khaled)

I mentioned this song in my Revival review. I had 12 year old COD zombies nostalgia with this song. For those who don't know, this was a hidden song in Call Of Duty Blacks Ops Zombies, that's where I first heard it. This song isn't as good as I remembered, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't good for the gym. The production and Em's aggressive energy make this song for me. I like this song, but it is pretty average, espeicially for Em. 3/5


5. W.T.P (Produced by Supa Dups, Jason "JG" Gilbert and Eminem)

White Trash Party. The hook is irritating, the beat is pretty average, and the verses are pretty nice. I like his energy and his flow, but, nah. This song is just uninteresting to me. It's definitely not bad, it has a lot of positive aspects, but unfortunately it misses the mark. It definitely doesn't need to be 4 minutes long. 3/5


6. Going Through Changes (Produced by Emile Haynie)

This is definitely the song that grabbed my attention the most. I absolutely love the instrumental. Em is really talking about some personal and important content on this song too, it's really refreshing. He's really speaking about how much Proof's death affected him, and how much self-hatred he harbours now that he looks back on his life. This and No Love are the only two songs where I can justify the length being five minutes, especially this. Song's like this are the perfect example of why Em needs content. Once he has content he actually cares about, he kills it every time. The last verse on this song is absolutely incredible in my opinion. He has such a great flow and energy, plus he keeps rhyming really well, combined with great content. The thing that is so frustrating about Em, is that he could easily be the greatest rapper and make the best album of all time in hop if he had focus. He has shown so many times that he has incredible storytelling, flow, rhyming, meaning and passion in his rap. It's just a shame he never quite recaptured that passion of his early albums. There are aspects from every album that he does really well, amazingly even. He just needs to find a way to combine all of these positives across different albums together and he would make even better albums than SSLP, MMLP and TES. No doubt. Anyway this song is great, it's easily the best song on the album. 5/5


7. Not Afraid (Produced by Boi-1da, Jordan Evans, Matthew Burnett and Eminem)

I used to love this song. It is really positive, and I still like the instrumentation, but it is pretty damn corny. It wears on me more and more everytime I hear it. I won't say it's a bad song, but it just has no effect on me anymore. I'm still glad it exists, Em was really happy when he made this song. It's good. He needed some happiness and positivity in his life. This song still isn't great, but I understand the importance of it. It still has some pretty good lines too, so it's not all bad. 3.5/5


8. Seduction (Produced by Boi-1da and Matthew Burnett)

This song is very pointless. This is really Eminem talking about fucking your bitch. That's essentially it. I just don't like it. I don't even think it's terrible or bad. Em has some great flows and rhyme schemes on this song, but I still don't enjoy it. I even like the production a lot. I really don't understand why I don't like it, but it just does nothing for me, despite having a lot of separate elements I enjoy. UPDATE: I actually finally had a light bulb moment with this song. I really enjoy it now. 4/5


9. No Love (feat. Lil Wayne) (Produced by Just Blaze)

I really like how they sampled "What is Love" on this song. I think the beat is pretty damn good overall, but it's nothing mind blowing. Lil Wayne spits a pretty damn solid verse on this song, but he feels so separate from Em it's not even funny, they're just in two completely different worlds on this track. Unfortunately the worst part of this song by far the hook, and it's a pretty damn long hook too. Thankfully Em's verse is fantastic though. I love his flow and his wordplay all throughout. I love the fact that his verse is pretty damn long too, and he doesn't let up at all until the hook comes back. Even though the hook really isn't very good, Em's verse is good enough to make me not care. This song is great, Em just carries it, exactly like he should. 5/5


10. Space Bound (Produced by Jim Jonsin)

My favourite aspect of this song is definitely the sound. It has such great production, it really takes you on a journey. I've heard a lot of hate towards this song, but I really like it a lot. Em has some great passionate verses, plus he really suits the production. I can understand people not liking the chorus, it is a little corny, but it's not terrible by any means. This song has solid subject matter, even though he has talked about the subject of women, especially Kim, so many times, it isn't annoying on this song. It doesn't feel forced, it just feels like he really wanted to make this song. I definitely wish the chorus was a little shorter and Em's verses were longer, but I still enjoy this track. 3.5/5  


11. Cinderella Man (Produced by Script Shepherd)

This is an interesting song. It doesn't really sound like anything Em's done, so it's kinda refreshing. I really like the vocals on this song a lot, but unfortunately I don't really like the production that much, except for when that guitar comes in. It just feels really basic and a little uninteresting at times. Honestly, Eminem raps really damn well for the entire song, and I do like the vocals a whole lot. The more and more I listen to it the more I love this son. It's pretty fucking fire. 5/5 


12. 25 To Life (Produced by DJ Khalil)

The production is the strongest part of this song. I feel like the chorus is ok, it's cool, but I just don't love it. Em's verses are aggressive as hell. He isn't saying anything wack, in fact the subject matter is pretty damn interesting. The plot twist at the end of the song is great, I like how he completely flipped the entire message of the song. It leads you to assume it's about his relationship with Kim, but in the second verse you realise more and more that it's about something completely different. This song is actually really dope. 5/5


13. So Bad (Produced by Dr Dre and Nick Brongers)

I feel like I can just copy and paste the same review for so many songs on this album. This song has good production, fine verses and a decent hook, but it's just really uninteresting to me. There's nothing in this song that catches my attention at all. It's cool, nothing more, nothing less. For normal rappers this is fine, but for Em this isn't good. Also... WHY IS THIS SONG FIVE AND A HALF MINUTES LONG. 2/5


14. Almost Famous (Produced by DJ Khalil)

The first minute of this song is so fucking boring. Despite the rough start, I liked the first verse a lot. The production is pretty damn solid on this song. I wish that Em got some more rap features on this album. I can say that for all of his albums really. He's a phenomenal rapper, but you can get sick of hearing him sometimes. It's way too long as well. STOP DOING FUCKING FIVE MINUTE SONGS. The songs have to be good for you to make it last that long. This is trash. 1/5


15. Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) (Produced by Alex da Kid and Makeba Riddick)

Well, here we are. I still have a soft spot for this song. Even after all this time. I think it's much better executed than a song like Mockingbird. Although Mockingbird had much more personal lyrics and a fantastic instrumental, it had really awkward moments, whereas on this song Em sound's far more focused, and I feel like he is genuinely being creative with his lyrics. He still manages to do the pop sound really well while maintaining a solid flow and delivery. This song is really overhated, it's overrated by the mainstream and overhated by the fans. It's still a solid song. The window pane/pain line was pretty meh, but I wouldn't say this is a bad or terrible song by any means. For what this song was intended to be, it did a great job. The production is beautiful, even if it is really poppy, I like Rihanna's chorus a lot, and Em is really heartfelt and focused. Honestly, this song is a lot better than most of the content on this album by a mile. I still like this song a lot. But only in moderation. 3.5/5


16. You're Never Over (Produced by Just Blaze)

The hook on this song is awful. Em has terrible taste in music sometimes, it's so frustrating. Man, where should I start with this song. It feels so fucking out of place. I don't know why Em would dedicate a song to proof over this trash beat. I get he's trying to move on positively and make proof proud, but yeah, I just don't like this song. Em's rhymes aren't bad or anything, it's just another case of things really not mixing well at all. 2/5


17. Untitled (Produced by Havoc and Magnedo7)

This is supposedly a hidden bonus track. I love Em's energetic delivery right off the bat, plus the song is only 3 minutes, so it's right to the point. Em's flow is great, but this song is just not interesting to me. There are moments I like, but overall it was just kinda bad. Meh. 2/5


Final Thoughts

This album was so average. It has no major glaring flaws, it's just really boring and uninspired at times. Say what you want about Relapse, but it had themes, lots of moments of crazy inspiration. This was just really plain. I wish I could say I liked this, but it was just cool to me. The first rating that came to my head when I was a little over halfway through this album was 6/10, and that's exactly what it is. It has it's merits, but it doesn't excel at anything, it's just fine. This is probably the most disappointing album for me. Encore was terrible, but I expected that, I thought this would at least be good, but nah, unfortunately not.


 Overall Rating: 67/100

Favourite Tracks: Going Through Changes, No Love, Talkin' 2 Myself, 25 To Life, Cinderella Man, Seduction and Love The Way you Lie

Least Favourite: Almost Famous



Bonus Tracks

So, there is a Deluxe version of Recovery that's exclusive to the iTunes store, and it contains two extra songs, so I thought I would just check them out on YouTube.


Track 18: Ridaz (Produced by Dr Dre)

This would've easily been one of, if not the best track on Recovery if it was included. This song is fantastic. Em has great charisma, flows and rhymes over an amazing ass beat. It's so great I don't even realise it's five minutes long. Even the hook is really great. This shit is fighting music, and it's awesome. This song is good enough for me to go buy the deluxe edition of Recovery so  I can have it. I love it. This is the best song on the project hands down. 5/5


Track 19: Session One (feat. Slaughterhouse (excluding Joe Budden) (Produced by Just Blaze)

This is another fantastic song. I love how it's produced, and it has fucking Slaughterhouse on it. How the hell is this a bonus track. I guess it doesn't fit the album, but when has Em ever cared about that? Oh well. Em has a great verse, Royce has a dope verse, Joell absolutely murders it, he had an even better verse than Royce, which is really rare. Royce still killed it though, don't be mistaken. Crook sounds great too. I think he might've had the weakest verse to be honest. I really wish Joe Budden was on here, he would've killed that shit. This is another great ass song. 5/5


Final Thoughts

Well damn, what the fuck Em? If he was capable of spitting shit like this in the bonus tracks, where was this on the album. You know what it is? It's the production. Nah. It's not even that, Em just wasn't focused for most of this at all. If he had songs like this a few more times in the album, it would probably be better than Relapse. I still think Relapse is a very flawed album, but this album isn't even quite as good as it. This album is solid now thanks to those bonus tracks, but it's still disappointing. 


Overall Rating: 71/100

Favourite Tracks: Ridaz, Session One, Going Through Changes, No Love, Talkin' 2 Myself, 25 To Life, Cinderella Man, Seduction and Love The Way you Lie

Least Favourite: Almost Famous





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