Review Roundup: Eminem – ‘Recovery’

Recovery

Eminem has long been a favorite of critics, but with his cleaned-up act and new collaborators in his corner, including Rihanna and Pink, do they still find the controversial rapper compelling? Find out how critics are responding to Eminem’s seventh studio album Recovery.

USA Today: If Eminem seemed to be losing his footing in recent years, he regains it here with his fiercest and most focused work in a long time. Recovery is a great bounce-back for a rapper who admittedly spent years mired in drug abuse, depression and grief. It’s a strong return to the form that made him a star in the first place. 3.5 out of 4

Entertainment Weekly: For the second album in a row, Eminem returns to the verbal acrobatics that defined his early work, showering these 17 songs with dazzling cadences and multisyllabic rhymes. Lil Wayne, the album’s sole rap guest, spits more fiercely than he has in a year and still barely keeps up. B+

Rolling Stone: What has he figured out? Among other things, how to relax a little. Em will always be tightly wound—Lil Wayne he’s not—but Recovery is his most casual-sounding album in years, with odes to a “white-trash party” (“W.T.P.”) and songs that hearken back to his freewheeling early records—rhymes as goofy and imaginative as they are violent and profane. 4 out of 5

Los Angeles Times: Cameos from Pink (“Won’t Back Down”) and Rihanna (“Love the Way You Lie”) further exacerbate the disconnect from the qualities that made Eminem a star: wariness of cultural cliché, knack for storytelling and conflict, and a caustic wit. 3.5 out of 5

Boston Herald: Bad habits creep in on the lazy “So Bad” and screeching “Won’t Back Down” with Pink, but even if Em never returns to his combustible, unpredictable peak of a decade ago, Recovery is a welcome sign that his darkest days are behind him. B+

The Detroit News: Where Relapse painted Em into a corner and relied heavily on shock tactics, Recovery presents an unexpectedly clean slate for the rapper. It’s at times ugly and difficult to wade through, but he comes out better on the other end.

Houston Chronicle: Recovery, Eminem’s seventh studio album, is a relentless, exhausting listen. The disc’s 17 tracks are dark and dense, both lyrically and musically. It’s also his most urgent, affecting album in years. 3.5 out of 4

The Washington Post: His latest album, Recovery, initially billed as a sequel to Relapse, is meant to be a corrective, with emotional purges and a whirring recommitment to the vision of Eminem, Superstar and Rap Genius. But transparency isn’t art, nor will it make Eminem 25 again. Instead, Recovery is a morose picture of an artist grappling, and often losing his grip.

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Talkin’ 2 Myself,” “Not Afraid,” “No Love,” “Love the Way You Lie”

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38 Comments

  1. Bizzy G.

    I don’t really care about critics I love recovery and that’s that it’s by far em’s best album to date although I like all of his albums recovery is by far his best!

    I’m glad that em’s back!

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  2. Alejandro

    This album is CRAZY.

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  3. love bee

    recovery is a good album… my faves ‘no love’ the best song on the album, i like ‘space bound’ too… most annoying song is his song with rihanna…shes sounds horrible …. i like riri but honestly she shouldnt even be there? she doesnt fit!

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  4. sashaj

    @love bee – sorry but love the way you lie shares the title of best song on the album along with no love and im a guy…rihanna made it a nice song her hook is great……as for Rap Up why didnt you include the Pitchfork review?

    Pitchfork rated the album a 2.8/10

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  5. bodacious

    rih added the flavor to ,,love the way you lie to me , and it is the song that really shows how deep em was thinking when he put this single together , the lyrics to the entire song are really deep and speaks to ones mind. and it lets a person know how violent times can come up into a relationshil and ruin the relaationship, just wreck chaos in the relationship.the album is a beautiful, power and moving album.

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  6. bodacious

    this album is a keeper , and its right on time em, you did a super job on this album and i love it .

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  7. well alright

    better than i expected but wish he would go back to the sound of marshall mathers lp and eminem show

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  8. DRE

    eminem is my fav artist and this album is going back to his old ways and i like that and dont get me wrong ive like all ems albums but the funny stuff got a little to much but i like a artist who can admit that he was messing up on past albums and em does that on recovery and i appreciate good music that talks about something more than money, cars, and woman so em keep doing you and keep up the good work and my fav two rap albums of this summer are eminem recovery! and drake thank me later! stay blessed.

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  9. philly11

    If you don’t like rappers that talk about things other then money, cars, and bitches. Rappers that don’t switch up their flow. Rappers that aren’t about straight; raw lyricism…then Recovery is not for you. Em goes soooo hard on this album…I can’t stop playing it!

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  10. Cody Johnston

    What!? These critics is straight up bullshit, man. The album’s a classic, do they not have an ear for music or what? Everything about the album is good and whether it’s of your taste or not you can’t deny the lyrical skills, the flows, the content, it’s good music. How can this show he’s losing his grip. Smh.

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  11. Toya

    I think these critics are not only factoring in Em’s past work, what he should have put out based on past albums, and what they expected the album to be. When he put this out, it rate as high because it definitely doesn’t fit the mold of Em’s earlier work. If they approached the album with a clean slate and not bias, they would grow to love the album. For me, the album ranks right there with MMLP because he’s not doing the shock and awe stuff like he did with Relapse and Encore but he is honest and open like he was with his 1st 3 albums. And while people complained about the accents on Relapse, I’ve got admit that I could have done without Em’s attempts at singing. lol

    My favorite songs on the album were: Talkin 2 Myself, W.T.P., Not Afraid, Seduction, No Love, Space Bound, Cinderella Man, 25 To Life, So Bad, Almost Famous, and Love The Way You Lie.

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  12. Marshall

    He got mostly good reviews. You have unrealistic expectations if you think everyone is going to give him 10/10. Wake up people!

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  13. MARQUES

    I agree with you Cody. He has become the best by far. Tupac was Micheal Jordan, but he is looking like Kobe and Lebron put together. I cant BELIEVE this album!

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  14. curtis

    @love bee…either your listening to something different or you don’t like riri after all because honestly she sounds REALLY GOOD…her voice is soft but not whispery…she fits the song perfectly…and if she sounded “horrible” i doubt it would be on the album or in the top ten on itunes already…

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  15. Giselle

    I have my two copies. Great album. Best album in a while, really.

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  16. Deemy Tha Kid

    Drake isshh was hotter. Love The way You Lie = best song on the album.

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  17. Chris

    Eminem is the definition of an artist. I love this CD!

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  18. Bobby

    Bullshit reviews, these fools don’t understand hip-hop, Em lets us deep into his psyche and does it with artistic brilliance, arguably his best record to date, Marshall Mathers LP is a classic, but they are so different.

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  19. praneeth

    all the reviews are shitty … this is probably the best album so far … em did the best he can … every song is so dense and meaningful…he walks us through his life and what hes been facing in the past years … he even apologizes for the past 2 albums … simply awesome … luv u EM ..

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  20. Pinoy

    I think this is Em’s best album in years.
    Pink shouldn’t have been on the album cause that song sounds like amateur shit.

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  21. XXX

    “critics man
    Critics never got nothing nice to say man
    You know the one thing I notice about critics man…
    Is, critics never ask me how my day went”

    Recovery In Stores Now!!

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  22. barzini

    Shady is a rapa i always beleivd in nd looked up to..i wondered if d eminem in d album encore,in d song toy soldiers,was stil d same in his previous album..somehow i knew he’ld be back to his senses nd finally ‘d white boy blast em,his flow on ‘recovery’ 4kn awesome!..applaude him….shout out 2 hova!

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  23. EmsFaveFan

    It’s crazy to se how much he has changed.. If you listen to “My Name Is” and then “Not Afraid”, which is good songs and hits.. Well, I still miss the old Em, who was joking and stuff.. But I think Recovery is a great album, he’s still that amazing rapper and as he said in “I’m Back” : He STILL murdered a rhyme, one word at time.. Anyways, I’m proud of him..

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  24. Infinte Jay Jay

    What you guys smoking? saying album is classic its not even above average to say the least. For me this was an weak attempt from Em to back to his days of “My Name is” and the “Marshall Mathers LP”,both this and Relapse lack passion.
    Em’s lyric fall flat most of the time and the producers on this album are pretty much half-assing on their talents leaving the album feeling very inconsistent.

    I know I’m going to flamed and hated on by most of you dick-riding Em fans (and some rihanna stans too!)who don’t take the consideration of someone else’s opinion, but I don’t care what you guys say.

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  25. Dean12

    This album is F*UCKING AWESOME!!!!! unbelievably good, literally cannot believe my ears!

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  26. Fail

    I love it all, I just hate Love The Way You lie, its not that good of a song, just the mainstream retards gobble Rihanna up…No Love is def the best song, followed by Talkin’ 2 Myself. But no one really cares, cause they’ll be listening to rihanna.

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  27. brent

    OK….BIGGEST EM FAN HERE!! I gotta say as sick as his old stuff was and thats what made him he has evolved into a master of his craft…To ANYONE that hates on this album really needs to LISTEN to it…its deep,passionate,multi syllabic, clever,witty,smart and REAL!! unlike every other rap song out in the last 5 yrs lets see whos out…soulja boy,gucci mane!! Like come on this album is hip hop at its finest and his delivery and rhymes couldnt be better and if you expect better your a retard….OH and to the guy that said DRAKES issshhhh was hotter LMAO what!? Im listening to that shit right now and omg grant it hes clever but has the same non passionate flow on every track no matter the beat he doesnt switch his flow lol and just sits there and reads it off his blackberry his damn mixtape was better and if you think drake holds a candle to Em you dont even belong near hip hop….BEST EM ALBUM EVER

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  28. Honest

    Recovery is a sign though that Eminem has a whole new wave of energy, ideas, and ability. I think his best work has yet to be created. Most people start to lose passion and talent when they go over the 35-40 line.

    Eminem is not most people. If you put in the practice and work, there’s no age at which you can’t improve at something that’s primarily mental and creative.

    Please buy this album, don’t steal. Eminem deserves the record sales for this one. I’m not a fanboy by any means, I’m just an elder hip hop fan who hopes that Eminem will keep delivering for another decade.

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  29. john

    I think the new em album is awesome, by far the best work he has done since eminem show. Its a genious at his best.Well done em!

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  30. daniel sexton

    it dnt get no fckin better then this outdone himself if u aint gotit get it recovery

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  31. daniel sexton

    it dont get no fuckin better then this outdone himself if u aint got it get it recovery

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  32. kg

    hes back. n still crushin da game

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  33. madeline mathers

    tato zadzwoń na górze masz numer
    …mama prosiła..

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  34. Ldub

    This will go down as one of his top three albums. The lyrics are raw, the flow is nasty, and he is back! My favorite songs are songs such as On Fire and Space Bound…on fire is straight nasty and it somewhat reminds me of Soldier on the Eminem Show…he is the best to ever do it hands down and I wasnt convinced that until this album came out!

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  35. David latdr

    I miss Funny Eminem, you want to here funny see without me

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  36. girl20

    i love eminem this album is really good

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  37. Petan

    Super LP

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  38. lee wilson

    This album is shit hot, i downloaded it around a week ago and aint stop playing it.

    The only track that let it down was that awful sounding lil Wayne he drags the album down when it really flies high without him.

    Lyrically slim is in a league of his own, nobody delivers so many hot lyrics together like this man.

    My fav is talking to myself well done slim!

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