Eminem’s ‘Revival’ fails to revive dying hype

Eminem’s ‘Revival’ fails to revive dying hype

Evan Delannoy

I’m not going to sugar coat it: This album is an awful and overly drawn out display of rapping, production, useful social commentary, and might even be the worst album of 2017.

The production is the worst part of this album. It’s a mixture of soulless formulaic pop, classic rock samples and sparse hip-hop beats that come together terribly. I got a headache from the Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” sample used on “Remind Me.” I don’t think that even the greatest producers in music could have pulled off using that sample into an Eminem song that would’ve sounded listenable. The rock samples only get worse on songs like “Untouchable” and “Framed” with unpleasant guitar melodies being looped for more than four minutes each time, and a couple random beat-switches that do the songs no favors.

The features on this album only make the listening experience worse, I don’t understand how Eminem thought it would be a good idea to do hip-hop songs with Ed Sheeran and Pink, who are by far the two worst features on the album. There are no guest rap verses on this album. The closest one is Brooklyn rapper Phresher but he’s only used for a chorus, he doesn’t even contribute a verse. I’m so confused on how on an album where there is literally a picture of a frustrated Eminem blended into an American flag as the cover art, there are no features from rappers that are skilled with conveying social perspectives and commentary.

The rapping on the project isn’t necessarily terrible in terms of its content, besides a few cringe- worthy moments about Eminem’s struggles with white guilt, which for me, was a big turn off. The whole “white guilt” thing just seems like another way for the race conversation to be steered away from the people who are most affected by it. I appreciate Eminem making an attempt to cover these topics in his music, especially as the biggest white rapper of all time, but frankly he’s a bit late and didn’t bring anything that was progressive or insightful to the table.

The execution and delivery of the rhymes on this album is horrid. Eminem’s flow is so awful on songs like “Believe” and “Chloraseptic” because for some reason he doesn’t allow himself to space out his rhyming schemes. It sounds like he got the wind knocked out of him. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d question the technical proficiency of Eminem’s rapping skills, but he managed to disappoint on that front too. Not to mention, this album is an hour and seventeen minutes long, which makes the journey from beginning to end feel like I’m descending into a musical hell.
It’s hard to believe that the same guy who was getting his albums executively produced by Dr. Dre at one point actually thought that this was acceptable music to put out.

Honestly, I think the biggest difference from Eminem’s earlier albums and “Revival” is the authenticity. I’m not saying Eminem doesn’t care about social issues; I’m sure he does. But the execution of this album comes off in a way that doesn’t feel all the way authentic. It feels forced, awkward, and the music sounds like a man who is unsure of himself. If this is Eminem’s final album, I can’t think of a worse way to go out.