If you just plain hate Eminem, there’s nothing I can do for you. But this album could be the best hip hop album of the last 10 years.

There are some who don’t hate Eminem, but they’ve been hating on him since The Eminem Show (maybe before). They claimed he gradually abandoned the style of rapping
that they loved. Some have loved him the whole time. This album contains a lot for both of those groups, and just about everyone in between.

Right from the opening track, Eminem comes at listeners full force, with everything he’s got. He really doesn’t let up much after that. Until the very end of the album he’s got the fire that everyone remembers and loves.

I’m not even sure I can pick out a stand-out track, or even a few of them. There’s too many good songs here. Whether you’re listening to “Won’t Back Down”, “No Love”, or his 1st single off the album, “Not Afraid”, Eminem takes down and kills anything else out there right now. And for those of you who miss songs like “Stan” where Em’s fire is backed up by an amazing hook sung by a female with a beautiful voice…there’s plenty of that here too. Songs like “25 to life” or “Love the Way You Lie” cannot be compared to anything else that’s been done. How about songs where the hook is sung by rockers, like “Dream On” with the Aerosmith sample? Got some of that too, with the hook on “Going Through Changes” being an Ozzy Osbourne sample. Actually, this song reminds me a lot of the early Eminem days, shortly after he signed to Aftermath.

Other great tracks include “Cinderella Man” and “Almost Famous”. And, if you pick up the Deluxe copy of the album you’ll hear one of the greatest group tracks of all time. “Session One” with newly signed Shady records artists, supergroup Slaughterhouse. Not only is this a great album musically, it’s also probably the most honest and vulnerable hip hop album released in a while. I’m not sure I can remember another hip hop album where a rapper confesses he almost started beefs with other rappers strictly because he was jealous of their success. I just don’t think it happens.

I’m sorry…I cannot hate a single song on this album. I can’t even be indifferent about any of them. It’s true, I was one of those who has always felt that Eminem was one of the greatest in the game, even when people were hating on Relapse and complaining about that great Encore album. But, that doesn’t mean I loved every track on Relapse. That album was just ok, with only a few really good tracks. But this…no one will beat this for a long time. Even the album sales say something about the quality of this album. Given that it sold 750,000 copies in its first week it could be in the running to be the best selling album of the year, hip hop or not.

So whether you long for the old Eminem or have loved him the whole time…or you were even indifferent about him the whole time…if you love hip hop you WILL find a lot to dig on this album. Guaranteed.

Image leaked eminem album ‘recovery’ – a blinding return to form. Originally uploaded by philcampbell