Friday, July 23, 2010

Album Reviews: Eminem & Professor Green

I've been listening to these two albums today and was not greatly moved nor utterly disappointed by either, so here's pretty short and sweet reviews for each:

Eminem - Recovery (4/5). The best of the two is Eminem's follow-up to last years underwhelming Relapse. Recovery isn't the lack of craftsmanship and innovation or just thorough vulgarity that Relapse turned out to be but a more positive outlook things if you will--not that you would get the same understanding from aggressive opening track "Cold Wind Blows" but the album lets up as it goes through, touching on a handful of highlights such as the unlikely rock/hip-hop influenced collaboration with P!nk on "Won't Back Down," the popular eerie lead single "Not Afraid," which I still like a lot--another highlight is "Almost Famous" which effectively stems from the same eerie vibe, ultimately leading onto what looks like to be the albums biggest highlight (and biggest hit so far) "Love the Way You Lie" the piano, guitar, bass and drum studded ballad. It's not brilliant as its current commercial success would suggest, but it does enough to patch up the gaps Relapse left. Best: Love the Way You Lie, Not Afraid, Won't Back Down, Almost Famous, Your Never Over

Professor Green - Alive 'til I'm Dead (3.5/5). English rapper Professor Green delivered an ambitious sophomore. Alive 'til I'm Dead does indeed sound like an ambitious mix of pop, hip-hop and old school R&B--which is all seems to reach further than it should as not everything works. Opening "Kids That Love to Dance" plays with a hybrid of drum and a bass guitar it's underwhelming, it's the lyrics that make the song. The SOS Band sampling "Just Be Good to Green" fills up on the electro-pop packing the synths whilst the INXS sampling "I Need You Tonight" works the funk with a cool story-line and narration. There's not much cohesion but a handful of highlights such as the drum-heavy "City of Gold," dancefloor filler "Falling Down," synth charged "Monster" featuring Example and the dubstep influenced "Jungle." Best: I Need You Tonight, City of Gold, Just Be Good to Green, Falling Down, Jungle, Monster

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