By Alan Cho
Glazed eyes and gun in your mouth, the image plastered on billboards and magazines to promote Encore says it all, Eminem. Suicide–it’s like the new abortion. How controversial! Abandoning your once renowned smirking hypocrisy and satirical jabs, you’ve become the thing artists’ fear most–boring.
With soccer moms humming the last single and politicians moving on to the next easy target, you’ve been embraced by the mainstream. Bound to happen when you release an inspirational movie and soundtrack, but your usual explosive sound and devil-may-care fury sloshes through the same grooves we’ve all heard before. Tell us once again how your mother is a bitch (“Evil Deeds”) or how your ex-wife is a bit of a bitch (“Puke”), just with less bite; you know how those stockholders disapprove of lawsuits.
Your flat lyrics stumble against Dre’s pulsating production. Usually able to amp up even the limpest of tracks, Dre relies too much on monotonous thumping to pump dead rhymes. There’s no heart in Encore; everything plods through the motions for the publicity machine you’re trapped in.
Attack such controversies like ’80s nostalgia (“Crazy In Love”), a child molesting Michael Jackson (“Just Lose it”), and an infantile and ridiculous attack on Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (“Ass Like That”) as if they’re still relavent. Even with the few bright spots like the righteous polemic “Mosh”, your strongest lyrical work to date is directed at a straw man target in Bush. The rest of the album is fart humor Ashton Kutcher wished he thought up and self-deprecation Weird Al Yankovic wouldn’t bother with.
Save the children from realizing their anti-hero has become the establishment. Save yourself from guest spots on Seventh Heaven. Just pull the trigger, Eminem.