Eminem

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Aftermath)

Phases and Stages

Eminem

The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Aftermath)

Forgive the dated references and remember Eminem hasn't represented public conscience this millennium. You listen because he burns, because he can afford production from Rick Rubin that reinvents Billy Squier ("Berzerk"), and because he rhymes nine words with "attackable" in 30 seconds, midway through a song called "Asshole." Now 41 and onto his eighth disc – the "sequel" to an album released in 2000 – Eminem's only preoccupied with torching tracks like a one-man slaughterhouse. That he can rhyme more with a dated reference such as "Monica Lewinsky" affects neither his approach nor his ability to top Billboard, as happened yet again this month. That works only if you can get past 78 minutes of (potentially fictionalized) misogyny, homophobia, and allusions to killing or abandoning his family, not to mention lame ducks "Headlights," "Stronger Than I Was," and the Rihanna-fronted "Monster," which you'll hate by 2014.

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