Two disc set includes a bonus disc with three previously un-released tracks.
has always delighted in confounding expectations, so we should have guessed he'd respond to the title Most Important Artist Of His Generation with Encore
an album peppered with puerile humour, myriad references to his past career, and plenty of farts, burps and vomiting. Thankfully, even Slim Shady on a bad day can be a fairly mighty proposition: the seething "Mosh" is a rare moment of high seriousness--a trudging anti-Bush epic in the vein of "White America" that positively vibrates with bile while the skittery "My 1st Single" proves that Mathers can be engaging even when he's rapping about basically nothing.
The key to understanding Encore is through its pursuit of sheer offensiveness for offence's sake, be it the comic accent on "Ass Like That", or the relentless gay jibes of "Rain Man" all of which seem to be more about prodding the hornet's nest of controversy that any genuine prejudice. Still, it's occasionally hard to escape that there's a certain weariness to Em's delivery, an impression that sometimes extends to the arrangements see "Like Toy Soldiers", a jaundiced account of rap feuding, rendered unnecessarily corny by a sample of "Toy Soldiers" by '80s two-hit wonder Martika. --Louis Pattison