Ok, so Eminem swears too much and holds some opinions most of us would disagree with wholeheartedly. Look past this and all the controversy and you will see a very talented musician and lyricist. The Marshall Mathers LP is raw, powerful rap music at its best.
Eminem is a brave musician who is not afraid to speak what he feels, whether we agree with him or not. In these days of political spin and image it is refreshing to see such openess and honesty. One of Eminem's qualities for me is that he is never afraid to mock himself and does so on all his albums. The humour in this album, brought by Eminem's quick wit and skill for impression is second to none. The Real Slim Shady is a prime example of this, and the South Park take off "Kids" at the end is hilarious. It contrasts with the darker moments to make them even more powerful. The highlight of the album is undoubtedly Stan - a brilliant original piece of music with some of the most powerful, frightening lyrics you are ever likely to here. However, almost every song on the album is strong, although I am not a fan of Amityville. Kim is a very disturbing song and not easy to listen to but it is certainly powerful and makes you think.
Unfortunatly events like Eminem describes on this album, such as in Kim, happen in the real world and I think it is brave and quite right of Eminem to remind us all of this. Who said music had to be easy listening, or that you had to agree with everything an artist does? The Beatles advocated taking drugs - I couldn't disagree more with them but it does not mean their music is not of value. Ok, so Eminem is more extreme than most, but then so is society these days. Perhaps we need the likes of Eminem to wake us up to reality these days.
Musically the album is flawless. Dr Dre is a superb producer and really ties the album togther very neatly. There is a great variety of different sounds here - something for everyone. This combined with Eminem's superb word power and rapping skills make for a very accomplished album. Ok so it wont be to everyone's taste, but as a white, middle class, Conservativ, English female Christian I have been converted and so almost anyone could like this, if only they ignore the controversy and listen to the music and Eminem's real message.