on 8 May 2002
An album that is truly harrowing and dramatic. An album which is also fantasically comical and self-deprecating. Eminem is possibly the most intelligent contempory artist in music today. This album is brilliant and every music lover should own it.
on 7 January 2007
Wow! This album broke down boundaries like no other in recent times. I'm a heavy metal fan & don't really enjoy rap, hip-hop or whatever u wanna call it.
But this one blew me away. Before this i thought eminem was a comedy act. The album is stunning though. It's not just rap, it's a masterpiece in storytelling. Young Marshall certainly had a lot on his mind & what a way to let it out!
This is not rap, rock, pop or any kind of stereotype, it's a modern day popular music masterpiece. Stan is amazing & without it, a dull lady called Dido wouldn't have ever appeared (Marshall - report to my office now!!!). Still, complete & utter genius.
It's a work of art. Stan is one of my top 3 tracks ever and, coming from a metal fan, this is saying something.
This album transcends genres, race and generations. It's just a shame that M&M hasn't gotten close to this kind of quality since :(
The release of The Marshall Mathers LP must have driven a whole bunch of Eminem-haters crazy because, with this second album, Eminem proved he was here to stay. In my opinion, this is the best of Eminem’s first three albums, taking the rap and hip-hop up more than a few notches from the already lofty heights attained in The Slim Shady LP. This artist’s unique personal flair really bursts forth here, giving us beats and rhymes much more complex and musically adept than what had come before. In addition, Eminem has by now thoroughly come into his own. He is intentionally courting controversy, daring his critics and those who would love to have him censored or simply locked away somewhere to step outside with everything they have. Those who will look underneath the violence and the swearing and the offensive remarks Eminem makes in his lyrics will find a deeply complex person with something important to say, a man who does, in his own special way, highlight the kind of real problems many young people face in the modern world, and the accusing fingers he points in all directions often serve to highlight the problems inherent in the individual and society itself. And, as he is wont to say, he is the only person brave enough to say these things.
This album hits the floor running with Kill You, a track announcing to the world Eminem’s confidence in himself and rejection of authority and criticism. This level of comfort and confidence proves a great boon to the next track Stan, a song in which he reverses roles and plays the innocent good guy who is too late to help a deeply troubled fan. Eminem marvels at his own stardom in Who Knew and Marshall Mathers, breaks the news to the Eminem-haters that I’m Back, and taunts them all, with a little help from RBX and Sticky Fingez, with the track Remember Me?. The Way I Am is an important song, as Eminem clearly understands that his public persona is not the real Marshall Mathers but is rather whatever the people think he is; to his critics, he will always be a subversive criminal corrupting the youth of America, but to his fans he is something much different. Songs like Amityville (featuring Bizarre from D-12) and B**** Please II (with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit and Nate Dogg) raise the levels of violence and strong language up to a level that might not appeal to all Eminem fans, but the tracks are very well laid out. Criminal is the perfect ending to the album, a final statement about Eminem’s nature and the interpretation of what he does by the public at large. However, the most important track on this second album, in many ways the song that made me a fan, is Kim. This track, a prequel to the first album’s Bonnie and Clyde 97, is understandably controversial, seeing as how it is basically a fantasy about Eminem murdering his wife, but in a very, very strange way it is actually a love song of sorts. Few songs can rival it in terms of the immense power it communicates, especially toward the end when Eminem is basically shouting, letting go of all the betrayal and anger he feels inside.
I am not really into rap and hip-hop in general, so it is difficult for me to review albums such as this. Beyond trying to communicate how incredible I think The Marshall Mathers LP is, the main point I would like to make is that no one should simply dismiss this music without listening to it for themselves. Many of those who objectively give Eminem a chance will still hate the guy, but it is much better to determine your own feelings first-hand as opposed to dissing the guy simply because you’ve heard he is violent and dangerous or because some group has labeled him a bad influence on young people.
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.
on 18 February 2006
after the briliant debut, slim shady LP, eminem comes with an even better album ,ands it bloomin amazin, part of what makes this album is that hes so angry on it, and the anger goes in to the music, you can feel his pain on every song, eminem is also an amazing lyricist, his way with words is genius, and he has terrific multi syllable rhyming scheme, he also comes up with several genuinely funny jokes and punchlines on this album, and he does lots of different types of songs, and every song is brilliant, he has a great voice too, his voice makes you pay attention to what he says, dr dre and eminem himself did the beats the beats, which are brilliant ,the only slight let down on the album is the lack of talent of guest appearances, such as bizarre on amityville, this track would have been fine without him, as he cannot rap at all, overall, this is one of the best rap albums ever made, and a genuine contender for the best!
Progressing from Guns'N'Roses as `The World's Most Dangerous Band', Eminem burst into middle class homes across the world as `The World's Most Dangerous Musician'. His first album was vulgar, crass, offensive, full of foul language and obscene lyrics, it covered taboo subjects, and was full of violent imagery involving fights, drugs, and guns. Naturally it sold millions and terrified parents and politicians everywhere. The critics failed to see the underlying reasons for the success; it was clever, full of energy and invention, and packed with great music. The Blond rapper from Detroit had a lot to live up to for his second album, not that he cared, and with The Marshall Mathers LP he created a monster, surpassing his first in every way- it is shocking in its violence, hilarious in its unashamed attack on celebrity, musically intense and original, and is easily one of the albums of the decade.
`PSA 2000' opens the album in similar style to the Slim Shady LP. It sets the tone for the rest of the album with Eminem's trademark humour and attitude coming through. For those who don't know it is a spoken word announcement proclaiming how he doesn't care if you hate his album
`Kill You' has an ominous tone throughout with it's dark, yet funky bass and screamed vocals. It covers a multitude of topics deriding those who criticize him, especially those who see him as a violent influence to their kids. Naturally he responds by saying he will kill them. Lyrically it is much angrier than anything in the first album- the dark side of fame has struck him and he raps about the hypocrisy of radio stations, TV shows etc whose ratings are bad so they invite him on expecting controversy. This is a strong first song which sets the darker tone of the album, with only subtle hints at humour 6 foot underneath.
`Stan' needs no explaining as it was one of the biggest hits of the decade. On first listen it was a revelation- a brilliantly clever story, flawlessly written lyrics and music, it's haunting chorus which blends seamlessly into each verse. The story of a disgruntled and psychotic fan going too far again shows the down side of fame, how becoming an idol brings shadowy responsibilities that you either don't want or release you had until it was too late. Unfortunately as it became such a big hit thanks to certain big Radio stations with 1 in the title who played it roughly 48 times a day it lacks the impact it once had. Of course these radio stations played a severely censored version and on top of this Dido inexplicably became popular. Her song which was sampled in Stan is bland and poor when heard on its own, but as part of Stan it works effectively. Now that her song has been played to death it unfortunately gives a second knife in the back of Eminem's epic.
`Paul' is another funny spoken insert, featuring someone's reaction to hearing the album. At only a few seconds long it is throwaway material but still great fun and the album doesn't sound whole if who skip it.
`Who Knew' is a more juvenile version of Kill You, mixing funny lyrics and ideas with satirical and harsh ones. Again he explains his hatred of the hypocrisy of American parents, media, and politicians who have blamed him for everything to murder, suicide, and the decline of the American youth. He explains his side in a clever way, replacing the elegance of rhetoric with his own unique blend of madness. Musically it is fairly simple, with a slight bass beat in the background and some synth style strings which are reminiscent of, ironically, Psycho.
`Steve Berman' continues the spoken interludes and features a record company producer/suit who hates the album. As always it is done in a jaunty style with some funny background music as Eminem sets himself up as a `me against the world' figure.
`The Way I Am' is as close to soul baring and honesty as we get on the album, another angry attack on fame, those who hate him and those who love him a little too much. He spits out the words with venom and typically doesn't hold back. Musically it is as melodic as he gets, with piano and bass mixing together and some church bells in the choruses which add a dark tint.
`The Real Slim Shady' was the first big hit off the album, similar to what My Name Is in commercial sensibility and melodic and lyrical content. A circus like loop repeats throughout, the chorus is a huge sing along favourite, and the verses are a hilarious destruction of celebrity. He speaks obviously of the split personality which people see in him, and of the thousands of imitators who started to appear, and his anger over being mentioned by other vacuous types now because he's famous.
`Remember Me' features various guest rappers, mostly rapping about themselves and their own experiences. This is more typical rap than Eminem's own work on the album, features great lyrics but fairly bland stoner noise. Eminem's verse is the best of the lot and raises the song by virtue of his delivery. There is more name dropping, more screaming, and more goodness.
`I'm Back' sounds quite commercial with its memorable lead line and catchy chorus. Again the target is fame and the hounds which follow whoever is the flavour of the month. Again he dismisses all the nonsense, and injects plenty of humour into the lyrics with various imaginings and one-liners.
`Marshall Mathers' stands out with Kim and Stan as a classic- musically and lyrically it wreaks of brilliance and is swamped with emotion. The confessional lyrics speak of further pitfalls of success- how family members he never knew now come to see him. He covers, Axl Rose style, many objects of his rage from boy/girl groups, useless celebrities and whoever else stupidly falls under his radar. Of course it is all tongue in cheek, but you can taste the annoyance from his relationships with his mother and wife and accusations of selling out now that he is `a big star'.
`Ken Kaniff' is the final spoken word piece, and the best/worst depending on which way your wind blows. It involves a sexual encounter between 2 characters which ends badly when one mentions Eminem. Juvenile and funny the first time, but not integral to the album.
`Drug Ballad' has a funky bass line helped along by some female vocals throughout. Eminem speaks of his love of drugs and booze which has become an addiction. He speaks of various experiences as well as what will happen/is happening if he doesn't stop. The chorus is as catchy as the singles on the album, the lyrics are clever although will be disagreeable to most.
`Amityville' isn't one of the best songs on the album. Lyrically it is tongue in cheek, but this time it sounds more like it is trying to offend just for the sake of it. Rather than targeting something genuine and slicing it apart, Bizarre and Eminem find everything taboo and recite like a love of exploitation. Musically it isn't very memorable, although the ending has some nice additions.
`Bitch Please II' gets back on the musical tracks with some nice background sounds and catchy melodies. The guests (Dre, Snoop) are more effective this time, the lyrics are more direct with each member adding their own flavour. Silly in parts covering the pride of gangsta stories but with all the humourous content you can't possibly take the content seriously. As with the rest of the album though, the style and music must be seriously respected.
`Kim' is the best track on the album, absolutely brutal in content and delivery, heavy metal in style in attitude, emotion, pain, and anger dropping from every word. Every word is shrieked in a demented way, shivers will fly up and down your spine, the chorus is catchy, the guitars and piano are haunting, and the words are utterly horrific. Basically he imagines taking his wife out of the city and murdering her after she cheated on him, the lyrics delivered with frightening authenticity. There is no humour in stark contrast to the rest of the album, it is basically 6 minutes of harrowing rage ending with the sounds of a body being dragged away. Within a few seconds you will forget that you are listening to a song; one of the best songs of the decade.
`Under The Influence' features D12 rapping along to one of the most memorable melodies on the album, and an extremely infectious chorus. The lyrics are on the `lighter' side, full of vulgarity and humour and as with the rest of the album pretty offensive if you don't realize the tongue in cheek nature.
`Criminal' is another song with South Park-esque humour (and references). Eminem raps about the criminal life that certain areas of society believes he is part of. Murder, bank robberies, kidnapping etc are all flown through with jolly glee, but the message is all about freedom of speech versus conservatism and red faced commentators who have never actually listened to the music.
Eminem's second album was a huge chart success as well as being a critical favourite. On the flip side the inevitable controversy was huge with celebrities, parents, politicians, fellow rappers, women and gay rights' groups all ganging together in disgust. There is plenty here to offend, but whether or not it should not be listened to is a futile question given that there is so much to enjoy. It is undoubtedly one of the most important and best albums of the decade bringing hard edged rap into the mainstream, giving a well deserved slap in the face to watered-down music of all genres, and a wake up call to all artists to raise their game or get left behind. Hypnotically weaving its way through the various part's of Eminem's psyche it is best to simply relax and enjoy. If you are easily offended you won't listen and probably won't be reading this; for those who are not will be treated to an album full of force and aggression, but with a lot of heart, humour, wit, and skill too.
on 5 June 2000
I have listened to Hip Hop for years now, the first album ibought was the Onyx Bacdafuc up album. When i got it i thought it washillarious the language they used. Needless to say my mum wasnt happy about it. Since then i have purchased maybe 5 or 6 hundred hip hop albums and think i know a fair bit about it. When Eminem released his first single "my name is" i wasnt to impressed. It sounded a bit corny and to poppy. And i didnt go and by the slim shady LP for that reason. So i didnt realy know how good he was. I thought he was gonna be like Vanilla ice or Snow or someone. A year later i heard the single the real slim shady and i was amazed at how tight his lyrics were.They are thrown at you relentlessly. I went and bought the Marshall Mathers Lp and it is the best album i have ever listened to.Each single is a masterpiece. He doesnt rap about the same s*** like his peers. Love , money, cars, etc which may be reality to some people. He raps about the darker things which are also reality to some people.
Tracks which stand out for me are Kim and Stan. Unlike other rappers the whole song that he writes blend together lyricaly. Each sentance goes with the next one to create something that makes sense. Both these songs give you feelings inside at the end. They get u thinking which is whatr they should do.
This guy is a genious. His lyrics are even better than Biggies in my oppinion which makes him the best rapper ever. They are phenominal. He speaks from the heart about his life and his thoughts. You dont get this from many people. They all sing about the same corny s***. Some people dont like them but the reality is that this is reality to. Dr Dre ? Well ? The man is the best Hip Hop producer around. Proven for over a Decade in the industry. With the Newly crowned best rapper and the Best producer you are looking at the best album ever.
I hope that Eminem is around for the next 10-20 years because on the evidence of this album he has the talent to.
This album is the most essential album Eminem released. If you only plan on buying one Eminem album, make it this one. This opus is the pinnacle of his career, where everything fell into place. Whereas his previous album had introduced us to alter-ego Slim Shady, this one unleashed the real Marshall Mathers...and Marshall was even more twisted and angry than Slim.
Proper opener 'Kill You' acts as a statement of intent. Already experiencing outrage from parents, Eminem decides to make music even more twisted than what he was already doing. Almost every song here - excluding possibly 'Drug Ballad,' and some even find that entertaining - is worth having.
All of the singles - bar one, which I shall get to later - are essential, of course. But often overlooked are the album tracks that not so many people know. Bonus track 'The Kids' is Eminem at his funniest, reeling off tales of drug-taking and murder with a rapier wit and comedy piano line. 'Who Knew?' finds Em posing logical arguments as to why he shouldn't be held responsible for kids 'jumping off the terrace.' He has a point.
There are three songs on this album which define everything Eminem's about and show how unique he is. One is the murder-ballad 'Kim,' a move on from '97 Bonnie And Clyde.' It's so unpleasant to be borderline unlistenable, but essential listening for understanding Eminem's mentality and fascination. 'B***h Please II,' featuring Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Xzibit and some other people I forget, shows how much Eminem stands out from the pack. Dre and Snoop, two of the greatest in rap's history, rap about blowing people away and use the n-word, etc. etc. Eminem proceeds to rap about how small his genitals are. It's not normal rap.
And finally there is the one song that should make this album essential to anyone and everyone, even if you buy the censored version. 'Stan (feat. Dido)' is one of the defining songs of rap's history. The story is almost Dylanesque (as is its seven-minute length), a fascinating tale of an obsessive fan who kills himself and his girlfriend. It's chilling, thrilling and enthralling.
This album is one of rap's masterpieces, and certainly Eminem has never bettered it, and probably never will in these post-50 Cent days. Buy it, be amazed, disgusted, and amused despite yourself.
on 29 May 2000
Calling all social degenerates, criminals and the psychologically unhinged - REJOICE, for you have an icon, and his name is Marshall! This album certainly has IMPACT! The darkly comic theme which permeates this sophomore offering will have Middle American parents choking on their mega-burgers; with sinister, atmospheric production by Mel-man, Dre and Eminem himself. There is clear evidence of Eminem baring his soul as an artist, 'Who Knew' and 'Marshall Mathers' have a distinctly carthartic air. But don't despair Shady fans - Em remains as lyrically uncompromising as ever, with MTV presenters, Britney Spears, N-Sync and Christina Aguilera all impaled on the sharp end of his forked tongue. The one major gripe would be that the 'less than special' tracks are exceptionally bad and as such, are detrimental to the production as a whole. However, collaborations with Em's own posse D12 and various others from Dre's stable supplement an already spectacular album. Personal favourites include 'Marshall Mathers' and 'Drug Ballad', a marvellously eclectic depiction of the personal turmoil of drug addiction set against fine production by Dre. And for all the macabre, gothic, social misfits amongst you Em offers descriptive tales of murder, suicide and downright maniacal tendencies on the ominous 'Kim' and disturbing 'Stan'. In fact, the only social groups who wouldn't find something to appreciate here would be parents and homosexuals, to whom Em maintains a relentless tirade of denigration and disgust ...
on 25 September 2013
I remember when my brother first put this album on for me when I was 3. I didn't fully understand the lyrics and the controversy but as I got older, you start to see it all really easily. I have to say I was really impressed with this album! The lyrics. The controversy. The vocals. It's all just there and it's just brilliant!!
Songs to look out for on this album.
- Stan which is quite emotional and is also based on a true story, Dido's vocals on the chorus are awesome and it's great that Marshall plays as both the fan and himself.
- The Way I Am. This song was what got me hooked to Eminem. It is very serious but as you listen to it, you know that Em isn't like most of the new school rappers today that are always rapping about smoking weed, drinking and partying, having sex and all that. Eminem actually raps about different events that have happened over his lifetime. This was why I preferred him to alot of other rappers.
- Marshall Mathers is another serious song just like The Way I Am and again, the bars are about different events in his life. When you listen to the last part of verse 1, unless you were familiar with Em's feud with the Insane Clown Posse, you won't really understand the lyrics. But yeah, Marshall Mathers is a brilliant song!
I know it's only a couple songs but those are the ones I reckon you should look out for. If you want an album with great lyrics and looking for the occasional laugh, then this is the album for you!!