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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2013
I've listened through this album once only so I'll admit it's quite early to make a final judgement. But my first impression is that not only is this a hip hop masterpiece - musically, lyrically, conceptually - but it is the strongest contender, in my opinion, for Em's best album to date. So let's break it down a little.

For one, this is a love letter to fans of the original Marshall Mathers LP. The opener Bad Guy makes plenty of references to classic lines from the MMLP, the song "So Far" actually uses small samples from the songs "I'm Back" and "The Real Slim Shady" - to name but two - and the skit "Parking Lot" (one of only two skits on the entire album) is a fun sequel to the song "Criminal" on the original LP. So the name of the new album is not just some cheap marketing ploy; there's substance to it, not least in the sense that volume 2 reaches and even outdoes volume 1, which many regard as his best, most influential album.

Musically, the production here reaches heights never heard before be it in terms of the pop-savvy beats, the rock-fueled guitar and the dead-on piano riffs (capturing the best of the MMLP), not to mention the voice work. The album sounds expensive and is a cross between Em's early work and the underrated Encore and Relapse; Recovery sounds flat compared to what we have here but nothing Eminem has put out to date quite equals the production values on here. In addition, there is the right balance between loud tracks like Bezerk and softer tracks like Legacy - that helps give the album a harmonious feel.

Lyrically, Em is as over the top as ever and at the top of his game, breaking standards he himself has set for hip hop artists. I obviously didn't catch all the subtleties, self-references and jokes on my first listen through but it's clear that MMLP2 will repay multiple listens - plenty of stuff to dig into, if one isn't too distracted by the excellent musical production, that is. I'm also glad to note that Eminem hasn't given up on his skilled use of "accents" and nasal delivery, which makes this album closer in feel to Encore and Relapse than his last, Recovery, which for me is a good thing. However, as on Recovery, there are plenty of artists who sing the chorus on this album and Em continues his singing career which is now stronger than ever as shown, ironically, on a song called "Stronger than Before" where he sings more than he raps.

Highlights. So many to choose from. Because I'm a nerd I give stars to tracks I listen to on Media Player. No less than ten of the tracks got five stars from me and none less than four stars. I will no doubt upgrade some of my ratings in due course since I know from experience that Eminem's albums tend to be growers. The absolute highlights for me though are the awesome songs Rhyme or Reason and Legacy - the latter is a slow, soft, song which I personally think better than Stan and Rhyme or Reason needs to be listened to to be believed. There are of course the singles Bezerk, Rap God, Survival and Monster, which are excellent. Also noteworthy is that, to my knowledge, this is Em's first album to contain two songs, namely the excellent "Bad Guy" and the closer "Evil Twin", which break the seven minute barrier; and contrary to expectation they never let up.

So to round up Eminem is back for good this time and has done the best fan service possible by releasing what is arguably his best album to date and one of the best Hip Hop albums of all time, no less (and I say this owning a huge hip hop collection). This is a five star album which will have a long shelf life and confirm Eminem's superstar status. Well done Slim!
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on 5 November 2013
This is easily one of my favourite albums he has ever released. He raps in a different style, but he has matured so much, more lyrical acrobatics, more thoughtful, more attacks at Kim.

Seriously this album is great, especially if you've listened to the original Marshall Mathers LP a lot.

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on 7 November 2013
A very thoughtful and considered album. Marshall gets off to a fierce beginning with "Bad guy" referencing Stan. It also begins an acknowledgement of karma which continues into the skit and some of the other songs. "Rhyme or Reason" is definitely one of the stronger unreleased songs on the album along with "Legacy". "So Far" takes the rapper into a different direction, sampling a famous country style beat. "Love Game" featuring Kendrick Lamar is a very interesting collaboration, not dissimilar to the song "Lady" Em made with Obie Trice many years ago. "Headlights" is probably the most amazing and shocking song on the album, here Marshall finally apologises to his mother in an intensely emotional and heartfelt couple of verses. The remainder is picked up by Fun's Nate Ruess whose haunting voice will pierce through your soul as he anchors the emotional message in this song, which seems to have resonated with so many people already. The album is finished off nicely by "Evil Twin" a song depicting the duality of Eminem's personality. There are some songs that appear slightly weaker on first listen, but after several plays, the whole album comes together nicely as an amazing story of what I, and many others, consider to be the greatest rapper alive. True fans will NOT be disappointed.
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on 10 November 2013
I am getting tired of hip hop snobs critically destroying good albums.

Let's get one thing straight, no one thinks that Eminem is an underground artist. Who would you write a 1 star review solely on the basis that a main stream hip hop artist has produced a commercial album??? I will tell you......snobs who think that the only hip hop worth listening to is HipHop that no one else has heard.

If you are seeking an underground album try RA The Rugged Man or Madchilds 2013 releases.

This is a typical Eminem album. Very homophobic, very personal and at times quite childish. But.....let's not forget how skillful this man can be. Monster will no doubt be number 1 and Rap God is my hip hop song of the year so far. The tune with label mate Kendrick Lemar is also quite impressive.

I take my hat of to him. I own all 8 of his albums
And this is top 3. If you already like Eminem you will no doubt appreciate this album.
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on 23 January 2014
I almost gave this album a miss as I did not really think Mr Mathers could equal or better his last/previous offering ! . Then I was driving and heard the track MONSTER................................absolutely brilliant track.

This album is not just good it is GREAT.
every track is great , his team-up with Rhianna has once again proved more than just a strategic music business arrangement.

Thisalbum clearly shows why he is the biggest selling Rap artist and has made the cross over into several other genres.
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on 15 November 2013
Really, I love this album. Listened to it several times now. I feel he's returned to form after his last album or two. It's a really clever album with some great tracks. I've been a fan for a long time but the last few albums I've not liked. To me, this feels like a modern, more mature, version of his earlier stuff (Marshall Mathers LP 1, The Eminem Show etc).

Highly recommended
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on 23 November 2013
I would not really class myself as a Eminem fan at all but over his career i have liked a few of his tracks but never enough to warrant buying the album until now that is
I really love almost every track on this EP stand out tracks for me are brainless and rap god
Is Eminem cool at 41?
certainly looks like it ;)
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on 13 December 2013
A like Eminem, not blindly but I do feel he is the master of the rapid lyric delivery, His phrasing is still his and only his, there are dead moments on this album but it is a grower, the more I listen the more I seem to get from it. Worth the purchase price for another seat at the Shady Show.
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on 7 November 2013
The four best songs on this album (Survival, Bezerk, Rap God and Monster) had already been made officially available before the full release of the album. Consequently I was left feeling a little bit disappointed when I listened to the rest of the songs on the album and found that they weren't as good.

Eminem has had a lot of unreleased tracks and tracks on other artist's songs in recent years that are far better than many of the songs on this album.

Don't get me wrong he's still a genius and there are some insane lyrics on there but he's just capable of better.
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on 10 November 2013
Some classic Eminem tracks. The man truly is a genius. Not his best album to date but I've only listened to it 3 times and it usually takes a while to understand everything he's saying. Would recommend it to any of his fans though
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