Monday, June 28, 2010

Review wrap-up: The Dead Weather, The Black Keys, Eminem

Dead Weather- Sea of Cowards
If you enjoyed the first Dead Weather album, this one should make you very happy. The band has come together nicely and the tracks feel more like they belong together. If you enjoy your blues rocking with a shot of scotch and an unfiltered cigarette, this is the album to pick up.

Black Keys- Brothers
I’ve only just discovered the Black Keys thanks to a recommendation and I’m glad I did. These guys are phenomenal; mixing blues, jazz, rock and even a little electronic funk to create a unique sound that, while sometimes simplified, comes across super smoothe. Quickly becoming one of my favorite current bands.

Eminem- Recovery
Eminem is back and, while not “better than ever,” he’s definitely better than he’s been in a really long time. Encore was pretty rough, but even that was like listening to an angelic chorus when compared to the abysmal follow-up Relapse.

Rather than harp on the past, though, let’s look to the present. If you are a fan of the old Eminem, you should be pleased as punch with the massive 17 tracks Recovery has to offer, none of which are skits. He’s nixed the obnoxious accents from Relapse and even cut back on the comedy, but this is the best work he’s done in eight years.

While many of the beats fall a bit flat, half the album features hooks you’ll be hard-pressed not to get stuck in your head for days.

All of that comes secondary, though, to the lyrics. He apologizes quite a bit for the past decade of shenanigans and boasts a bit more than I like to listen to, but if that’s what it takes to get his confidence up and wipe the slate clean, so be it.

Eminem has once again established himself as one of (if not the) best wordsmiths working in music. He says a lot in these 17 tracks, reveals a lot about himself, and promises more is on the way.

Recovery is a perfect title for this album because, after a decade of dealing with drugs and then getting clean again, he’s let the world know he’s back in top form and ready to say what’s on his mind. I, for one, am more than happy to listen.

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