Album Review: Revival by Eminem

Eminem has been performing for his numerous fans since the late 80s. Revival is the first album that he has released in four years.


Eminem has been performing for his numerous fans since the late ’80s. “Revival” is the first album that he has released in four years.

Maddie Kennedy, Staff Writer

The recent return of Eminem in his latest album, Revival, brought us his trademark wordplay and imagery along with goofy beats. It brought us several features from other artists, such as Beyonce, Pink, Ed Sheeran and more. Most importantly, it gave us a peek into the mind of Eminem like never before.

The album kicks off with “Walk On Water.” The song begins with Beyoncé’s heavenly vocals. Although the first song usually intends to launch an album, in my opinion, this one lacks momentum and hype. In “Believe,” Eminem showcases his belief in himself and how he was able to rise up against all the odds. It has a more modern vibe to it and adds to the fact that this is indeed his “revival” in 2017. It is slower, more contemporary and, I believe, his way of showing his confidence in his work. “Suck free, confidence high/such a breeze when I pen my rhymes.” I think it’s a tad bit egotistical, but it’s Eminem.

Eminem’s comments on the current political climate by speaking about racial issues, in his song “Untouchable.” The song has electronic, robotic overtones and beats that warp into a rock and roll feel. In the song, he criticizes those who romanticize the U.S. by declaring, “In a country that claims that its foundation was based on United States ideals/That had its Natives killed/Got you singin’ this star-spangled spiel/To a piece of cloth that represents the ‘Land of the Free’ that made people slaves to build.” Enough said, Eminem. Enough said. 

I personally love the tribute to “I Love Rock N’ Roll” by Joan Jett and Blackhearts within the song “Remind Me.” It is fun and a good headbanger. Unfortunately, it seems to objectify women a lot.

“Bad Husband” is where we begin to see more into the life of Eminem. The smooth chorus and steady beat set the stage as he speaks on abuse and unhealthy relationships. For those who have seen the movie about Eminem’s life, “8 Mile,” and know the story of his life, you begin to feel more connected to Eminem than ever before.

In “Heat,” we get to see some of the fun wordplay and light-heartedness that Eminem is famous for (finally). It has a retro feel that is really easy to get into or dance to.

“Need Me” is for those of you out there who have had bad relationships and are skeptical about love. Pink, who carries the song on her back, teamed up with Eminem to deliver a message of needing someone who doesn’t need you back. I believe we all can relate.

Eminem chooses to title his next song “In Your Head,” but really it should be “In My Head.” In this cool, space-like-sounding song, Eminem spills his guts about regretting his rap career. In a rap song. On his new rap album. Again, ironic.

The raw emotion in that song is nothing compared to the love letter he writes his daughter, Hailie, in “Castle.” The song is his apology to his daughter about how his fame has affected her. Not afraid to admit I teared up a little.

His closer, “Arose,” is a doozy. The song is about how he nearly overdosed in 2007. He speaks on his thoughts and feelings of that day, and all that he would’ve missed had he died. It is a solemn experience, and it really makes me think.

While the album didn’t fully live up to my expectations, the mix of political opinions, personal stories and reminiscence on his career holds strong. I got to see a side of Eminem that I wasn’t expecting; At first, I was unsure how to feel about it, but it’s growing on me.