Eminem - Encore

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Mo' money, mo' problems, and mo' popularity, mo' scrutiny. Given that he has two consecutive diamond-selling albums, Eminem knows this better than anyone. First people complained that he took his shock antics too far on "The Marshall Mathers LP." Then they whined when he abandoned them for a more serious tone "The Eminem Show." Now he has largely gone back to his Slim Shady ways - which people have been asking for - and they are complaining that isn't serious enough. You win some, you lose some.

People will find plenty of reasons to hate Eminem; the 15 year old tapes with his racial slurs, his voice is annoying, they don't like his beats, he raps about Kim too much, he has a huge pop audience, his singles are cheesy, etc. Some complaints are understandable, others aren't. Regardless, letting any of these things get in the way of recognizing that he is an incredible emcee is just pure hating. His word play, rhyme structure, flow, and cadence can boggle the mind. When it comes to skills, very few can compare. Ever. But doesn't always translate into making the best music. "Encore" is an example of that.

Let's start with the good stuff though. This LP has its moments, particularly in the front half. He opens up with a nice track in "Evil Deeds," and proceeds to slay "Never Enough" along with 50 (who sounds his best since his debut). Em's beat for "Yellow Brick Road" is lackluster but good enough to carry his flawless storytelling of the infamous tape. "Like Toy Soldiers" is among his best work here, from his production (complete with Martika sample), to his gripping recount, assessment and conclusion of the Benzino and Murder Inc beefs. He turns political and blatantly lashes out at Bush on "Mosh" (sure to cause some repercussions from politicians considering his visibility). Unfortunately, it's all downhill from here.

The obligatory Kim bashing session is here with "Puke." Not only does it lack the evil genius of "Bonnie & Clyde '97" and "Kill You," but it is horribly irritating in execution despite the killer Queen drum sample. "My 1st Single" also suffers, but for the opposite reason. This time it is the beat that kills his breathless delivery. Dre, who chimes in with 8 beats, offers up a ominous selection with "Rain Man" as Em takes it back to his Slim "I'll pretty much say anything" Shady days. It works in the first verse; "you find me offensive, I find you offensive/for finding me offensive/hence, if I should draw the line any fences/if so to what extent if at any I should go/cause it's getting expensive/being on the other side of the court room on the defensive/they say I cause extensive/psychological nerve damage to the brain when I go to lengths/this far at peoples' expenses/I say you're all just too goddamn sensitive it's censorship and it's/down right blasphemous/let's end this shit now cause I won't stand for this/and Christopher Reeves won't sit for this." But the only thing less funny than the second verse is the next song, "Big Weenie." I think he needs drugs to write funny shit, cause most of this isn't. "Ass Like That" is gonna be a song you either love or hate. Whatever the case, it sure is surreal to hear him rap an entire song as that Triumph puppet from MTV. Then of course there is "Just Lose It," by far the worst song Eminem or Dr. Dre has ever made. It really seems like their object here was to make the worst song possible. The interlude leading into it is damn hilarious though.

Things get a bit better at the end, "Mockingbird" is another song for Hailie that is most notable for flawless delivery. The same can be said for "Crazy In Love" as Em rips through his verses with a vengeance. The best might be last though as Dre and 50 join Em for the title track and a surefire hit song.

All in all, the album is undoubtedly Em's worst major solo release. The production is solid but unspectacular, and for the most part the hooks are really irritating. Em fails to find a suitable balance for his mixture of serious and silly subject, more than likely because most of his efforts at humor are surprisingly not funny. I always used to laugh out loud at his crazy rhymes, and there wasn't much here that even got a smile. An emcee this great shouldn't be making an album this average.

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17 Comments

  • ken

    Best rapper alive! Test um fags!

  • Fuckin

    1. MMLP 10/10 2. The eminem show 10/10 3. Relapse 9.5/10 4. MMPLP2 9/10 5. SSLP 9/10 6. Recovery 8.5/10 7. Encore 8/10 There all good, i feel relapse should be recognized more

  • Kody

    1.MMLP 2.The Eminem Show 3.SSLP 4.MMLP2 5.Relapse 6.Encore 7.Recovery I can't stand these Recovery fan boys..besides maybe two songs that album was hot garbage. I feel Relapse is an album that doesn't get its proper credit.

  • Josh

    The Eminem Show - 10/10 The Marshall Mathers LP - 10/10 The Slim Shady LP - 10/10 The Marshall Mathers LP 2 - 9.5/10 Relapse - 9/10 Recovery - 7/10 Encore - 6/10

  • F. Dylan Henry

    Eminem Show: 10/10 Marshal Mathers LP 2: 9.5/10 Marshal Mathers LP: 9/10 Infinite: 9/10 Recovery: 8.5/10 Slim Shady LP: 7/10 Encore: 6.5/10 Relapse/Refill: 5/10 Funny, my favorite two Eminem songs aren't off of any of his studio albums, but Lose Yourself (off 8 Mile soundtrack) and Renegade (off Jay Z's Blueprint) are Em's dopest tracks in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    1. The Eminem Show - 10/10 2. The Marshall Mathers LP - 9.5/10 3. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 - 9/10 4. The Slim Shady LP - 8.5/10 5. Recovery - 7.5/10 6. Infinite - 7/10 7. Relapse - 6.5/10 8. Encore - 6/10

  • Anonymous

    This album was subpar compared to his previous albums, but it had its credit. First off, Evil Deeds' lyricism was weak, but it had a good topic. Yellow Brick Road might be the one of the best songs, strong lyricism, great content. Same with Like Toy Soldiers. Mosh was great, Puke was alright. My 1st Single, Rain Man and Big Weenie were the three songs I didn't really like on this album. Just Lose It and Ass Like That were catchy, but pretty weak in terms of lyricism and content. Spend Some Time, Mockingbird and Encore were some of the best off this album, too. Crazy in Love and One Shot 2 Shot were alright, but not really good.

  • Kyle.IL

    1.Marshall Mathers LP 10/10 2.Slim Shady LP 10/10 3.The Eminem Show 9.5/10 4.Infinite 9/10 5.Recovery 7/10 6.Marshall Mathers LP 2 6.5/10 7.Relapse 5/10 8.Encore 4/10

    • Young

      Actually, Kyle il's list is legit as fuck, you wrongs lost seems like what a CoD fanboy would think

    • you wrong

      recovery- 9.5/10 eminem show- 9/10 mmlp 2- 8.4/10 mmlp- 8/10 relapse refill- 7.8/10 encore- 6.5/10 infinite- 5/10 this is my opinion ok, alot of yall just saying mmlp is the best just because everybody says so and it aint all that. I loved recovery most the only songs i didn't like where WTP and almost famous

  • ( . )( . )

    SSLP MMLP TES Relapse Infinite Encore Recovery Besides mockingbird like toy soldiers mosh it's alright definitely no illmatic but it's alright

  • Andre.CO

    Encore gets underrated a bit because of the three albums he released prior to it. Before Encore he had 3 albums deemed classics in Slim Shady LP, Marshal Mathers LP, and Eminem Show. Not to mention his Devils Night with D12 which was solid, and had stand out stuff like Fight Music, Blow My Buzz, Revelation, etc. And he had the 8 Mile soundtrack music with a classic song Lose Yourself, as well as other good stuff like 8 Mile, Stimulate, Love Me, etc. Not only the stuff like this but his features and unreleased stuff prior to Encore was dope. From stuff like Bad Influence, Any Man, Get You Mad, If I get Locked Up, Quitter, What the Beat, Renegade, Don't Approach Me, Patiently Waiting, etc. So taking all that into account, Encore was a bit of a let down, especially considering the hype going into the album. All in all though, it was still a solid album, better than Relapse in my opinion. Songs like Never Enough, Yellow Brick Road, Like Toy Soliders, Mosh, Spend Some Time, Mockingbird, and Encore were dope. Very good tracks in my opinion. Also, I consider it part of the album, but the bonus disc was all dope with We As Americans, Love You More, and Ricky Ticky Toc. So there's 9-10 tracks on Encore which were dope. Then there's the stuff that was just alright. Evil Deeds, Puke, Rain Man, Just Lose It, Crazy In Love, One Shot Two Shot. Not bad, but not the level of those others mentioned or the level of his previous albums. Than there was the straight up whack stuff like Big Weenie, My First Single, and Ass Like That. Straight up terrible stuff. Eminem should have taken these 3 off the album, the put the bonus 3 on it. So overall, it's not bad, but not the level of his previous 3. I'd give it a B

  • welcome to: Our House

    And really if you want to count these... 2002 8 Mile Soundtrack 4.5/5 2005 Curtain Call: The Hits 5/5 2006 Eminem Presents: The Re-Up 3/5

  • welcome to: Our House

    Not that bad, went really bad in the middle... bit like his discography lol 1999 The Slim Shady LP 5/5 2000 The Marshall Mathers LP 5/5 2001 Devil's Night 4.5/5 2002 The Eminem Show 4.5/5 2004 D12 World 3/5 2004 Encore 3.5/5 2009 Relapse 4/5 2010 Recovery 4/5 2011 Hell: The Sequel 4/5

  • axeg

    this is the best eminems album to me!

  • dSaint

    Gets way underrated, compare it's top tracks to Relapse's top tracks and it shits all over it. The filler on both is ehhh, Encore was only rated this low because it was an Eminem album. Cage or some underground emcee could have put this shit out and gotten 4 1/2 for it.

    • Anonymous

      Relapse was 500x more lyrical, had a better flow, better production, and was funnier, and the accents were even less annoying then his terrible delivery on half these songs.