Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Eminem - Music To Be Murdered By (Album Review)

Following 2018 album Kamikaze, Eminem returns with his new album Music To Be Murdered By (MTBMB). Eminem’s MTBMB was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 album of the same name. Eminem’s album even features samples from the original and includes various references to Hitchcock. The album cover also pays homage to Hitchcock’s album although the cover shown on streaming services is slightly different, perhaps to feature less weapons.

Music To Be Murdered By seems to be a concept album, at least that’s what the album’s outro seems to suggest. “Portions of the proceeding were recorded. As for the rest of it, I'm very much afraid it was all in your mind,” Hitchcock says. The album is a long one with 20 songs and running in at just over an hour. 

The fictitious murder is perhaps best highlighted by "Darkness" which seems to be a song about a musician preparing to for a show. As the song progresses though it becomes evident that the words weren’t metaphors. The song is the story of what the Las Vegas shooter may have felt and went through the night of the shooting in 2017. The news clips at the end of the song are a reminder of how many shooting incidents America has had in recent years with one even saying, “another school shooting.” "Darkness" is a haunting song and certainly not one that I’d play repeatedly but on it Eminem makes a brilliant point for gun control.

The other type of murder that Eminem enacts on the album is musical. That’s perhaps best exemplified by "Godzilla". Although it’s not the album’s greatest song but Eminem and the late Juice Wrld work well together on "Godzilla”. The song ends with Eminem’s blasting a phenomenal amount of words out at a crazy speed, most of them (to a normal person’s ear) sound like they’re rhyming.

On "Never Love Again" it seems like Eminem is talking about a relationship with a former lover on but infact he is talking about drugs. Bars like, “I can only take so much of you all at one time/ Because too much of you's just too much to swallow sometimes.” The song ends with Eminem pledging that his relationship with drugs is over, flushing them down the toilet and saying, “we're done.”

Songs like the Ed Sheeran assisted "Those Kinda Nights" are a missed opportunity to fully utilize the skills of the artists involved. The same goes for "Yah Yah" which features a heavy weight ensemble of rappers - Royce da 5'9'’, Black Thought, Q-Tip. Unfortunately the Busta Rhymes’ sampling beat is poor and the bars are forgettable. Is nice of Eminem to shout out many of rappers that he grew up listening to at the end of his verse. There’s also the usual Eminem stuff like trouble with his parents “Stepdad” difficult relationships "In Too Deep".

Rating: 2.5/5
Ultimately there are some good artistic ideas on the album. Music To Be Murdered By is certainly better than Eminem’s previous album Kamikaze. But this is an album that would perhaps be best enjoyed by Eminem’s core fans rather than casual listeners of his. The murder at times is too much and bars like, “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/ like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” on the Young M.A. assisted “Unaccommodating” are in bad taste.

Eminem's new album, Music To Be Murdered Byis out now on Apple Music aswell as Spotify.