Relapse

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 595 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 595

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  1. BrianD
    May 20, 2009
    10
    I love the new CD, I don't know why so many people don't the accent is okay on most songs so yeah.
  2. NejcK
    May 19, 2009
    10
    It is very sad some critics are saying that album has no lyrical substance an b.s. like that. It is obvious they didn't really listen to the album... and why do critics write rap album reviews if they don't even like rap. I am a big fan of Eminem and I must admit I didn't really like Relapse the first time I heard it but now after few hearings I am just addicted to this album.
  3. Jun 12, 2011
    9
    Stunning album, so underrated. Eminem is still the best after more than ten years. Contains masterpieces such as "Same song and dance", "Deja vu" or "Beautiful".
  4. Nov 4, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Relapse is a sinister lyrical masterpiece. The delivery and flow Eminem gives is somewhat odd, people often refer to his "accent" as annoying. The fact is- Eminem has always used accents, Eminem has always used tone and delivery, and this album may seem a bit like swimming upstream at first, but I assure the content of this album is comical and fairly humorous. As an artist, and a human... this is when Marshall Mathers was in his darkest days. To Marshall's dismay, his best friend and hype man Proof (RIP DeShaun Dupree Holton (October 2, 1973 April 11, 2006) passed away. They were friends in their adolescence, Marshall was distraught, he was lost, he was a confused soul.

    This dark twisted picture that Eminem paints almost seems like a drawing of his alter-ego Slim Shady. But even Slim Shady seems at his lowest, he sounds like he doesn't want to rap anymore, and just zones out on the mic while going auto pilot and just unleash all the that comes to his mind. Serial killing, rape, incest, these are the prevalent themes at the beginning. Eventually it takes a dive into the mainstream, the middle of the album sounds somewhat upbeat and foolish, and as the album comes to a close, you can see a ray of light.

    This album was actually a very essential step in the career of Eminem, and people don't give enough credit where credit is due. Personally I think this album was a masterpiece in a sense that, being a true Eminem fan you really got the jokes about Christopher Reeves sinking in quicksand, and penetrating vagina's with either balloons and popping them, or umbrella's and then opening them.
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  5. GrantB
    May 20, 2009
    9
    A great album for core fans - a couple of throw away tracks but majority is wonderful. 75% classics. Bagpipes from Baghdad s infectious.
  6. DylanR
    May 19, 2009
    9
    Great album. about 3 filler tracks but a solid return. cant wait till relapse 2.
  7. WillO
    May 19, 2009
    8
    Honestly the album is good. Eminem gave his fans what they wanted, his old self; Slim Shady. And he made it work, his flow/lyrics are still tops in hip hop. It's funny how his album is getting lower reviews than Lil' Wayne. Lil' Wayne is an average rapper which had success on the Carter III which is nowhere even close to how good Relapse is. Either way, sure it isn't Honestly the album is good. Eminem gave his fans what they wanted, his old self; Slim Shady. And he made it work, his flow/lyrics are still tops in hip hop. It's funny how his album is getting lower reviews than Lil' Wayne. Lil' Wayne is an average rapper which had success on the Carter III which is nowhere even close to how good Relapse is. Either way, sure it isn't his best album but it's a lot better than Encore. Some people really know nothing about hip hop, such a shame. I have a funny feeling Relapse 2 will be better. Expand
  8. BhaveshM
    May 20, 2009
    10
    This album is great, classic slim, sweet beats, insane lyrics and polished production quality! Slim is back with the vengeance! Not sure what some of these "critics" are talking about, but if you didn't like slim before you still won't like him now. Album has at least eight quality tracks, and plenty of humor for those who can appreciate it.
  9. ArshdeepS
    May 22, 2009
    9
    Slim shady back to the old tactics,but except for a few songs the album is good.
  10. GregHundley
    May 25, 2009
    10
    I think this album is breathe of fresh air. Eminem is still the best album and I love who he makes fun of. Eminem raps about drugs, bad parents, and doesn't have to feature T-pain and Akon. Still the best rapper alive.
  11. WesC
    May 20, 2009
    10
    Track to track, it's almost like you're living in the mind of Slim. While the subject matter is definitely not something you are used to listening to, his flow, wordplay and story telling are superb. He is, without a doubt, the best hip hop artist out right now. I can't wait for Relapse 2 to drop here near the end of the year, which I expect will be more like the closing Track to track, it's almost like you're living in the mind of Slim. While the subject matter is definitely not something you are used to listening to, his flow, wordplay and story telling are superb. He is, without a doubt, the best hip hop artist out right now. I can't wait for Relapse 2 to drop here near the end of the year, which I expect will be more like the closing track "Underground." Expand
  12. RobM
    May 19, 2009
    8
    Relapse is Eminem's first album in nearly 5 years. It's been a long time coming and because I'm such a big fan of his, I'm still going to love his material, even if alot of people hate it. So I'll try and be impartial for this. To start with, the skits on this album are some of Eminem's best yet, as they seem to flow with the song that follows. For example Relapse is Eminem's first album in nearly 5 years. It's been a long time coming and because I'm such a big fan of his, I'm still going to love his material, even if alot of people hate it. So I'll try and be impartial for this. To start with, the skits on this album are some of Eminem's best yet, as they seem to flow with the song that follows. For example Tonya is followed by Same Song & Dance, both of which have the same moody atmosphere and relevence. As for the music, this album has some of Eminem's best material to date. Songs like 'Beautiful', 'Underground' & 'My Mom' are on a par with songs like 'Lose Yourself' & 'Stan'. Tracks like 'Insane', 'Medicine Ball' & '3 AM' are typical Marshall. Gory, Bloody, Disturbing horror songs. It's a shame '3 AM' is just plain bizzare, espescially because of the weird new accent his had taken up. 'We Made You' is pretty good to be honest, but it's actually one of the worst singles he's released. So theres alot to love about Relapse. The majority of the songs are superb, espescially 'Beautiful' & 'Underground' but there are a couple of duds that somehow prevent this from being a classic. Still, if you've enjoyed Eminem's stuff in the past, it'll be worth picking this up. Expand
  13. EdwardP
    May 19, 2009
    10
    I don't care what the critics say, this is one of the best albums I've heard in a while. Hopefully, some more positive reviews come in. This is much more than an average album. I mean, people accuse Eminem for being something he isn't anymore, but that didn't stop Rick Ross from getting positive reviews (he wears fake jewelry).
  14. JeffR
    May 19, 2009
    10
    Great album; his flow, rhymes, and delivery are on another level. Lyrically, it's a really good record too. Production is just top-notch.. Overall, an amazing record.
  15. JaffarR
    May 21, 2009
    10
    How can metacritic give it a sleazy 54?? they clearly have something against the artist as 54 is nowhere near how great this album is. its probably the best album of the year. THANKS EM!
  16. BenjaminL
    May 21, 2009
    9
    A reintroduction of Slim Shady in 2009 couldn't be any sweeter. Although I really think the album was more of a 8.6, the song Beautiful and Bagpipes from Baghdad is enough to round up. Em's wordplay and lyricism are crazy; however, the content went a bit too non-sequitor sometimes--all in all, still hilarious.
  17. Vincentg
    May 21, 2009
    10
    Quality album. The construction of the lyrics and word play unsurpassed by anything else. Subject matter wont be to everyones taste, but to give it bad marks for that is the height of pretension.
  18. StevenGn
    May 20, 2009
    9
    I love the album. Em destroys dres beats and its great to see rap revive with ems new album.
  19. VG
    May 20, 2009
    8
    I have listened to this album many times, and I think it is definitely by far better then Encore, but not as good as MMLP, close to The Eminem Show, maybe more on par with the SSLP. I would say it is his best lyrical album he has ever done, and best lyrical album I have ever heard personally. A strong return for Slim Shady, very dark, and violent, what more could you expect from the guy I have listened to this album many times, and I think it is definitely by far better then Encore, but not as good as MMLP, close to The Eminem Show, maybe more on par with the SSLP. I would say it is his best lyrical album he has ever done, and best lyrical album I have ever heard personally. A strong return for Slim Shady, very dark, and violent, what more could you expect from the guy that made "kill you", and "kim", its what you all wanted, yet still, people complain, I willsay the best tracks are the most personable such as "De Javu", "Beautiful", and the two bonus tracks "My Darling", and "Careful what you wish for" I think the best has yet to come with Relapse 2 later this year, I think that will be more Marshall Mathers, while this one bleeds Slim Shady, I hope he sells a million the first week, but he already did that, so half of that would be good in this day and age. Expand
  20. MaxS
    May 22, 2009
    10
    I love this album. This is why: First, considering all of his prior albums, The Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem Show, and Encore, with out a doubt, the first three were great, critically praised. The second LP is a already a classic hip-hop album. On the other hand, his fourth release, Encore was just good. It did not stand up to his first three. Now, come back five years I love this album. This is why: First, considering all of his prior albums, The Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem Show, and Encore, with out a doubt, the first three were great, critically praised. The second LP is a already a classic hip-hop album. On the other hand, his fourth release, Encore was just good. It did not stand up to his first three. Now, come back five years later, and drop Relapse: an album / horror film / Steven King novel--whatever you call it--filled with mesmerizing, disturbing imagery, foul wordplay, and more drug use than ever. His lyrics and flow tell us his story of drug addiction, and in multiple aspects, how his world, his foundation was crumbling. This calls for some pretty personal story telling. Then, completely off on another tangent (kind of), he weaves murderous, infectious rhymes in and out of songs like "3am," and the skit "Tonya" leading into the awesome "Same Song & Dance." These few of the numerous "darker" songs portrays his darker half, known as the infamous Slim Shady. I'm excited he's back. And what's even more fascinating is the fact that Em's drug addiction affected Slim Shady too! Will he kill at will?.. Expand
  21. MaxS
    May 22, 2009
    10
    I love this album. This is why: First, considering all of his prior albums, The Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem Show, and Encore, with out a doubt, the first three were great, critically praised. The second LP is a already a classic hip-hop album. On the other hand, his fourth release, Encore was just good. It did not stand up to his first three. Now, come back five years I love this album. This is why: First, considering all of his prior albums, The Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem Show, and Encore, with out a doubt, the first three were great, critically praised. The second LP is a already a classic hip-hop album. On the other hand, his fourth release, Encore was just good. It did not stand up to his first three. Now, come back five years later, and drop Relapse: an album / horror film / Steven King novel--whatever you call it--filled with mesmerizing, disturbing imagery, foul wordplay, and more drug use than ever. His lyrics and flow tell us his story of drug addiction, and in multiple aspects, how his world, his foundation was crumbling. This calls for some pretty personal story telling. Then, completely off on another tangent (kind of), he weaves murderous, infectious rhymes in and out of songs like "3am," and the skit "Tonya" leading into the awesome "Same Song & Dance." These few of the numerous "darker" songs portrays his darker half, known as the infamous Slim Shady. I'm excited he's back. And what's even more fascinating is the fact that Em's drug addiction affected Slim Shady too! Will he kill at will?.. Expand
  22. NavdeepS
    May 22, 2009
    10
    Eminem is back with a serious album about drugs,dope and telling about why he was in hiatus.But this is the best since marshall mathers.
  23. ZurraizK
    May 20, 2009
    9
    Great concept album unparalled wordplay by one of the greatest mc's to ever hold the mic kinda pissed that it has a 57 on here though wheres the review by stuff magazine or some of the other european ones???
  24. JosueR
    May 23, 2009
    9
    Awesome album. The return of Eminem is powerful and he's back to reclaim his title. Everyone support him and buy the album. Let's try to get him to 1 million copies sold the first week. This album is way better than Encore. Awesome Em thanks for coming back.
  25. RonK.
    May 25, 2009
    9
    Dre's beats gave Em a chance to concentrate on his lyrics and he is tight on the mic... the content is dark but think what place youd be in after dealing w/ addiction, rehab and the murder of your best friend. This will be an underrated record, stronger then Encore and up there with the 1st 3 in truth but it will be sometime til many see it!
  26. ChuckN
    May 26, 2009
    10
    Eminem back to business! Incredibly deep and thought provoking lyrics. He makes good sounding music have real meaning to it.
  27. JonesMan
    May 27, 2009
    10
    I think this is one of the greatest comebacks , i have ever seen, relapse has the first songs that he has written for like 4 songs on it, yeah of course he has written other songs but then he was a junkie and just had wrote bullshit. But relapse is GOOD , and i like it, and then sales prove it.
  28. DemoineO
    Nov 25, 2009
    10
    This album is lyrical genius.He is still the greatest rapper alive.The way he puts the rhymes together is genius.I spit so I know how difficult it could be there has not been any album that came out in 2009 that has outsold this album.I can wait until relapse 2 come out next year and I am going to buy relapse refill this December.
  29. ShannonN
    May 19, 2009
    9
    The album is sweet thank god for em's original flow it was so needed!!
  30. JimboJ
    May 19, 2009
    8
    Well I totally disagree with the critics on this one. I'm not much of an Eminem fan, but it doesn't take a genius to see that this is some of his best work in a long, long time, perhaps ever. It's at the very least a huge improvement over Encore, and in my opinion, better than the Eminem Show. His lyricism and flow on this album is mind-blowing, and the beats for the most Well I totally disagree with the critics on this one. I'm not much of an Eminem fan, but it doesn't take a genius to see that this is some of his best work in a long, long time, perhaps ever. It's at the very least a huge improvement over Encore, and in my opinion, better than the Eminem Show. His lyricism and flow on this album is mind-blowing, and the beats for the most part, well done with an old school flavor. I just can't see what the critics were thinking on this one. There's certianly a lot of Slim Shady persona on this album, but Eminem's talent and lyrical ability is just really stunning. I highly recommend this for any rap music fan out there; it's better than anything your going to hear on the radio today. Expand
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. Thankfully, producer Dr. Dre is there to temper the lyrical bloodletting, laying heavyweight hooks over even the most scabrous tales of family disturbia, and setting 'Bagpipes From Baghdad,' Em's inspired riff on rumored ex Mariah Carey, to snake-charming woodwind squiggles.
  2. It's an impressively focused and clever work. But this music is not transcendent. It's still stuck in Marshall Mathers' muck, his fundamental mistrust of pleasure and love.
  3. By letting Dr. Dre take over the low-end-funk production, and rhyming about things he actually cares about, he comes up with a more painful, honest and vital record than anyone could have expected at this late date, up there with "The Eminem Show" or maybe even better.