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Eminem’s Revival

By on December 17, 2017

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my journey over the past 10 years but I fucking love Eminem’s new album Revival.

I’ve been waiting patiently for this album to drop to get some insight into where he is on his journey because it seems that our ascensions have been parallel and every album resonates with where I have been. Recovery came out at a time when I was beginning my healing journey in 2010 and I remember listening to it, feeling like he was telling my story, too. His drug abuse was my depression and hatred for everyone stemming from the toxic demons who were eating me alive from the inside.

Growing up in poverty with a mom named Debbie who had her own demons (that was a connection I only made a few years ago),  struggling to figure this shit out and baring our soul through writing as therapy are only a couple of reasons I relate to Em.

Flash forward to current and I wondered how if Em had leveled up the way I had so I picked up the album yesterday and could hardly wait to experience every track.

I’d already heard Walk on Water and even though I’m not a Beyonce fan (le gasp!) I loved her on this track and it seemed perfect to have her sing the hook. The entire album is like reading a book; 77 minutes of insanely fascinating stories of forgiveness, remorse, self-awareness, and a little fun with Remind Me which made me laugh and bop along to the sample of Joan Jett and The Heartbreakers I Love Rock & Roll. It reminds me of 2013’s Berzerk, which was also produced by Rick Ruben and loved just as a much.

I wonder if Em consciously wrote about the spirituality of the Phoenix with his song Nowhere Fast:

Ashes blowin’ in the air
I was on fire but we don’t care
Wasted, you always on the road
Never looking back and we’re never getting old
Cause the skies are black but our hearts made of gold
Fuck doing what you’re told
We’re going nowhere fast

The phoenix is known for burning to ashes only to rise up, stronger than before, and this album is proof that Eminem has done that.

And let’s talk about Eminem’s collab with Ed Sheeran for a second. I’ve read so many comparisons of River to Love the Way You Lie but I don’t hear it. In fact, I love it more than I loved that song because the music touches my soul in a way I can’t even explain. The lyrics are about a bad relationship and I’ve had my share in my youth so I can definitely relate to those, too. And, damn, Ed!! Can I love you any more?? That voice is like chocolate and coffee after a hot bath.

His apologies to ex-wife Kim who became the target of so many songs before now, is a raw look at how he turned the mirror onto himself and finally acknowledges (publicly at least) how his actions created his circumstances. You don’t have to be into spirituality to appreciate his journey without judging him because not everyone can own their shit let alone share it with the world.

Castle is a beautifully crafted song chronicling his relationship with his daughter Hallie who has also been the subject of many hits but there’s something haunting about the way he tells this story as it fades into Arose. This final song on the album caught me off guard with the sample of Bette Midler’s The Rose and when I listened to it, I could actually envision what was going on during Eminem’s near-fatal overdose in 2007. You can hear the fear, the regret, and the  pain in his voice.

Revival is a collection of songs that has been gifted to us right before the final New Moon of 2017 tonight. I’m fairly confident that Em’s producer Paul Rosenberg didn’t plan that but the timing is interesting considering Eminem says this will be his final album on the Castle track. The New Moon is a time for new beginnings and maybe it means Em is levelling up once again, saying goodbye to the past 20 years and planting seeds for the future.

I’ve been reflecting on my past recently and I think it’s because there have been a few things that have popped back into my present that needed my attention. With this New Moon, it’s a good opportunity to say goodbye and focus on what comes next. I’m pretty sure that Em, unconsciously maybe, did the same thing with this album.

Who knows what happens after Revival? Personally, I’m going to float and let the universe carry me wherever it is that I need to go.

Whether or not this really is his last album, I loved it and am grateful that he shared his journey with the world.

Thanks for the music, Eminem.