Official Release Date: May 19
The Verdict: Looks like we jumped the gun on those Eminem leaks from yesterday, because the whole album is floating around now — and, well, still wow. First off, he raps in some degree of that nasally accent about 80 percent of the time; closer “Underground/Ken Kaniff” is the only one that’s completely accent-free, and it is, unsurprisingly, probably the best song on the album. And second, the pills are indeed everywhere — probably half the songs make some drug reference, most notably “Déjà Vu,” a recap of his downward spiral: NyQuil, Valium, nachos, beer, Vicodin, Doritos, Ambien, more Vicodin. (He even runs us through his thought process: “Wouldn’t even be taking this shit if DeShawn didn’t die / oh yeah, there’s an excuse, you lose Proof so you use.”) Yeah, there’s too much horror-rap wordplay and juvenile shock-value stuff (fantasizing about killing Lindsay Lohan, rapping in Christopher Reeve’s voice), the lyrical skills aren’t as sharp, and the accent is annoying, but overall, it’s kind of fascinating: Eminem has made a whole career of airing his deepest personal issues, and he’s never sounded quite this messed up.