NYT on Em

REASSERTION: N.Y. Times reviewer Jon Caramanica puts the album in context in his lengthy, generally balanced critique: “In many ways, the Eminem captured on Recovery is reminiscent of the artist he once was, before the world got hold of him. He still has the familiar preoccupations: cartoonish gore, sexual aggression, astonishingly intricate rapping. He sounds far more invigorated than on anything he’s released since 2002, the year of his last strong album, The Eminem Show, and the soundtrack to the quasi-biopic 8 MileRecovery could have been an opportunity for re-evaluation or redefinition, a record that would steer Eminem into new, possibly difficult topical terrain. But instead he’s used it as a platform to reassert his core values, stripped clean of the self-induced trauma of recent years… Throughout Recovery he is practically panting from rapping at such a frenzied clip. This is redolent of Eminem circa 1997-98—before the whimsical accents and cadences—just as his Slim Shady alter ego was being formed, when wordplay mattered far more than subject or tone.” (6/22a)