Album Track Listing
Release Date: 12 November 2004
Reviewed By: Melisa Tang
1. Curtains Up -( Encore Version)
2. Evil Deeds
3. Never Enough
4. Yellow Brick Road
5. Loke Toy Soldiers
8. My 1st Single
9. Paul (skit)
10. Rain Man
11. Big Weenie
12. Em Call Paul (skit)
13. Just Lose It
14. Ass Like That
15. Spend Some Time
17. Crazy In Love
18. One Shot 2 Shot
19. Final Thought (skit)
20. Encore / Curtains Down
Eminem has always been one for controversy, and the lead-up to the release of his fourth full-length album, ‘Encore’ was no different. Despite all the secrecy surrounding his latest project, the LP still managed to find it’s way onto the Internet, forcing Interscope to bring forward ‘Encore’s release date.
The long wait for Em’s new album had fans crying out for more, after being given a taster with the singles ‘Mosh’ and ‘Just Lose It’. The Friday release helped Eminem get an early No.1, as fans rushed to the stores in their thousands, sending ‘Encore’ to the top of the UK album charts.
The politically-charged ‘Mosh’ also made it to the top of the UK singles charts, but having heard the comical ‘Just Lose It’, I wasn’t completely convinced that this album would be a good purchase. The track is only good for one reason – pure comedy value. The production is not something you would expect the legendary Dr Dre to come up with, and it is one of Dre and Em’s poorer collaborations to date.
The first few cuts on ‘Encore’ sound promising; the run of ‘Never Enough’, ‘Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Like Toy Soldiers’ and ‘Mosh’ makes me think that this album isn’t as bad as I first thought. ‘Never Enough’ features Nate Dogg and 50 Cent, and tells of Eminem’s hunger for the rap game. It also sees 50 back to his best, to the standard he displayed on his ‘Get Rich & Die Tryin’ album. Em shows his own brilliance on ‘Yellow Brick Road’, as he rhymes about his past troubles and haunts, taking you on a journey to a place he used to call ‘home sweet home’.
He also addresses the issue of ‘those tapes’, apologising for singling out black females, only to go on and say, ‘I was wrong/ ‘cos no matter what colour a girl is she’s still a…’ You don’t quite catch this last word, leaving you wondering if he really is genuine in his apology. ‘Like Toy Soldiers’ is a reflective track, where the Detroit MC looks back at all the beefs he’s been involved in, and explains why he did what he did in the Ja Rule/50 beef: ‘…There’s certain lines you that don’t cross and [Ja] crossed it/ I heard him say Hailie’s name and I lost it.’ He also talks of the pressure he’s under, and how he feels that his crew looks to him for guidance: ‘I’m supposed to be the soldier that never loses his composure/ Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders.’
The chunk of songs in the middle of the LP fail to reach the quality Em is known for, the quality that earned him three diamond certified LPs. ‘Puke’ is the obligatory Kim diss song that pops up on every Eminem album, where he continues to vent his anger at her: ‘You don’t know how sick you make me/ You make me sick to my stomach.’ The accompanying vomiting sounds makes the track even more unpleasant to listen to, and you find yourself skipping each track till number 16, ‘Mockingbird’, a song dedicated to his beloved daughter. This really is the masterpiece of ‘Encore’, with Em rapping softly to his baby girl: ‘Hush little baby don’t you cry/ Everything’s gonna be alright…/ Daddy’s here to hold you through the night.’ He even manages to slip the ‘Slim Shady’ personality in at the end, when he sings: ‘And if the mockingbird don’t sing and your ring don’t shine/ I’ma break that birdy’s neck…’ Charming!
Another track to listen out for is ‘One Shot 2 Shot’ featuring D12, and the title track ‘Encore’ featuring Dr Dre and G-Unit isn’t bad either.
With so many mediocre cuts on this LP, Eminem comes across as only an average MC, even though we know that he’s much better than this. He seems to have reverted back to his Slim Shady days, and has lost the maturity shown on his last album ‘The Eminem Show’. Apart from a few of the tracks, this has to be the worst album Eminem has released, and I can’t believe an artist this good can put out something this poor.
Top 3 tracks:
3) Never Enough
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