Marshall Mathers reassures his fans that he has recovered from the relapse that was his last album. He formally “reintroduces” himself, as the new Em who is really the old one, just redeemed.

First, an important note about Recovery’s album art: On one side, Em is reading in a living room displayed in a glass box with a city backdrop. On the flipside, he’s isolated on a lonely and hazy street. Both images symbolize his life; he’s on the inside, and we’re all looking in, watching as he goes about his daily life and criticizing his every move. On the other, he’s alone, walking the road to recovery, inspiring us “to take a stand/everybody, come take my hand/we’ll walk this road together.” Lyrics from the hit song, “Not Afraid” impel us to do just that, to brave the storm, “whatever weather.”

Songs like “So Bad” reminisce of his Slim Shady persona, with graphic, X-rated lyrics, but on the whole, the rest of his work is real, reminding us he’s so good, that he’s so bad, and he’s the greatest thing we’ve ever had.

Collaborators include Kobe, Pink, Lil Wayne and Rihanna.

Grade: A-



Recovery is currently available.