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Music Review: Eminem sounds alive on 'Revival'

By Mesfin Fekadu, Associated Press
Dec. 20, 2017 at 7:15 p.m.

This photo provided by Interscope Records shows rapper Eminem new album, "Revival." On "Revival," his ninth studio album, Eminem makes himself relevant with his smart rhymes, which is refreshing in the age of "mumble rap." The album artwork is of the American flag, with race and President Donald Trump being recurring topics throughout the 19 tracks. (Interscope Records via AP)

The A-List collaborators on Eminem's new album scream "I want a radio hit," with Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Pink and Alicia Keys co-starring on the songs.

It wouldn't be hard to believe, especially since Eminem's last major hits have relied heavily on Rihanna, from "Love the Way You Lie" to "The Monster." But thankfully on "Revival," Eminem returns as the star of his show.

Beyonce sounds beautiful on opener "Walk On Water," but Em's words are even better, as he delivers honest lyrics that sound, and feel, true to him.

"Every album song I was spazzin' the (eff) out on/And now I'm gettin' clowned and frowned on," he raps.

Eminem is no longer hip-hop's most prized wordsmith, and the adjustment is tough for any performer once known as one of music's most celebrated acts.

But on "Revival," his ninth studio album, Eminem makes himself relevant with his smart rhymes, which is refreshing in the age of "mumble rap." The album artwork is of the American flag, with race and President Donald Trump recurring topics throughout the 19 tracks.

"All in all, it's said and done/And at the end of my run I just rewind clocks, forever young/Make time stop, will I ever fall off? That day will never come," he raps on "Nowhere Fast," later adding: "I'm better than I ever was."

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