Reviewed by: Josh Love
Reviewed on: 2004-11-12

Posted 11/12/2004 - 09:02:05 AM by JoshLove:
 Disclaimer: I accidentally juxtaposed "Yellow Brick Road" and "Like Toy Soldiers" - the former details the n-word controversy, the latter mulls over the Benzino beef. They both still suck.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 09:41:41 AM by Jank82:
 About time everyone started to catch on.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 11:55:33 AM by beercan:
 Is there anything more fun in this world than watching someone rise to the very top of their game, and then, having totally peaked, slowly start sliding back down, headed straight for the bushes? You know there's nowhere for them to go but down, so you just watch them flail and grab anything they can to stall the slow descent. And when it's someone who really didn't deserve it in the first place, watching the tragedy unfold is like a slow orgasm. Be careful on the jagged incline down to tragedy, Marshall. That'll be us out there faux-rubbernecking the shit out of it. We promise we'll wave!
Posted 11/12/2004 - 12:13:09 PM by NickSouthall:
 The thing is that it's NOT happening slowly. And I like "Just Lose It".
Posted 11/12/2004 - 12:14:53 PM by GavinM:
 I'd like to hear more about your "better album in the can" theory. There's no way he released this pile of crap but on purpose.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 01:21:19 PM by jdrimma:
 Eminem's first singles have actually been getting progressively worse since the Slim Shady LP, but I was still shocked how goddamn annoying "Just Lose It" really is. Is there any hope for some real producers being brought in for record #6? (I'm talking true outsiders...Dre's been coasting on his Em productions for a while too.)
Posted 11/12/2004 - 02:40:24 PM by Liarbythefire:
 I think Kanye, The Neptunes, Timbaland or El-P would be good choices for Em to work with. Problem is, I don't think he really wants to update his sound that much. I like "Just Lose It" because the faux-electro beat. I eager await Carl Craig/abstract techno remix.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 02:44:08 PM by bakinakwa:
 This is probably the most worthless review I've ever read on Stylus, which is saying something. "Accidentally juxtaposing" two songs and incorrectly attributing "Spend Some Time" to D12 (none of whom appear on the song) are such simple errors that anyone who makes them doesn't deserve to have their opinion taken seriously. Try again. Maybe start by going back and actually listening to the album.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 03:42:42 PM by JoshLove:
 I was supposed to actually LISTEN to the album? Holy shit, no wonder I didn't like it, I promise I'll try that next time.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 03:56:20 PM by IanMathers:
 It's so nice to know there are perfect people out there, to catch us when we slip up.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 04:40:24 PM by JoshLove:
 Whoever finds the third mistake wins a free trip to the Stylus Chocolate Factory! Seriously though, yeah i know i goofed on that, this is part of the reason why i'm not *crazy* about insta-reviewing, but it's a necessary evil in the digital, downloadable, on-demand age we live in. it's become more important to get your ideas out there NOW than to necessarily get them "right," and i'm not just talking about facts per se but also the reviewer's critical assessment of the record (even though in this case i'm pretty sure i'll still think encore is crap in December). Of course I don't blame anyone but myself for my gaffes (i shoulda fact-checked more, der). All i'm saying is that if this review had run a month from now, everybody (including myself) would have already probably moved on to something else and I doubt I would have gotten a single comment.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 04:41:07 PM by bakinakwa:
 I'm not perfect, but I would never sit down to write about an album without having a thorough grasp of the basic facts, such as who a particular track features and who it doesn't. How can anyone who makes such obvious mistakes expect to be taken seriously? Besides, those are just so the most blatant errors, there are probably another dozen less obvious falsities.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 05:05:20 PM by ddrake:
 Yeah it doesn't seem like he's "sliding back down," it seems like he saw the slide in advance and decided just to jump rather than waste his time on the descent. I like the concept better than the album itself.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 05:07:33 PM by ddrake:
 More literal examples: http://mariostreets.com/images/Eminem-Encore/front.jpg http://mariostreets.com/images/Eminem-Encore/back_book.jpg http://mariostreets.com/images/Eminem-Encore/cd1.jpg http://mariostreets.com/images/Eminem-Encore/back-2.jpg Literal career suicide.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 05:27:47 PM by JoshLove:
 A couple of years ago i read Zadie Smith's White Teeth and found a mispelled word. Somehow I actually managed to bring myself to finish the book, and even enjoy it. I'm not trying to make excuses, or even liken myself to Zadie Smith, I'm just saying the whole "can't take you seriously" charge comes off a little hysterical and overly fatuous to me. You haven't contradicted a single one of the actual arguments I've made in the review - all you've told me is that I'm a sucky fact-checker, which I ALREADY KNEW, duh! :)
Posted 11/12/2004 - 05:29:28 PM by janinedm:
 You bring up a good point about the insta-reviews. I think it takes at least a few days to have a real opinion on an album. You may grow to like it or gave found the true reason for the dislike.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 05:35:40 PM by JoshLove:
 let me add that i don't blame stylus at all for it either, janine - it's just the nature of the beast, everyone has instantaneous access to this music, and so it's only natural that people would feel compelled to immediately begin hashing out its relative merits.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 05:47:53 PM by bakinakwa:
 You see Josh, I actually managed to finish your review, found myself in agreement with some of it, and enjoyed a tiny bit of it (your assessment of "Ass Like That" caused me to laugh out loud). That's not the point. The point is you are making excuses. Other than that, the only "argument" you made that is worth arguing over is contained entirely in the first sentence of your last paragraph. The overall tone of your review makes it perfectly clear that this was a 0 you did relish giving. It is that dishonesty which I found especially provocative, so much so that this long-time reader felt compelled to post her first comment. Which is exactly what your rating reflects: this review was meant to provoke, not meant to affix a numberical value to the quality of the music. A 0 should only be given to something that is utterly unlistenable, irredemable on every level, so if even one song has a "hot beat" it isn't a warranted or fair score. But you already knew that. Besides, look at what your rating did to Encore's Metacritic score dammit!
Posted 11/12/2004 - 06:24:38 PM by JoshLove:
 I swear I wasn't trying to be provocative with the {0}, this wasn't another Travistan (sorry Anthony). I just really felt like I couldn't possibly see myself ever being compelled to want to listen to this album ever again, you're right that I did say "My First Single" had a hot beat, but to me the fucking inanity of the chorus completely undermines, so we're back to square one, not ever wanting to hear that song again either. As for Metacritic, I'm sure the grade will balance out with more reviews - it's funny though, even the positive ones seem to be full of backhanded compliments and obvious disappointment - I'm not gonna accuse anyone of grade-padding b/c I'm sure I've unconsciously done it before myself, but still I think some of these crits are giving Em too much slack without even realizing it.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 06:25:09 PM by JoshLove:
 "undermines it"
Posted 11/12/2004 - 07:33:59 PM by bakinakwa:
 Fair enough. To be honest, I don't think it's possible for anyone (anyone!) to make an album that doesn't merit at least a 1, 2 or 3. The very act of stepping into a studio and committing time and energy to a project demands more than a 0, which is the ultimate write-off. If you're willing to listen to something, to review it, it cannot possibly be a 0. I guess this is where you and I (and most reasonable critics) diverge. And also, I think it's the exact opposite of critics giving Eminem too much slack: critics have come to expect too much from him, judging his merely good efforts (which are way beyond most other's standards) as much less than that. Having said all of this though, I feel the need to assert that Encore is easily his worst album.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 10:33:59 PM by anthonymiccio:
 I swear I wasn't trying to be provocative with the {0}, this wasn't another Travistan (sorry Anthony). Based on the three tracks I've heard ("Just Lose It," "Mosh," "Like Toy Soldiers"), it sure reads like one. Sorry, Josh. Insta-reviews are evil, but not necessary. Especially if you're not getting paid and only voicing the same confused dismissal 90% of critics who've heard the album once and threw it away are.
Posted 11/12/2004 - 11:28:59 PM by JoshLove:
 jeez Anthony, I wasn't trying to provoke YOU either dude, I was AGREEING with you that the Pfork review of Travistan seemed a little knee-jerk. but thanks anyway for piercing through the fog of all us muddle-headed critics and our "confused dismissals," you're a real maverick.
Posted 11/13/2004 - 12:42:18 AM by anthonymiccio:
 I wouldn't be surprised if this is indeed his weakest work, and I wasn't implying that this album was as good as Travistan. I wouldn't know. I just think that, like the review that you compared it to, this reads as a shocked and openly dismissive reaction to an artist who the writer had a strong personal connection to. A lot of the qualities you note strike me as fascinating rather than untolerable. Qualms that you react to with disbelief were present on previous albums (the guy's big targets used to be ICP - the "classic" album has them in a blowjob skit - and Chris Fitzpatrick, his emo has always been draggy), though zeitgeist and novelty made it easier to not focus on it. I don't think its a "necessary evil" for a critic to voice their immediate reaction to something with so much baggage and expectation. I believe "right" is more important than "now," and I don't think that makes me a maverick.
Posted 11/13/2004 - 02:27:07 AM by anthonymiccio:
 For clarity's sake, I don't think the review itself is devoid of merit or insight. I think a lot of your observations are dead on (even if the bile isn't, imo, wholly earned). I probably wouldn't have commented here if you hadn't brought up my reaction to another zero rating and made such a dubious argument re: "now" vs. "right."
Posted 11/13/2004 - 08:56:43 PM by IanMathers:
 "If you're willing to listen to something, to review it, it cannot possibly be a 0. I guess this is where you and I (and most reasonable critics) diverge." Woah there. Unless that's your criteria for a "reasonable" critic (in which case, have fun), don't presume. Plnety of people think giving an album a zero is perfectly fine under the right circumstances.
Posted 11/13/2004 - 11:57:22 PM by bakinakwa:
 Actually, Mr. Mathers, not giving a 0 is definitely part of my criteria for a reasonable critic. It's a meaningless rating; it's like saying that what you just listened to is not even music, which is nonsense. There is no validity to the idea that the album (again, any album) has no value whatsoever. There's no presumption on my part, we simply disagree. I'm confident that the majority of people who feel the need to be critical towards music would never commit to writing about an album they found completely devoid of worth. Where are these critics who think it's perfectly fine, besides Josh and Chris Dahlen?
Posted 11/14/2004 - 02:29:23 AM by srkenney:
 Does anyone else get the feeling that this guy has never seen Spinal Tap and the famous "my amp goes up to 11" bit? What meaning would a 10 point scale have if you never used the 0 or 10? why not rate everything from 1-9? Oh wait, then you can't use the 1, or the 9... I've heard plenty of albums that I'd have given a 0 to, if I'd admitted to being the type of person who'd listen to themin the first place. I work in a music store, and so I got to hear the album about three days before it was released to the public. Even with those extra three days, I'd have a difficult time giving the album more than say... 1. And as for being more subjective regarding personal history with an artist; of COURSE you should be taking your personal expeiences into account when reviewing. That's the whole bloody point. Stylus reviewers are people. Awesome people. And I want to know what they think. Their feelings, thoughts, history, and experiences should come into play as much as the album's place in the artist's discography. If all I wanted were snapshot reviews, taken out of context, I'd ask my 6 year old cousin for his review.
Posted 11/14/2004 - 03:35:25 PM by bakinakwa:
 Did I say anything about not giving a 10? Quick, point it out to me. You can't, because I didn't. A 10 can be an appropriate rating: if you think something is a masterpiece, by all means, give it a 10. And if you think it's a complete disaster and you're sorry you listened to it, give it a 1. Thus you're working with a 10 point scale, instead of an 11 point scale...which makes absolutely no sense.
Posted 11/14/2004 - 03:51:29 PM by Mugsy00:
 He was just using that as an example. Look, whether or not you (or these reasonable critics you mentioned) think that a zero is a score that CAN be given isn't that important. The fact is the reviewer of this album decided to use it because he thought it was bad enough to merit it. We ALL understood his dislike for the album, and we ALL understood what that zero meant to him. So in essence, his job is done. He reviewed, we understood his results, and we take it or leave it. Thats the process. Its not one where the reviewer has to use a clear cookie-cutter scale of opinion. This is a process where the reviewer gets the point across and steps back.
Posted 11/14/2004 - 04:59:31 PM by IanMathers:
 Have I mentioned how awesome our readers are recently? All of them are, but srkenney and Mugsy00 have a special place in my heart right now.
Posted 11/14/2004 - 05:43:25 PM by bakinakwa:
 "He reviewed, we understood his results, and we take it or leave it. Thats the process." Sorry, I did not know that. I guess the whole comments section, which is basically unique to Stylus, gave me the (apparently wrong) impression that we were allowed to challenge, question and otherwise engage the reviewer, especially one who seeks to provoke as much as Josh. Like I said, these are my first posts to Stylus, so surely I can be forgiven for not knowing "the process". I promise to try to be a more awesome reader in the future by not being critical of the critic (God forbid!). I promise to take it or leave it.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 12:55:22 AM by Derek_Miller:
 Holy shit. We didn't start the fire. I got here late. Sorry. Apologies all around. When push comes to shove, bakinakwa, I think one of the reasons you're drawing some heat here stands aside from your argument. Your first post makes reference to this being the most worthless review you've ever read on the site, 'which is saying something.' Any time you take such toothless pot shots at a larger whole to start a commentary on a single part of that greater ensemble you've spoken out of place, dear girl. Yeah, I'm an asshat. This is merely my saying I don't mean to dissuade you from further commentary, but please don't expose yourself so early as a nay-sayer. It voids the rest of your argument, no matter how precise.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 04:18:23 AM by NickSouthall:
 "Thus you're working with a 10 point scale, instead of an 11 point scale...which makes absolutely no sense." GRADING A WORK OF ART WITH A NUMBER MAKES NO SENSE. BICKERING ABOUT SAID GRADE MAKES EVEN LESS SENSE. WE ARE NOT MATHS TEACHERS.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 04:19:21 AM by NickSouthall:
 Also some things just are worthless.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 08:44:05 AM by JoshLove:
 Bakinakwa - feel free to criticize the critic, if I've learned one thing in the last two days, it's that being oversensitive about criticism just makes you look like a twat.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 11:56:45 AM by vincent:
 I've been a long time reader, and i have to post about this review. It lacks anything stylus was known for. somebody in the stylus staff should give you a beating.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 12:55:51 PM by srkenney:
 Now see, that beating comment... that's just not helpful. Especially when you (vincent) use pronouns (you) that aren't entirely clear. At first, when I read that (the comment by vincent), I interpreted it (the aforementioned comment) as meaning that Josh should be getting a beating. But upon further reflection, it would make far more sense to be addressing the beating to Eminem. For taking this sonic dump. So cheers vincent, you (vincent) are a good man for issuing the first call to arms against this awful album and it's issuers. Let's fuckin riot.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 01:15:25 PM by deadbody:
 i don't see how this album is any shittier than any of his previous releases. good riddance.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 02:41:55 PM by bakinakwa:
 You're absolutely right Derek. My first post did begin on the wrong foot, being mostly in reaction to a string of awful reviews (4 for Mos Def and Leonard Cohen, 9 for Elliott Smith!?!) on Stylus recently. As far as I remember, Josh wasn't responsible for any of those though, and it was definitely a cheap shot for which I wholeheartedly apologize. Now, understand, Stylus is one of my favorite dailies and I'm pulling for you guys to get out of this slump.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 05:01:21 PM by bloocheez:
 I write reviews for a hip hop publication in NYC and I have to say that your review of this album was just downright terrible and wrong. It is obvious that you know absolutely nothing about hip hop and were definitely the wrong person to write the review. For the simple fact that "Mosh" may be up for song of the year, you could not give this album a 0. "Toy Soldiers", "Yellow Brick Road", and "Evil Deeds" are 3 of the best most honest hip hop songs of the year. I will agree with the fact that this is not Em's best album, but it does include some of his best work. Not only was your review just plain awful, but it was irresponsible, as it has completely ruined the Metacritic score...which many people use as a resource to purchase music.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 05:06:51 PM by JoshLove:
 Man, this thing just keeps going, doesn't it? I suggest we take the review down and leave the comments up, they're already about twice as long as the review itself anyway, plus I think it'd be fun to see people guess the actual content of the review based solely on the feedback it yielded.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 09:15:32 PM by Mugsy00:
 I'm sorry, I'm still reeling over this a bit. bakinakwa, the fact is that you werent giving an opinionated response to Josh's thoughts on the album. You made this more than that. Now its become a critique on his critiquing skills, which I find a little obsurd given that hes trying his damnedest (now officially a word) to give you an entertaining, and dare I say it, altering view of the album than you might have. Differing opinions are great and I am the biggest advocate of that, but to condemn a critics work for it not being on a scale youre used to when he is not only trying to bring you his opinion to think about, but to cater it in record time is leaning into absurdity. For the record, this is my first week visiting this site regularly, so I dont know how it works specifically here perfectly well, but I do know common courtesy. And thanks for the kind wors Ian, I do what I can.
Posted 11/15/2004 - 10:17:40 PM by MattChesnut:
 I've never been a huge Eminem fan, but his singles have, in the past, been fun and he's at the very least an interesting persona. I can't really say that's true right now. And bloocheez, just how does one go about writing a review that's not "wrong"? Is the "wrong" reviewer corrected by using analysis that is lock-step with yours? Plus, I don't think Em needs the assistance of Metacritic to sell units, and that Metascore wouldn't be faring too well sans J. Love's contribution, anyway.
Posted 11/16/2004 - 12:06:13 AM by bloocheez:
 MattChesnut, you have missed the entire point and it has been brought up many times. The fact is that the album received a zero. That means it is completely lacking any type of beats, lyrics, and quite frankly any bearable songs at all. There was an obvious bias by the reviewer and a lack in understanding of hip hop in general. It was also stated in the review that Em's beefs have become "so infinitesimal, which is a completely false statement. His beefs have actually been the center of controversy in the hip hop community. Maybe if someone from either the Shady or Murder Inc camp dies, it will be considered something more than "infinitesimal". I can pick apart the review if you would like, but I do not have the time. I just felt it was obvious that the review was written by someone who does not know anything about hip hop, just about backlash of one of our countries biggest stars. And by the way, I understand that he will not have a problem moving units with a bad metacritic rating...it's more for the people who do not know much about music and are looking for guidence. Try taking out the big "zero" and you will see a big change in the overall rating.
Posted 11/16/2004 - 01:02:47 AM by bakinakwa:
 Mugsy, do you need a reading comprehension class? I didn't condemn Josh's review for not being on a scale I'm used to, I comdemned it for it's blatant errors and dishonest conclusion. Secondary to that was the idea that a 0 is not a reasonable rating. And I grant no kudos to the fact that Josh got his review out the day the album was released; on the contrary, it further underscores the fact that Josh probably hasn't spent enough time with this album to justify such an extreme rating. As anthony said, it is so much more worthwhile to serious music journalism to be correct, rather than first. As for not being courteous, that is a mistake I already owned up to and apologized for. I'm mature enough to accept criticism (pay attention Ian!) and admit when I'm wrong, you see.
Posted 11/16/2004 - 01:30:00 AM by MattChesnut:
 Bloo, fair enough. You know loads more about Em's various beefs than I. But regarding his rating, I contend that a zero doesn't necessarily mean there aren't some tolerable or even sometimes likeable elements, but rather that it's so inessential that it merits such a rating. I haven't heard the entire album yet so I can't judge it for myself, but I trust Josh's rating is an accurate reflection of his thoughts on the album (though rushed) and that he didn't hand out the rating just to illicit reactions.
Posted 11/16/2004 - 03:17:41 AM by NickSouthall:
 0 = "Valueless", I know, I wrote the ratings guide. Why can no one accept that Josh thinks this is a record without value (he's wrong, haha, but I love him, and it's his opinion, so he's right, haha)?
Posted 11/16/2004 - 12:56:46 PM by lestat1124:
 This is everything Eminem expected and more. Its so funny how so many people fall for the "Hook, Link and Sinker" everytime. Controversy is key, and the key is to make money. Its obvious that Em knew he was going to take alot of slack by being completely obnixous and spitting about nothing to entertain himself. All in the same, he drops tracks like Toy Soldier, Never Enough and Yellow Brick Road which is more serious and sincere. How do you please millions and millions of fans, haters and da gov't?? You Don't!! You say "F$%k It" and Do You! That is exactly what Eminem did, and that is why I think the cat is brilliant. He not only knows how to pull your strings in his lyrics, but in his choice of songs and theme of the album. As long as he gets people talking, people will keep listening. I seldom care what people's review are anyways, but since this is a review board, I will say that I thought (after having to hear the album 5 or 6 times) this album was well thoughout and assembled with hott beats from Dre and Em. Yes I did say HOTT Beats. Its funny how everyone will attack what they feel doesn't fit the recipe for success, and just dawg out an album. To give this album a zero I even thought was funny. Bottomline is Em shocked everyone with this curveball. Each song grows on you the more you listen to it, even when you find yourself shaking your head and saying "What the Hell" to yourself, you realize that your head is still nodding and Eminem is still moving ya. Enjoy.....its not his last. I will happily take any bet that this album will sell 3 to 4 million and will still have fans asking for more. Fading Star or Genius ...Time will tell. I will still with the latter.
Posted 11/16/2004 - 05:39:37 PM by Mugsy00:
 " I didn't condemn Josh's review for not being on a scale I'm used to, I comdemned it for it's blatant errors and dishonest conclusion. " So I guess what your really trying to do here is tell us what Josh really thinks on the subject, instead of trusting the only primary source we have into his true feelings (him and this review). Again I dont claim to know how things go here 100% but I'm pretty sure that most revewing websites in this day and age dont get as much recognition as this one does while just telling the people what they might want to hear. And once again back to the speed of the articles, I do agree that a rushed review isn't always the way to go, but he did so in the best interest of the reader, trying to cater to the instant gratificationalist nature the internet pushed on us. So that should never be reason to berate a critic. I give him all the credit in the world for trying to do us a favor, for better or worse. Sorry if I've been snappy with you, really, but you really just struck the wrong chord in me here. For the record, I hold no hard feelings or anything for you, especially since this was over the internet. And as a great man once said: "arguing over the internet is like running in the special olympics. Even if you win, your still retarded." (Callus? Yes. Effective? You bet!)
Posted 11/16/2004 - 06:35:45 PM by JoshLove:
 Lestat - you may be right, but I just can't give Em that much credit this time around. Certainly there's something worth examining in the way he seems to deliberately sabotage songs like "Ass Like That" and "Rain Man," and if he had carried that out over the course of the album maybe I'd buy the argument, but to me this album doesn't even reach the echelon of "spectacularly bad," which would have made it unlistenable but at least fascinatingly so. Instead, this feels more like a way undercooked, unbelievably half-assed afterthought, not the kind of "heading for the ditch" that Neil Young patented in the 70s, alienating fans by following his own unreliable muse, flaming out maybe but compelling all the same. By contrast, Em seems to be kind of just lamely limping away from his whole Slim Shady persona, killing it off by sheer lack of interest and dull pedantry. Maybe it is just a canny career move and Eminem will reemerge in a new, infinitely more fascinating form, but Encore doesn't give me much hope.
Posted 11/16/2004 - 08:53:45 PM by AUnterberger:
 51 comments (52 with this). That's a record, no doubt.
Posted 11/17/2004 - 09:20:39 PM by IanMathers:
 Oh, bakinakwa, I don't care whether you take criticism well or not. For the record: Our readers are awesome (1) just generally) (2) when they have awesome comments, including critical ones (and there have been some _excellent_ dialogue in the comments for various reviews and articles, and there will be again). Our readers are not as awesome(1) when they issue unfounded personal attacks in the process of disagreeing with the opinion of a reviewer or other Stylus reader (2) they assume we're in a "slump" because their opinions are not the same as ours (referring to the Stylus staff's opinions as a monolithic entity is totally untrue, of course).
Posted 11/18/2004 - 03:01:14 PM by bakinakwa:
 Sure Ian, whatever you say.
Posted 11/24/2004 - 05:12:02 PM by mvdu76:
 Not surprisingly, another Stylus review I disagree with. I guess we're diverging more and more with our outlook on albums, which is too bad since before I thought you were right on sometimes. It's not Em's best, but it does have value, even for this non-rap fan.
Posted 11/25/2004 - 08:48:27 AM by K_UNIT:
 Without doubt the most compelling album Eminem has ever produced, Encore is also his most confusing and amusing. On first listen you cannot help but be shocked by the monotone beats and the rambling and at times pointless lyrics. But then, when you remember the artist has always proved himself smarter than his haters, you realise that this is precisely his intention. This album is meant to showcase the new found boredom which has engulfed his life, and the fact that he’s ran out of things to say and people to take shots at. Everyone loves him, and he is showing how its destroying a career built on battles, both imaginery and real, both against himself and the outside world. Yet despite the lack of fire in his voice, the album still has truly great moments, which prove this man doesn’t have to threaten, insult and fight to make an entertaining record. Like Toy Soldiers, which cleverly distinguishes the beef with Murder Inc by rising above it, is the album’s best song. It is quickly followed by Mosh, by far his most mature and politically aware lyric yet. Yellow Brick Road and Mockingbird, the album’s other two brilliant tracks, remind us how difficult his past, and present private life, really has been. This album is not very pleasing on the ears, but then this man’s music rarely is. It’s what he has to say that’s important. And in not threatening people, and not once mentioning drugs (haven't found a reference yet) this is what makes it so new and so enthralling, and shows the artist has evolved and matured. Just my honest reflections. Or maybe i've got a much better review tucked away which I'll release after the net nerds have had their fix.....
Posted 11/25/2004 - 01:02:47 PM by NastyNasir:
 This the best review of Encore I've read on this cartoon gimmick. Congrats Josh on calling that wigga like you see it. You call a wigga a wigga. I never felt this media creation from day one "My Name Is" was so wack I cant believe he is still in business.. I'm sick of wigga critics sayin eminem is a good mc, he's wack, weak, useless and doing the same shith. Yukmout will burn that Britney Spears contemporary. Ask Eminem to come to LA, we'll see what's up, real gangtas out here. Robert Hilburn all over the nuts of eminem. When I liked Eminem I knew he was not the best. The best MC is Mase.
Posted 11/26/2004 - 01:38:46 AM by bakinakwa:
 Wow, you're about as misguided as your namesake was before Jigga put a boot in his ass. Good luck with that.
Posted 11/26/2004 - 04:28:04 AM by NastyNasir:
 Lmao. Big lips Jay-Z was destroyed by Nas, Prodigy, The Lox, whoever. Even Beyonce daddy don't like the anorexic rapper. With those portruding lips I don't blame him
Posted 11/27/2004 - 04:31:41 AM by Bubrat:
 The funniest part about all of this is that Eminem would probably agree with this review 100% and then laugh silently to himself as he realizes he just proved what he meant to prove: His fans are dumbasses who will buy/accept anything from him. I'm glad more than a few reviewers didn't automatically see the name Eminem and think "This is classic stuff" cause this isn't classic stuff and the entire album is laced with Eminem dropping hints that, of all people, he KNOWS the album isn't worth a damn. Apologizing to your fans is a really huge hint maybe? For whoever thinks this reviewer doesn't know anything about hip-hop, he might try relistening to the Encore album. Eminem knows a heck of a lot about hip-hop, and making good music, so his admissions that he's making trash and you're buying it, should at least keep you from bugging the heck out of the honest reviewers. That includes Josh Love and Eminem... so far.
Posted 11/27/2004 - 04:47:09 AM by Bubrat:
 I would also like to point out that if "someone in the Aftermath or Murder inc" camps die... then absolutely, that's the most damn infantile thing I've ever heard. Benzino: Racist! Ja Rule: Kim's a crackhead! Eminem: You both look like frogs! Hell yeah, that's not infantismile at all homie. The sooner this whole gangsta rap fad dies the better. I'm sick of hearing grown men whine about their lives. Fortunately many people are. Didn't have a dad? Become one yourself and see if you can do better. Was your mom a crackwhore? Have a daughter and make sure she doesn't become one. Is your wife a bitch? Divorce her and shut the hell up in under 5 years. All of that crap is getting old, very old. Even Eminem knows it's getting old. And apologizing for the source racist tape over a hacked beat from the 8-mile soundtrack, and cackling like a fricking woman over Martika's "Toy soldiers" is nothing short of criminal. Being the legend he is, Eminem knows that damn well. He would laugh his ass off as you right now. He is.
Posted 11/29/2004 - 12:18:46 PM by Hexagon:
 I don't know how anyone can take this Aryan closet case seriously. Just listen to "Public Service Announcement 2000" on The MM LP. "Slim Shady does not give a fuck what you think, you're sucking his dick and so forth." What a dangerous rebel.
Posted 11/29/2004 - 01:23:14 PM by berger:
 I guess many of you have forgotten that Em is the consummate visionary of our lapdog culture. He has always stood at the forefront of dichotomy and dangled our own misconvictions and irrationalities in our faces, only to say that he too is a product/victim/creator of the selfsame crap we all fall prey too. Don't you get it? Eminem obviously does..or, haven't you been listening?????
Posted 11/29/2004 - 01:25:08 PM by Hexagon:
 "He has always stood at the forefront of dichotomy and dangled our own misconvictions and irrationalities in our faces, only to say that he too is a product/victim/creator of the selfsame crap we all fall prey too." He has? I thought he was just doing what Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and every other boring sensationalist has done over the course of music. It's not shocking any more.
Posted 11/29/2004 - 01:55:22 PM by berger:
 Comparing Eminem to Ozzy ??? My..you REALLY haven't been listening.
Posted 11/29/2004 - 07:35:30 PM by milliard:
 thank you k-unit for the inspiring post. you have an extremely intriguing position on this album, one that makes me want to hear it
Posted 11/30/2004 - 06:07:47 PM by Hexagon:
 "Comparing Eminem to Ozzy ??? My..you REALLY haven't been listening." Why? They've both made a career out of sensationalist theatrics and 'controversial' lyrics. I don't see why rapping about fucking your own mum is any more confrontational in the 90s than singing about devil worship in the 70s. It just baffles me when critics make Eminem out to some sort of urban poet. His writing is so fucking stupid and juvenile. It's cringe worthy.
Posted 12/01/2004 - 12:33:31 PM by berger:
 uhhmm...most of Eminem's fans ARE juvenile...no dispute there. He's speaking to the audience of his time..of THIS time..To young people who have no sense of history, (blame the educational system and parents for that!)... and even to some who don't know who or what an Ozzy is....my point is simple: Look at all the varying responses and reactions to Eminem, and tell me he doesn't matter...even if only to spur debate on his "lyrics", on his value as an artist or urban poet, or even as a sensationalist cultural agitator... If he didn't, would anyone make as much noise about him as they (and this particular page) has???.....I'm done.
Posted 12/01/2004 - 12:35:25 PM by berger:
 ..and,yeah..i know there are some syntax problems with that last post..but..whatever...point made.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 09:29:49 PM by Derryc0k:
 Learn to fucking spell. It's Halie. Dickwad. Eminem is the greatest. Did the thought ever occur to you that maybe he just wanted to have a fun time making this album using what you call "Fourth Grade Humor"? You all can suck my dick.
Posted 12/11/2004 - 12:56:45 AM by bakinakwa:
 Who knew Stylus readers would be so thick?
Posted 12/16/2004 - 06:53:28 PM by targetmarket:
 I write reviews for a hip hop publication in NYC and I have to say that your review of this album was just downright terrible and wrong. It is obvious that you know absolutely nothing about hip hop and were definitely the wrong person to write the review. For the simple fact that "Mosh" may be up for song of the year, you could not give this album a 0. "Toy Soldiers", "Yellow Brick Road", and "Evil Deeds" are 3 of the best most honest hip hop songs of the year. I will agree with the fact that this is not Em's best album, but it does include some of his best work. Not only was your review just plain awful, but it was irresponsible, as it has completely ruined the Metacritic score...which many people use as a resource to purchase music...... Obviously I don't know you. But few people can come across as such self-important, scenesters, as you. Josh has the right to ZERO this album if he thinks it sucks some esoteric bell-end. Tip - don't take yourself so seriously. People might stop thinking you're a sad cunt.
Posted 01/06/2005 - 10:15:29 AM by K_UNIT:
 just read my own review, which I wrote a week after buying the album, and apart from it being a bit shit, it made me realise there is no way you can sum up an Em album in such a short time. His albums grow on you like a lovely cancer that is dangerous but doesn't kill you. I've worn out one copy of Encore already. It is brilliant. By far Eminem's best album ever, in terms of lyrical content, humour, maturity, honesty and every other category. The reason I love this artist so much is that he is real. He doesn't rap about alize and cristal and all that fake gangsta bullshit, and he doesn't go around thinking of himself as a player. Eminem's albums have been going through the gear's and incredibly, for someone so big already, you just know there is more in the closet to come. The rap game needs Eminem, and anyone who thinks otherwise is extremely misguided.
Posted 02/09/2005 - 06:55:10 AM by Bubrat:
 "I write reviews for a hip hop publication in NYC and I have to say that your review of this album was just downright terrible and wrong. It is obvious that you know absolutely nothing about hip hop and were definitely the wrong person to write the review. " -- You did not like the same album I did and therefore you're terribly wrong because everything I like is awesome and it's obvious that you suck. That's brilliant logic, buddy. You sound like a whining 14 year old girl with a crush on a Backstreet boy claiming that people are stupid, they have no idea how culturally relevant the latest B-boy release is. Everything you like isn't great. Accept that dumbass. "For the simple fact that "Mosh" may be up for song of the year, you could not give this album a 0. " -- Ironically, Eminem made an ass out of himself with Mosh. He redoes a song he had already done ("White America") attempting to be a hero, then lip sync's the thing on SNL, then admits that he didn't release it first because he was afraid to scare his teenage fans (Who have never expected anything too political). A real crusader he is! Couple that with the fact that the song was actually more about him and how he's wiping his ass with his fans, and he's awesome, and he's reaching, and his greatest lyrical moment was "Mush! Fuck Bush!" I seriously doubt critics are going to do anything except say that Eminem represents a very poorly educated class of people who don't know what the fuck they're talking about. Tell me this genius: If you curse this reviewer for not knowing anything about music, how come you don't curse a high school dropout like Eminem for not knowing the first thing about politics? What an ass you are. Song of the year! The only thing he's up for is an award the Backstreet boys won a long time ago, for best vocal for a duo or group for Just lose it. lmao You know LOTS about this CD. It's so great it's winning stuff even N'Sync and Backstreet wins. ""Toy Soldiers", "Yellow Brick Road", and "Evil Deeds" are 3 of the best most honest hip hop songs of the year. " -- The monotone, flat singing and repetition he does on evil deeds cannot be overlooked. It's terrible. It's so terrible that it's obvious he's BEGGING you to hate it. Apparently some of his fans were too stupid to get the hint dropped on this album: DIE YOU IGNORANT FUCKS WHO WILL BUY ANYTHING, DIE. I guess you don't have a keen enough ear for hip-hop to have picked up on that subtle clue dropped throughout THE ENTIRE DAMN ALBUM huh? As for Yellow Brick Road, it's a rehash of "8 mile" from the 8 mile soundtrack. I guess since you know so much about hip-hop you picked up the undertones of that song and realized it was a reworked version of that song?? No?? And the "hardknock life" voice shows up once again on "Toy Soldiers" to ruin any chance of anyone taking that retarded song seriously. My 16 year old brother, Eminem's target audience, actually started laughing when that song came on. A RAPPER SAMPLING MARTIKA. Get a fucking grip moron. This isn't real hip-hop. This is pop music, much like sampling "Play that funy music white boy" is pop music. No one who knows anything about hip-hop would claim Eminem of all things is real hip-hop. Yeah. And so is Madonna. "I will agree with the fact that this is not Em's best album, but it does include some of his best work. Not only was your review just plain awful, but it was irresponsible, as it has completely ruined the Metacritic score...which many people use as a resource to purchase music...... Obviously I don't know you. But few people can come across as such self-important, scenesters, as you. " -- No, the scensters are the people who gave this album any credit at all just because Eminem's a pop star who is well known. Anyone with an ounce of decency would warn people that this album is not a good album. The funny thing is, even the good reviews go through the entire review talking about how BAD the album is. When I see a reviewer talk about how bad an album is, and then give it a high score, I know that reviewer is FULL OF SHIT. Even Eminem's best work wasn't real hip-hop, was overhyped, and was instant pop chart success but little else. You don't see people bumping "My name is" on a block in Brooklyn. That's because someone would shoot you. GET A GRIP ABOUT POP MUSIC. You sound like a flaming Backstreet boy fan. "Josh has the right to ZERO this album if he thinks it sucks some esoteric bell-end. Tip - don't take yourself so seriously. People might stop thinking you're a sad cunt." -- And on an end note, you make a complete ass of yourself again by name calling. Brilliant. You claim to know something about real hip-hop but end your tirade by throwing names out like you're an angry 14 year old Eminem girl who's pissed because someone called him unattractive. It's funny to me that you don't give any reasons for this actually being a good album? You simply name four songs, say they're awesome, and then call the reviewer a cunt. Yeah, I really trust you Einstein. You sound like you know lots about real hip-hop. Eminem is a world class celebrity, an interesting personality, and an above average rapper. But he's not "real hip-hop" and his name dropping old school rappers on this album comes off as a pathetic plea for people to associate him in some way with "real hip-hop." For the first time, Eminem didn't accept himself for what he is, a pop rapper, and he tried to come out with something hard. He made an ass out of himself on Mosh (I waited two and a half years to hear a college dropout scream out Mush fuck Bush lmao CLASSIC ALL THE WAY HOMIE), repeat every line of the first portion of "Evil deeds" over a carnival death march beat that even Halie probably cries when she hears, a hideous reworking of "8 mile" on "Yellow Brick Road" which features at least a dozen copies of his voice grinding into my ears at once, and obnoxiously playing victim concerning the story of racial slurs that HE made (Not anyone else, HE made those statements) and then trying to come off as a martyr for saying he's sorry? PLEASE. His acting on that song sucks, the apology isn't sincere and wasn't necessary, and it just comes off as someone begging you to think he's heroic. Finally, Toy Soldiers is so annoyingly produced with a nagging copy of Martika's voice blaring out in fast speed (Why??) and going even further into his obsession with the Source and things I've already heard about a dozen times, and then trying to make himself the HERo on that? lmao The funny thing was he spit in Dave Mays's face months later. He made the racist tape. The Source did the wrong thing by releasing it, they should have turned it over, but the guy is saying he's sorry in one breath and trying to keep those lyrics out of the public's view with the other breath. You just can't have it both ways. In other words: THIS CD REALLY IS A ZERO. There's no reason for a guy with skills like Eminem to continuously put out this trite pop rap garbage.