When we at Gimme Noise first heard "Crack a Bottle" while cruising to the Turf Club on a nice warm March night, our hearts were in our throats. It was a hard hitting party rap track that found Eminem, Dre, and even 50 Cent in top form, exploring off-kilter rhyme structure over a rousing beat.
Then came "We Made You," the shrill, out-of-touch, weirdly uninformed dis track that rightfully withered in the wind under a hot gust of critical derision.
Now comes "3am," the track Em has prefaced as "darker, more serious." Does it live up to Mr. Mathers' previous, emotionally harrowing explorations of murder?
We won't even make you click below the jump to find out. The answer is, "Nope."
Say what you want about some of Em's previous songs-- at least he exhibited a gift for the rhyme and the narrative. But "3am" finds Em in the hilarious, slapstick predicament of awakening to find a pile of bodies on his floor. In clunky verse that limply serves as the song's chorus, Em flatly pronounces "I guess I musta killed 'em." Wow. What acumen.
The problem here is that Eminem's previous murder fantasies have always been a hotly unnerving affair. No one listens to "Kim" off The Marshall Mathers LP with glee-- it's a terrifying, bloody mess.
But "3am" is just a tired retread of serial killer tropes. Drugs, bloody fingers, a pile of mysterious bodies, a panicked Mathers... it's all there, and without any sort of engaging production to keep the ear involved. And his flow, his vocabulary, and his rhyme structure would have made the Eminem that recorded "Without Me" blush with humiliation. The first twenty seconds of the song set the tone, and despite a couple typically daring turns of phrase, there's not much going on visually or musically to get you to the end of the video.
None of this bodes well for Relapse, Eminem's long awaited return to the limelight. It seems the time off has not only softened Eminem's talents but has found him pursuing the least exciting avenues of his former releases.
Oh well. We'll always have The Marshall Mathers LP, something no one can take away from Eminem, no matter how hard he double dog dares you.