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Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Recovery Music Poster Image
Despite Em's new sobriety, CD is still too intense for kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 85 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

 Eminem has a very good message to get out about overcoming a life-threatening addiction and battling demons. BUT, the bad stuff on here can't be overlooked, like threatening to kill a disloyal girlfriend or humiliating other rappers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Besides the misogyny and nasty lyrics, there are also a lot of homophobic references. Drinking, drugging, and partying are seen as bad things on many tracks, but sometimes these same topics get a light-hearted treatment on other songs.


Even though there's not a lot of talk of guns or killing people (like some of the rapper's previous albums) there is threatening behavior...and a lot of it. This comes mainly in the form of verbal threats to prove Eminem's status.


No seduction or sexy talk here; we're talking hardcore, explicit references to things like oral sex and genitalia. The references are generally in bad taste and often place women in a negative light.


Group every expletive you can think of together and you have this album. It would actually be difficult to find a profanity not included on this album.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main drug discussion on this album centers around Eminem's prescription drug dependency. In this way, the rapper presents a grim look inside addiction. But there is also lots of talk about getting drunk, including mentioning many brands of alcohol on "W.T.P." Also a few references to smoking pot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album is without a doubt NOT for kids. All the bad language alone would make it off limits, but add to that the violence against women, talk about drinking and drugs, and overall crass humor, and you've got a no-brainer! That said, this album is less offensive than some of the rapper's previous releases, but it's still not anywhere close to being OK for kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written by......... January 30, 2011

Its Eminem what can one expect?

its eminem not some disney "role model". what were you expecting? honestly if you expecting a positive role model who supports charity. i pity you. lo... Continue reading
Adult Written byFiggy66 August 23, 2010

good album

Im 11 and I listen to it
Teen, 14 years old Written byHethurrr May 6, 2011

Mature teens only.

Last year pretty much right after my 13th birthday, I started listening to "bad music". Secretly of course. My mother would never in a zillion years l... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byiw945 April 3, 2011


The song cold wind blows is 1) terrible and disgusting and 2) the reason this album is not for kids, but nothing we haven't heard before. The rest of the a... Continue reading

What's the story?

We've been through the Relapse, and now Eminem comes back with RECOVERY, an album full of self-confessions and re-examinations of life and the mistakes the rapper has made. It's a cathartic album that apparently has struck a nerve with audiences: The LP has enjoyed considerable success, debuting at the top position on the music charts and becoming Em's sixth number one album to date. Look for guest collaborations on here with Pink, Lil Wayne, and Rihanna.

Is it any good?

It's hard not to call this album a comeback, with Eminem dropping his twisted brand of rapid-fire rhymes with precision reminiscent of the days of Slim Shady. It seems listeners have been hearing about his addiction issues for some time, but here there's a new sincerity and honesty to the revelations. Although some of his trademark bad taste still makes it on the album (scatological, demeaning, and plain gross comments abound), the weight of this album is much more mature without being boring. Guest contributions add significantly to its appeal, and even a sampled appearance by Ozzy Osbourne seems perfectly timed. It's not a bad album; it's just not for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about addiction. Eminem raps about getting through an addiction to drugs. Why do you think he chose to start using? Do you think Eminem glamorizes alcohol and drug use or offers a lesson against using?

  • Talk about fame. Do you want to be famous? Do you think your life would be better if you were? Does it seem like maybe fame can also bring pressure, invasions of privacy, and temptations?

  • Talk about music lyrics. Is it OK to listen to the edited versions of some songs, even if the subject matter is still mature? What are your family's rules?

Music details

  • Artist: Eminem
  • Release date: June 18, 2010
  • Label: Aftermath
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes

For kids who love music with a message

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