A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
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.
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?
For kids who love music with a message
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.