Watching The Wheels

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Eminem is Back: It's Been So Empty Without You

Eminem is back. And not a moment too soon. After I viewed his new video “We Made You” yesterday, I felt the stale air drain from the industry. As a musician, I have always liked Eminem because he actually uses MUSIC in his rap recordings. His sense of humor and irony, along with what appears to be a keen sense of what I can only describe as “disdain for trend whores”, makes his music actual music. There are statements that are overt and not couched in false poeticism, much like John Lennon’s early solo career.

I’ve played in rock bands most of my life, and I had grown to despise rap, as most sane people do. But Eminem changed that because of his uncanny ability to both elevate the medium and use it to parody itself at the same time. This is not easy, and something that is not done by anyone current. The Pet Shop Boys made a career out of such self-parody, but became stale. Someone once described Eminem as “hearing symphonies in his head.” I’m inclined to believe that.

No, I haven’t heard the entirety of his new record, but I intend to. If “We Made You” is any indication, it will be a treat.

Eminem is one of those rare personalities that I would love to sit down and talk to. I think the image he portrays is counter to what is going inside that bleach-blond head. That kind of quirkiness and what I’d call a sadistic passion for sarcasm can only come from something other than having had a tough life and killing people on the street. Some things come from genuine introspection and (dare I say) depth. Both of these are missing from the “life sucks” music of today, or the vacuous sex ballads by your generic female artist of the day.

Sometimes it is necessary to reach into inner space to escape the two-dimensional trash that assaults us from Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, MTV or the mind-numbing garbage of American Idol (the untalented judging the talented. Imagine that.).
And, yes, sometimes it is necessary to bludgeon someone with a point instead of trying to slip it in through subconscious manipulation. No change of mind, no revolution, no spark of change ever started with a mere suggestion.

Eminem’s great song “Without Me” contains the line: “Feels so empty without me”. Yeah, it has felt that way.

Welcome back, Marshall.

(c) 2009 by Andrew T. Durham

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