Eminem The Eminem Show

Ah, the controversy continues, and it seems rapping about the controversy continues too. The Eminem Show is mostly filled with dark self-productions that (not surprisingly) accentuate Eminem's "flow almost flawless," whether they're slow melodrama or ass-shaking earthquake. When it comes together, as it does on his race-relation opening track "White America" and lead single "Without Me," Eminem sounds nearly unstoppable. However, the songs of Marshall Mathers often lack focus. In "Square Dance," Eminem drops a verse dissing Canabis, followed by a verse that warns the youth of the military machine that is America, ending with some typical braggadocia. And then there's the repetitiveness of the topics that bounce from song to song. Constant references to Kim, Hailie, his mom, his controversial career, his relationship with Dre and his 2Pac jocking are boring now. Songs like "Cleaning Out My Closet," which widens the spotlight on his family relationships a little more (is that even possible?), would be worth repeat listens if the same themes weren't touched on in every third song. And it doesn't end with just the lyrics. For example, "Without Me" is a better square dance song than "Square Dance" and flows into a better Batman bite than on "Business." Maybe he's just taking Dre's advice to "milk this shit for what it's worth" a little too seriously, or maybe I just expect more from Eminem. (Universal)