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Music Review

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP

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Interscope – 2001 – 76 minutes

Record companies are becomingly adept at squeezing every last penny from their artist's back catalogues. Re-releases, digital re-masters and bonus tracks have all been used to bleed the record-buying public dry. Therefore the re-release of Eminem's 'The Marshall Mathers LP', should come as no surprise.

What you get for your extra money is a bonus disc (featuring instrumental versions of some of the songs on the album), a collaboration between our rap hero and Marilyn Manson, and three CD-Rom videos. The album itself remains a visceral trip into the darker side of humanity and still has the capacity to shock. But the question here is not the quality of the original record, but the extra disc. Is it worth another fiver? The answer is no. Quite why any fan would want instrumentals of Eminem's singles is beyond me. It subverts the defining characteristic of rap music by excluding vocals. On songs that use samples, like 'Stan', you are left wondering why they did not just include the Dido song and be done with it. The videos remain as good as ever – but they can still be seen regularly on MTV. Although there is an argument for the inclusion of 'Stan', as it was cut savagely for TV broadcast, that alone cannot justify a re-release and increased price tag.

The album remains a fantastic example of lyrical prowess. However, the re-release is not up to scratch. There is nothing of real worth here and the lack of imagination is striking. An interview with the potty-mouthed maestro could have made this worthwhile, but the instrumentals just don't cut the mustard. This is a shameless attempt at daylight robbery and those wanting this album should buy the original; you won't be missing anything.

John Raftery

Tracklisting: DISC 1: The Real Slim Shady – Kill You – Stan – Paul (skit) – Who Knew – Steve Berman – The Way I Am – The Real Slim Shady – Remember Me – I'm Back – Marshall Mathers – Ken Kaniff (skit) – Drug Ballad – Amityville – B**** Please II – Kim – Under The Influence – Criminal
DISC 2: The Real Slim Shady (Instrumental) – The Way I Am (Instrumental) – Stan (Instrumental) - The Kids (Explicit Version) – The Way I Am (Feat. Marilyn Manson) – The Real Slim Shady (Video) – The Way I Am (Video) – Stan (Video)

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