Take Two for November 5, 2013

Tuesday Reviewsday: Eminem, Sky Ferreira, Luscious Jackson and more

FRANCE-MUSIC-EMINEM

PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images

US rapper Eminem performs on August 22, 2013 during a concert at the Stade de France in Saints-Denis, near Paris.

Now it's time for Tuesday Reviewsday, our weekly new music segment. Joining us this week are Shirley Halperin, music editor at The Hollywood Reporter, and Chris Martins, senior writer at spin magazine.

Chris's Picks

Artist: Eminem
Title: Marshall Mathers LP 2
Release Date: Nov. 5
Songs: "Rhyme Or Reason", "Headlights" 

Success, fame, money none of these things appear to have made Eminem any happier because here we are on his 8th studio album and Marshall Mathers is still mad as hell.

On a song called “So Much Better,” Em raps, “ my life would be so much better if you just dropped dead.” On “Survival,” which he performed on SNL this past weekend, the tone is aggressive, featuring hard drums and anthemic guitar chords that almost a harken a return to the height of rap-rock circa the year 2000.

Indeed, in songs like “Berserk,” Em gives a nod to old-school hip-hop by sampling the Beastie Boys' ("The New Style" and "Fight for Your Right") and enlisting Rick Rubin to man the decks and the boards.

But there’s also a lot of variety on this album, and a few unexpected turns, like the track “Rhyme or Reason” which samples a familiar '60s tune.

That was the Zombies “Time of the Season” (1968) converted to an anti-parent rant that caps it all off with the line “There’s no rhyme or no reason for nothing.”

The song “Headlights” has another curious chorus. That would be Nate Ruess from fun delivering the hook in what sounds like it could have come out of Nashville as easily as Detroit. 

Perhaps most fascinating is the overarching story here, a "revisitation" of the first Marshall Mathers album. The cover art shows the same house where Em spent his teen years and where he had posed for 2000’s The Marshal Mathers LP. Giving it the same name with a #2 is a bold move, but don’t call it a sequel. It’s more like the soundtrack to closure.

About the house: The house was purchased for $19,900 in 1987 by Eminem’s mom Debbie Nelson, but was foreclosed in 2001. A past owner unsuccessfully tried to sell the house on eBay for $500,000, but the Detroit News quotes the house’s actual value at $44,400 and yes, it’s still for sale. -- Chris Martins

 

Artist: Luscious Jackson
Title: Magic Hour
Release Date: Nov. 5
Songs: "You and Me", "3 Seconds to Cross"

Before there was Icona Pop, M.I.A. and even Lorde, there was this all-girl trio that helped define the indie rock sound back in 1991. Jill Cunniff, Gabby Glaser and Kate Schellenbach had a good run of nine years but decided to call it quits in 2000, probably right around the time that the aforementioned rap-rock took off.

Now it's been almost a decade since they last made a go of it and the girls are back with Magic Hour – an album that does, in fact, possess some pop magic in the form of songs like “You and Me."

On the mellower tip, take a listen to “3 Seconds to Cross,” which really showcases the harmonious blend of these three singers’ voices . There’s so much vibe in that. -- Chris Martins

Shirley's Picks

Artist: Sky Ferreira
Album: Night Time, My Time
Release Date: October 29
Songs: "You're Not the One", "Ain't Your Right"


Artist: Cut Copy
Album: Free Your Mind
Release Date: November 5
Songs: "Free Your Mind", "Take Me Higher"


 


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