Shady's just a parody of himself

ImageIt's too bad that whoever compiled Eminem's first hits package didn't sequence the tracks in chronological order -- though perhaps Eminem, who is credited as executive producer, didn't want us to chart too closely his journey from disturbingly brilliant satire to pathetic self-parody.

Of course, that was a rather short trip, considering that everything Slim Shady has done since his first album has been exactly the type of self-serving self-mythologizing he so viciously lampooned on his debut. "Lose Yourself," from the 8 Mile soundtrack is the only example of this technique actually working, as Eminem goes back to what it was like to be an underdog trying make his way up in the world. It's a tremendously harrowing track, built on bargain-basement Led Zeppelin rip-off riff, and offers a rare moment of genuine introspection and inspiration from Shady.

With his second album, Eminem became a major player in the very establishment he once mocked, and his barbs became less credible. On what grounds can a multi-platinum-selling pop star who has sung a duet with Elton John at the Grammy Awards, included here as bonus track, played a fictionalized version of himself in a major motion picture, and used his celebrity to take public cheap shots at his non-entertainer mother and ex-wife, criticize the Olsen Twins, Limp Bizkit or Britney Spears? What does it mean when the one pointing out that the emperor has no clothes is the emperor himself?

Curtain Call makes all too clear that though he rose to fame as a hip hop Lenny Bruce, Eminem quickly became just another shameless exhibitionist.




Rating 2.5/5

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