Emimen Revival Album Review

Eminem Revival Album Review

Overall Rating: 3/5

Here’s the deal; media outlets love writing over the top incendiary reviews. Either the album is the best ever made, or it’s complete trash. The truth is usually somewhere in between. I write a lot of reviews on this blog for everything from movies to restaurants. Normally, I don’t review music because, really, I don’t know much about it. I know what I like and enjoy, but I’m not really in a position to judge the quality of music. That being said, reading all the vitriol about Revival inspired me to write an actually balanced review of the album. While I don’t know much about other music, rap/hip hop is a bit different of a story. I’m fairly well educated and have listened to it for most of my life.

Here’s the deal. Revival isn’t great, but it isn’t garbage either. Compared to Recovery and the Mathers LP 2, it’s not good, but then again, that’s a standard that’s difficult to meet. Those two albums were legendary, even though they also got some bad reviews.

The real issue with Revival, which wasn’t the case with the previous two albums, is that it doesn’t work well as a cohesive collection. It’s kind of all over the place. With Recovery, Em’s message and styling was clear. It was a pop album which brought his raucous and over the top lyricism to the mainstream with solid collaborations and catchy beats, while at the same time still demonstrating his technical aptitude. The LP 2 was clearly a response to his critics that said Recovery was too much “pop.” With grimy and gritty beats accentuated by the dirtiest technical execution from any rapper in two decades, it was a clear response to people who wanted to see Em’s ability to write bars.

Revival, though, is a little unclear with its messaging. In part, it’s a political commentary with songs like Untouchable (worst song on the album by the way) and Like Home. Eminem has never been known for eloquently discussing political issues in his music, and this album does nothing to change that. The political songs are among the weakest on the album. The technical skill demonstrated in the lyrics is second rate, with basic rhyme schemes and simple vocabulary. The similes are stretched and fall flat, not fitting well into the flow. The high pitched rambling vocals in Untouchable are just basically intolerable. This song, given its content, had so much potential, but it’s unfortunately squandered. I would’ve loved to have seen a beat like on Berzerk coupled with some technical gymnastics to get this message across. Even a Jesus Walks – esque beat would’ve been better despite its predictability. The tone doesn’t suit the subject matter, and it makes it all kind of not work. Like Home is a little closer, but Alicia Keys’s hook is flat, and like Untouchable, the bars are just average at best.

On the other hand, Revival has Eminem waxing reflectively about his own fall from grace, discussing his loss of confidence in tracks like Walk on Water, Tragic Endings, and Castle (sort of). This is where the album really shines. The opener, Walk on Water, is arguably the best song on the album. A “gospely” hook that Beyonce completely slays is the perfect intro to this song and album. A simple orchestral arrangement led by a piano lets Em’s voice really shine. The song lacks any of the internal double/triple rhyming acrobatics Em is so good at, but that’s appropriate for the mature reflective tone. It’s a beautifully constructed work showing a mature Eminem. Tragic Endings is great as well, and I don’t just say that because I’m in love with Skylar Grey. It’s like Beautiful Pain but a little more grungy. Also, in case you didn’t get it, the “her” in the song is hip hop, not an actual woman. The songs where Eminem reflects on reaching the pinnacle and falling from it are excellent, lyrically and musically. They are what make this album shine and will be the tracks that I continue to listen to.

There are also poppy people pleasers thrown in like Remind Me and River, which are usually present on Eminem albums. Those songs are good and catchy, but nothing remarkable. Listen to them for some fun casual tunes.

I think the album would’ve been better served as two separate works. The political songs seem unpolished and rushed, like they were released too early to be at the height of their political relevance. The other works are more thoughtful and refined, and therefore higher quality. The album as a whole is alright. There are some hits to be sure, and also definitely some misses. It’s also different from anything Eminem has ever done before, so it’s cool to see an evolution of his style, even though I thought his old style lent itself better to higher quality songs. If you’re a hip hop fan, you should listen to the album. You won’t like all of it, but you’ll like some of it. That’s generally how these things works, despite what all the reviews and headlines would have you believe.

 

Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.

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Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.

I don’t hate the topic as much as I hate the phrasing. Framing it this way asks the question of how we determine what the government of Spain should do, which is a completely different question from whether or not Catalonia should be independent. Rather than tackling interesting questions about autonomy and sovereignty, we are now instead forced to examine the specific benefits and harms to one particular European nation. Ugh.

Definitions

Nothing in this topic really needs to be defined in detail; it’s pretty straightforward. Spain is a country in Europe. Catalonia is part of Spain, namely an autonomous “nationality” within Spain. Independence means being your own sovereign nation.

As mentioned above, though, the important thing to note is you have to address how we determine what Spain should do, not whether or not Catalonia should be independent. There’s a big difference, and students are certainly going to get this confused.

Case Positions

Pro

1. Economics – Contrary to some arguments out there, it may actually be in Spain’s economic interest to let Catalonia go. While the national government does collect taxes, it also spends a significant amount of money for the nationality, and directs a lot of EU funds toward it. It’s possible that without Catalonia, Spain would be in better shape economically. It would also add another nation to the EU, presumably, which could help further bolster the region’s economy. Not to mention, all the efforts Spain has put into suppressing the independence movement are leading many to question Spain’s democratic credentials, so to speak.

2. Democracy! – Spain is ostensibly a Democratic nation, which should ostensibly be governed by the will of the people. It seems pretty clear that the majority of Catalonia wants independence. If that’s the case, then democratic principles dictate they should have it.

Con

1. Economics – This argument can also be made on the Con. Spain certainly collects a lot of taxes from Catalonia, as Catalonia is quite wealthy. To lose all that income may be catastrophic to an already struggling economy. The costs of keeping Catalonia around are worth it.

2. Stability of Europe – With Brexit already having happened, the stability of Europe, and the EU in particular, is already on shaky ground. Granting Catalonia independence could create a substantial destabilization not only by increasing the economic burden of the EU, but also by setting a precedent which may spur other independence movements.

Hope that helps get you started. Good luck!

Resolved: Plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United States criminal justice system.

plea bargaining cartoon

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Resolved: Plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United States criminal justice system.

Unbelievable – plea bargaining again. This topic, in one form or another, has been used an absurd amount of times. There’s so much to talk about; why can’t they come up with something? I don’t believe the world of moral philosophy has run out of interesting dilemmas to be discussed and debated, but apparently whoever comes up with these topics has. Anyway, we’re stuck with what we’re stuck with, so let’s do what we have to do.

Definitions

Plea Bargaining – This is a process in which the defendant pleads guilty in order to receive something in return. fake id,Usually, they get their charge reduced, sentence diminished, or something similar. The actual terms of the agreement are largely irrelevant to the debate, so don’t focus on those.

Ought – This means “should” and is the focal point of your case. You must explain how we determine what we should do in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Case Positions

Affirmative

1. Retributive Justice – Plea bargaining allows people to get away with being charge for less than what they actually did.fast Fake ID, Naturally, this means that the punishment no longer fits the actual crime. According to the principles of retributive justice, this should not be permitted as people should be punished according to the crimes they’ve committed.

2. Social Contract Theory – Plea bargaining is an affront to the legitimacy of the social contract. The ideas of reciprocity and tacit consent to be governed are thrown out the window because rights claims no longer matter since people can violate those claims and circumvent the punishments outlined in the social contract through a plea bargain. The practice should be abolished to preserve a legitimate social contract.

3. Categorical Imperative – The three maxims apply pretty well here. You can definitely argue that plea bargaining shouldn’t be universalizable, that it treats people as means rather than ends in and of themselves, and that it doesn’t strive toward an end in the kingdom of ends. Therefore, it should be abolished.

Negative

1. Veil of Ignorance – Imagine a world where you’ve been charged with a very serious crime. Would you want the option to plea bargain? Even if it meant everybody else was allowed to do the same? Certainly! Under Rawls’s thought experiment, how to get a fake id,if you were to strip away all your defining characteristics that contribute to your bias, and determine social policy accordingly, you’d be in favor of a world with plea bargaining. So it shouldn’t be abolished.

2. Virtue Ethics – Aristotelean virtue ethics seeks to find the proper course of action by trying to find the median between two extremes. The two extremes here are letting criminals go free, or always giving them the harshest penalty possible. Neither of those seem great, so a proper course of action would be the middle ground of allowing plea bargaining.

3. Utilitarianism – If you want to be gross and run a practical case, you can argue that plea bargaining is in the best interests of everyone. Without it, the U.S. justice system would not be able to handle all the cases that need to be prosecuted.Scannable Fake ID, There would be a significant backlog that would cause our system to come to a grinding halt, and that’s bad for everyone. Sure, plea bargaining might allow some people to get off with a lighter punishment, but overall it’s better for everyone.