The Bottom Line
Few major recording artists can truly send chills up the spine when you listen to their words, and Eminem has that gift. What could have been a somewhat standard rant about the pain and lies that take place as a relationship crumbles becomes chilling when the opening of the chorus matches the end of the final verse. Eminem, with an assist from Rihanna, proves once again why he is considered a truly legendary performer.
- Eminem's stellar wordplay
- Rihanna's weary surrender in the chorus
- Simple melody
- No significant negatives
- Written by M. Mathers, A. Grant, and H. Hafferman
- Produced by Alex da Kid
- Released June 2010 by Interscope
Guide Review - Eminem - "Love the Way You Lie" featuring Rihanna
"Love the Way You Lie," the second single from Eminem's resoundingly successful Recovery album, brings together his own personal past, Rihanna's tragic experience, and brilliant wordplay for a song of romantic failure that is profoundly powerful. The song kicks off with simple piano underneath Rihanna's reading of the chorus. The song then quickly kicks into gear with Eminem attempting to describe the pain in a relationship gone bad. In the third verse he concludes, "Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano."
Eminem's rap is raw with emotion saddened by the shift from loving "somebody so much you can barely breathe" to "now you're gettin' f**kin' sick of lookin' at 'em." He acknowledges the repeating of destructive habits "like broken records playin' over." It is the end of the final verse that pulls in the specific meaning of the chorus of "Love the Way You Lie." Amid admission of lying if it's necessary to win back a partner, Eminem also points out a connection with Rihanna's line in the chorus, "Just gonna stand there and watch me burn." He closes the song spitting "if she ever tries to f**kin’ leave again, i’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire."
Eminem's personal past history with spousal abuse is laid bare in the song. The presence of Rihanna with her own very public experience with domestic violence adds another piece of edgy authenticity. Her attitude of weary surrender adds a bit more chilliness to the atmosphere of the song. Eminem's spitting, frustrated words are the additional piece which results in a truly brilliant, epic song of pain, regret, violence, and a failing struggle for redemption. Do not turn to this song to pick you up emotionally, but the gentle melody accompanying the chorus will make sure "Love the Way You Lie" is not soon forgotten.