The Bottom Line
For all of the controversy and razor-edged humor, Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, has created some of the most moving popular music of the past decade. "When I'm Gone" joins that group. Wrapping a complex but tidy net of a dream within remembrance and regret, Em gives us arguments for retirement and encouragement in dealing with the aftermath.
- Pop music that is emotionally moving
- Intricate song structure
- Crystal clarity of the lyrics
- No negatives here
- Backing of simple bass beats and mournful strings
- Clear, direct rapping
- Elegant story line
Guide Review - Eminem - When I'm Gone (Interscope)
Once again Eminem turns to his personal life to inspire a genuinely moving small pop masterpiece. This time around he begins with relatively simple words of regret for neglect of his family. However, by the time the song ends he has taken the listener through a dream that reveals a strained, but loving, relationship with his daughter Hailie and provides cogent arguments for retirement. He has publicly denied rumors of retirement, but "When I'm Gone" sounds like he doesn't plan to take the stage much longer.
Although there are times in which Eminem raps in such rapid-fire style that it is difficult to understand the flow of words, this time his words are crystal clear to the listener. He obviously has a message to convey and wants to be heard.
So...will we soon have a world without Eminem and his "crazy" alter ego Slim Shady? The months to come should tell the tale. If this is the end, Eminem gives us advice for dealing with the void - "And when I'm gone, just carry on, don't mourn / Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice." If he leaves, he will be missed.