updated 11/05/2013 AT 8:35 PM ET
•originally published 11/05/2013 AT 8:35 AM ET
Jay Z has three Blueprint albums and Lil Wayne has four Carter ones, and now Eminem makes his first sequel with the follow-up installment to his 2000 blockbuster.
“Here’s a sequel to my Mathers LP just to try to get people to buy,” spits the rapper born Marshall Mathers, conceding the commercial benefits in the opening minutes. Like most sequels, though, this one can’t beat the original.
It’s an uneven effort, sometimes wildly so, hitting its low with Em singing on the cringeworthy ballad “Stronger Than I Was.” But proving he’s still a “Rap God” in his 40s, the highs are high enough to make you stick out – or just skip over – the forgettable moments.
Among the top tracks are three collaborations: “Love Game” with Kendrick Lamar, “Headlights” featuring Fun s Nate Ruess and the Rihanna-assisted “The Monster,” which recaptures some of their “Love the Way You Lie” magic.