Under the Scalpel 05.07.09: Eminem, Bell X1, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga & more

minem finally gives a reason to anticipate Relapse, Bell X1 starts making an impact across the pond, Katy Perry surprises me, Lady Gaga doesn't, and more. These biased reviews are proudly brought to you by the sometimes humorous, always heartless guitarist of the hard rock band that is opening for Korn on May 23 – A Simple Complex.
Eminem – 3am
Hope For Relapse

After being thoroughly unimpressed with "We Made You," "Crack A Bottle," and a handful of Eminem's latest freestyles, I recently wrote, "I hope something else on Relapse, or its scheduled follow-up album, saves Em from the cut-out bin at the CD shops." 

With Em's new single "3am," I have a feeling of renewed hope. I wouldn't call this song a full return to glory, but it is a very promising sign that Relapse and its sister album may have some tracks that will appeal to fans of his earlier (darker and more controversial) material.

"3am" feels like a combination of a few of Em's other songs. The music sounds a bit like a slower version of "8 Mile." His vocal style mimics "Ass Like That," where Em overuses a silly accent that sounds more like a cartoon character or puppeteer than an MC. And, the song's story evokes memories of "Murder Murder." 

In "3am," the song's protagonist is an orphaned serial killer who experiences violent episodes after ingesting alcohol, pharmaceuticals and hallucinogens. References to a bucket, a hose and lotion indicate that the song was modeled around Jame Gumb, the fictional serial killer from the story The Silence of The Lambs. Em's character often recovers from a blacked-out state to discover dead bodies everywhere. 

"I remember the first time I dismembered a family member,
December I think it was,
I was having drinks with my cousin,
And I wrapped him in Christmas lights, 
Pushed him into the stinking tub,
Cut him up into pieces and just when I went to drink his blood,
I thought I ought to drink his bath water,
That ought to be fun."

If the lyrics make you feel the slightest bit nauseous, take my advice when I say do not watch this song's video.

In his trademark style, Em throws in plenty of distasteful comic relief into his gory tale. Lyrics include kissing a naked male mannequin and masturbating to Hannah Montana so vigorously that he "bust(s) all over the wall panel and dismantl(es) every candle on top of the fireplace mantle." 

Em reclaims his throne as today's top wordsmith in the MC game with "3am." His flow is at its prime, as evidenced in how effortlessly he crafts and delivers complex and clever rhymes.

"Right there's the coroner, 
Waiting for ya to turn the corner,
So he can corner ya,
You're a goner, 
He's onto ya,
Out the corner of his cornea, he just saw ya run."

If you can overlook the overuse of Em's newer, goofy-sounding vocal style, this song easily compares to his best work of the past. I finally look forward to the release of Relapse

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