Encore (Eminem album)

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Encore
Studio album by Eminem
Released November 12, 2004
Recorded 2002-2004
Genre Hip hop
Length 77:06
Label Shady, Aftermath, Interscope
Producer Dr. Dre, Eminem, Luis Resto, Mike Elizondo, Mark Batson
Eminem chronology
The Eminem Show
(2002)
Encore
(2004)
Relapse
(2009)
Special Edition Cover
Singles from Encore
  1. "Just Lose It"
    Released: September 28, 2004
  2. "Encore"
    Released: November 9, 2004
  3. "Like Toy Soldiers"
    Released: January 24, 2005
  4. "Mockingbird"
    Released: April 25, 2005
  5. "Ass Like That"
    Released: June 7, 2005

Encore is the fifth studio album by American rapper Eminem by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. Its release was set for November 16, 2004, but was moved up to November 12 (coincidentally, exactly eight years to the day his debut album, Infinite, was released) after the album was leaked to the Internet. Encore sold 710,000 copies in its first three days, and went on to sell over 1.5 million copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States, certified quadruple-platinum that mid-December. Nine months after its release, worldwide sales of the album stood at 11 million copies.[1] As of November 2013, the album has sold 5,343,000 copies in the United States.

Content[edit]

The album contains several lyrical themes, including Eminem's relationship with his ex-wife, Kim, ("Puke", and "Love You More"), their daughter Hailie Jade Mathers ("Mockingbird"), his childhood ("Yellow Brick Road"), his relationships with his parents ("Evil Deeds"), and opposition to then-American President George W. Bush ("Mosh" and "We As Americans") "Just Lose It" is a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It", as well as a Pepsi commercial in 1984. Similar to Eminem's previous album, The Eminem Show, Encore opens with a skit called "Curtains Up", indicative of the start of the show.

Eminem has stated on numerous occasions (including on his 2010 album Recovery) that it was during the recording of Encore that he began to form an addiction to prescription drugs, and that he was not pleased with the album.

Censorship[edit]

In "We As Americans", the line "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents, I'd rather see the president dead" has "dead" reversed in "See the president dead" on both clean and explicit versions of the album. Simultaneously with the original, a censored version was released, from which the profanities, violent and sexual content, as well the drug references had been edited.

"My 1st Single" has a bleep instead of a muted part in the verse "This was supposed to be my first single, but I just fucked that up so... Fuck it let's all have fun lets mingle" like the clean version of "The Real Slim Shady". The word "ass" is left uncensored in "Yellow Brick Road", "One Shot 2 Shot", "Encore" and "We As Americans", but is censored out in "Ass Like That", "Mosh", "Spend Some Time", "My 1st Single", and "Just Lose It", and also in the song "Rain Man", the word "ass" was used twice, but only censored once. The word "goddamn" was left uncensored in "Spend Some Time." In the "clean" version's album booklet, the written lyrics have been removed, however on the songs "Puke", "My 1st Single" and "Just Lose It", lyrics were changed to avoid long censorship. Other profanities on all other songs are blanked out; and the song "Ass Like That" is listed as "A** Like That". The song "Encore/Curtains Down" has the shooting sequence at the end of the track removed on the censored album. Also, on the track "One Shot 2 Shot", the intro to the song is removed and the song starts at the first chorus, with more lines blanked out during the remainder of the track. Also, in "One Shot 2 Shot", during Kon Artis' verse, the word "fuck" was left uncensored. "Yellow Brick Road" leaves the word "goddamn" uncensored once. "One Shot 2 Shot" has the violent content edited, and the word "shot" is blanked throughout the song. However, the original title remains written on the back cover. The bonus disc was also censored for the album's clean version.

Artwork[edit]

The album featured two covers, the first cover features Eminem standing in front of an audience, bowing to the crowd. The tray insert features Eminem holding a gun behind his back. The inlay shows Eminem holding the pistol in his mouth without the jacket of his shirt and tie. The CD itself shows a note written by Eminem saying "To my family & All my friends, thank you for everything, I will Always love you. To my fans, I'm Sorry, Marshall" with a bullet underneath the note. The note is also seen in the album's booklet, where Eminem is writing the note. Some pictures show Eminem shooting everybody, which makes a reference to the ending of the album's title track. The second cover features the same audience from the inlay on a black background with a blood splat on the top right. This cover is used for the Shady Collecter's Edition.

Commercial Performance[edit]

Encore sold 710,000 copies in its first three days,[2] and went on to sell over 1.5 million copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States,[3] certified quadruple-platinum that mid-December.[4] Nine months after its release, worldwide sales of the album stood at 11 million copies.[5] Critical reception was generally mixed. Most critics and fans alike did note the subpar quality of the lyrics, which were more simplistic when compared to his previous albums. The album made digital history in becoming the first album to sell 10,000 digital copies in one week.[6] As of November 2013, the album has sold 5,343,000 copies in the US.[7]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (64/100)[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[9]
Robert Christgau A[10]
Entertainment Weekly C−[11]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[12]
NME 7/10[13]
Pitchfork Media 6.5/10[14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[15]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[16]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[17]

Upon its release, Encore received generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 64, based on 26 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[8]

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine opined that Encore shares similar subject themes as its predecessor The Eminem Show. He called the music "spartan", built on "simple unadorned beats and keyboard loops" and described the lyrics as "plain-spoken and literal".[9] Robert Christgau, in a review for The Village Voice, gave the album an A grade and characterized it as "funny, catchy and clever, and irreverent past his allotted time", noting that even the bonus tracks "keep on pushing".[10] Writing for Rolling Stone, the same author said that Encore wasn't as "astonishing" as The Marshall Mathers LP, but praised Eminem for maturing his lyrical abilities while retaining his sense of humour.[15] Steve Jones from USA Today also spoke positively about the album, calling Eminem's producing and lyrical skills as "top-flight" and noting that the record explores "the many sides of Marshall Mathers".[17]

However, not all reviews were so enthusiastic. Josh Love, writing in Stylus Magazine, felt that Eminem was "dying" with this album. He further said that the concept was "end-to-end mea culpa", full of "clarifications, rectifications and excuses", revising the history of "a man who knows he doesn't have much time left".[18] Scott Plangenhoef from Pitchfork Media called Encore a "transitional record", further saying that the LP is "the sound of a man who seems bored of re-branding and playing celebrity games".[14] Pete Cashmore, writing in NME, stated that this was Marshall's "retirement speech" because he seemed "intent on bringing ongoing disputes to a close".[13] By contrast, Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote that Encore was "part of Eminem's evolution as an artist". He defended Eminem's repetitive lyrics by saying that the essence of an encore is "to sate the demand of an audience", not to "satisfy the artist's compulsion to create something new".[16] BBC Music's Adam Webb observed that Encore starts "fantastically" but ends "abominably". He criticized the album for having too many "lowpoints" and for failing to be Eminem's In Utero.[19] David Browne from Entertainment Weekly said that Eminem "sacrifices the rich, multi-textured productions" of his two previous albums for "thug-life monotony, cultural zingers for petty music-biz score-settling, and probing self-analysis for juvenile humor". He concluded his review by saying that Eminem has become "predictable" on Encore, something that he wasn't before.[11]

The album did provoke some controversy over anti-Bush lyrics and lyrics that parodied and targeted Michael Jackson, who was upset about Eminem's depiction of him in the video for "Just Lose It".[20] On December 8, 2003, the United States Secret Service admitted it was "looking into" allegations that Eminem had threatened the President of the United States, George Bush,[21] after the song "We as Americans", as an unreleased bootleg, circulated with the lyrics "Fuck money, I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead." This line was eventually used as a sample in Immortal Technique's single "Bin Laden", which featured Mos Def and Chuck D. The incident was later referenced in the video for his song "Mosh" as one several news clips on a wall, along with other newspaper articles about other unfortunate incidents in Bush's career. The song eventually appeared on the album's bonus disc, where the lyrics were extensively censored.

Accolades[edit]

The album earned Eminem three Grammy Award nominations at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards: these included Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song "Encore" and Best Rap Solo Performance for the song "Mockingbird". However, it did not win any of them, making it the only Eminem major studio album not to win a Best Rap Album award.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Curtains Up" (skit)   0:46
2. "Evil Deeds"   Dr. Dre 4:19
3. "Never Enough" (featuring 50 Cent & Nate Dogg) Dr. Dre, M. Elizondo 2:39
4. "Yellow Brick Road"   Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 5:46
5. "Like Toy Soldiers"   Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 4:56
6. "Mosh"   Dr. Dre, M. Batson 5:17
7. "Puke"   Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 4:07
8. "My 1st Single"   Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 5:02
9. "Paul" (skit)   0:32
10. "Rain Man"   Dr. Dre 5:13
11. "Big Weenie"   Dr. Dre 4:26
12. "Em Calls Paul" (skit)   1:11
13. "Just Lose It"   Dr. Dre, M. Elizondo 4:08
14. "Ass Like That"   Dr. Dre, M. Elizondo 4:25
15. "Spend Some Time" (featuring Obie Trice, Stat Quo & 50 Cent) Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 5:10
16. "Mockingbird"   Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 4:10
17. "Crazy in Love"   Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 4:02
18. "One Shot 2 Shot" (featuring D12) Eminem, L. Resto (add.) 4:26
19. "Final Thought" (skit)   0:30
20. "Encore / Curtains Down" (featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent) Dr. Dre, M. Batson 5:48
Sample credits

Information taken from Encore liner notes:[23]

Notes
  • "Love You More" and the original version of "We As Americans" (titled "We Are Americans") appear on the Straight from the Lab mixtape released in 2003
  • Dr. Dre has cameo appearances in "Rain Man", "Just Lose It", "Ass Like That", "Mockingbird" and "Like Toy Soldiers"
  • This is Eminem's first album, other than Infinite (1996), to not have a Ken Kaniff skit. They both reappear in Relapse (2009).
  • "Curtains Down" is a skit at the end of "Encore/Curtains Down", which Eminem shoots everyone at his concert and shoots himself and a robotic voice saying "See you in hell, fuckers." is used. Some of the pictures in the booklet make reference to this.

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[23]

  • Mike Elizondokeyboards on tracks 2, 3, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 20; guitar on tracks 6, 11, 13 and 20; sitar on track 14
  • Steve King – guitar on tracks 4, 5, 7, 15, 17 and 18; bass on tracks 4, 5, 7 and 17; mandolin on track 4; keyboards on track 11
  • Luis Resto – keyboards on tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 20
  • Mark Batson – keyboards on tracks 2, 6, 10, 11, 13 and 20; bass on track 14
  • Che Vicious – programming on track 20

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004–2005) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[25] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[26] 2
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[27] 2
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[27] 8
Canadian Albums Chart[28] 1
Czech Republic Albums Chart 1
Danish Albums Chart[29] 2
Finnish Albums Chart[30] 4
French Albums Chart[31] 1
German Albums Chart[32] 1
Greek Albums Chart[33] 3
Hungarian Albums Chart[34] 24
Irish Albums Chart[35] 1
Italian Albums Chart[36] 6
Japanese Albums Chart[37] 3
Netherlands Albums Chart[38] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[39] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[40] 2
Polish Albums Chart[41] 9
Spanish Albums Chart[42] 3
Swedish Albums Chart[43] 2
Swiss Albums Chart[44] 1
UK Albums Chart[45] 1
US Billboard 200[28] 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[46] Gold 20,000x
Australia (ARIA)[47] 6× Platinum 420,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[48] Platinum 30,000x
Belgium (BEA)[49] Gold 25,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[50] Platinum 40,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[51] Gold 21,780[51]
France (SNEP)[52] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[53] Platinum 200,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[54] Gold 10,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[55] Gold 10,000*
Ireland (IRMA)[56] 5× Platinum 75,000x
Japan (RIAJ)[57] Platinum 250,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[58] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[59] 5× Platinum 75,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[60] Platinum 40,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[61] Gold 20,000*
Portugal (AFP)[62] Silver 10,000x
Russia (NFPF)[63] Platinum 20,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[64] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[65] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[66] Platinum 40,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[67] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[68] 4× Platinum 5,343,000[69]^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[70] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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