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Revival (#110 of 2)

Eminem Previews Revival with “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé

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Eminem Previews Revival with “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé

Interscope Records

Eminem Previews Revival with “Walk on Water” featuring Beyoncé

Just a week before his ninth album, Revival, is set to be released, Eminem is finally giving us a preview of his first solo effort in four years. Produced by Rick Rubin, “Walk on Water” features a sparse arrangement of keyboards and strings and a gospel-influenced hook courtesy of Beyoncé. The single is both contemplative and combative, with Em offering a glimpse into his creative process: “The rhyme has to be perfect, the delivery flawless/And it always feels like I'm hittin' the mark/'Til I go sit in the car and pick it apart.” The rapper chronicles his battles with success, drug addition, and inevitable “sales decline,” growing more bellicose as he declares he'll be the one to decide when he takes his final bow. Even at 45, Eminem admits he's still “at times juvenile,” eschewing political correctness with epithets like “retarded” and boasts about his writing credits (“Bitch, I wrote 'Stan'!”).

Review: Stephen King’s Revival

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Review: Stephen King’s Revival
Review: Stephen King’s Revival

The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, The Prisoner, even creator JJ Abrams’s earlier Alias spring immediately to mind when placing Lost alongside its televisual kith and kin. But there are times where I’m convinced the show’s true heart lies not in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but in soap opera, with many of its conspiratorial elements serving as mere set dressing for stories of longing, domestic discord, parental abandonment, and tests of faith.

The soap opera comparison is more than just thematically apt: Here we have a serial involving a large and ever-expanding ensemble of pulpy archetypes (the con-man, the doctor, the fugitive, etc…), its narrative progressing at a near-glacial pace and deriving much of its drama from “shocking revelations” buried deep within its characters’ pasts. It likewise demands that its viewers posses either a fanatical appreciation for and knowledge of backstory from seasons’ past or, at the very least, quick access to Lost’s many Internet fan sites. Factor in the sexual tension that has percolated amongst many of the characters over the past two years and the soap opera parallel feels more obvious still.