Eminem's music has been unrelievedly awful now for a full decade. The tenor and quality of that awfulness have varied slightly—2004's Encore was awful in an embarrassed, shrugging, transparent way; Relapse's awfulness lay in its regressive puerility. On Recovery, he discovered a new and commercially successful kind of awful, mixing the ugly viscera of domestic abuse with power-ballad glucose.
The awfulness he settled on for last year's endless Marshall Mathers LP 2 seems to be his new default: He's aggressively, thoroughly, eagerly awful, like a sociopathic A-student who thinks he's figured out exactly what you are looking for. In this case, it's snarling syllables and endless vitriol. He has never been working harder, Eminem has observed in interviews; in the sense that he's released a 78-minute album and another disc of new music all in the last year, he's right. But the wearying, dispiriting, and frankly numbing output of his current career phase isn't "work." It's maniacal persistence, of the same sort that leads some douche to text a woman 38 times about the $32k he made in June.