I picked up Encore, the new Eminem album, about two weeks ago. Before I give my thoughts on his fourth album, I want to point out that I was wary about it because I was disappointed with his third album, The Eminem Show. There were too many songs about Eminem exploring his inner feelings. I want to hear songs about drugs and Sonny Bono, not how Eminem’s daughter might have a hard time dealing with the deterioration of her parents’ relationship. Now there are two or three songs about Kim on the new album — that’s pushing it — and I’ll get to that. The last album also had D12 material. It sucked. And I didn’t really need to listen to Eminem singing. (He sang about his mom in one song. That was kind of a double whammy.)

The new album rocks. I’ve been listening to it a lot. It’s obviously better than the third album, better than The Slim Shady LP, and maybe — maybe — better than The Marshall Mathers LP. It has D12 songs, but they’re good. Eminem sings, but it’s okay. One song, Puke, is about Kim, but it’s my favorite song on the album, so it’s okay.

There are also some poo sounds. Watch out for that.

You can also get Encore in a Shady Collector Edition. I looked at it when I picked up my copy of the standard edition at FYE in the Arnot Mall, and it cost something like eight bucks more. On Amazon it’s twelve bucks extra. All you get is some photos. It’s a ripoff, so I passed on it.

Additionally … FYE had a three dollar rebate offer. I was going to send it in, but from what I could tell I had to cut the UPC symbol out of the CD art. It seems to me like that’s a way to deface the CD, thereby making it unreturnable … I think this is a ploy to prevent piracy. Maybe the FBI Anti-Piracy warning on the back of the album helped me reach that conclusion.