Eminem has released a solo album, and 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 ultimately proved a divisive album. While some appreciated Em’s chemistry with the rock-sampling Rick Rubin, others longed for the glory days of Eminem and Dre, which hadn’t been seen in full since 2009’s Relapse. Therefore, fans were pleased to hear that Eminem would be once again joining forces with his mentor for his upcoming Revival, leading many to speculate on his upcoming sonic direction. Now, Revival is finally upon us, and Eminem has come through with the album’s first single “Walk On Water,” and it features none other than Beyonce.
It appears that Em has continued his recent formula of using a female pop singer for the chorus, only this time, the vibe is different. “Walk On Water” is more subdued than stadium friendly, and Em dives into his own insecurities over some melancholic piano chords. “Why are expectations so high?” asks Eminem, almost as if he’s anticipating a backlash before it happens. Honestly, it’s a little disappointing that he came through with some the same themes and ideas as he’s explored in recent years, but new Eminem is always an exciting prospect. It’s interesting to see him address some of his recent criticisms, but this single may very well open the door for some new ones. Still, Em’s lyricism remains on point, and his strengths as a writer shine throughout, particularly in the third verse.