Upon release, Eminem’s Revival received mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Revival received an average score of 51 based on 10 reviews from critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.” Below we are listing all the scores and reviews given by critics:
XXL Magazine – 81/100
While Revival isn’t the defibrillator that Eminem needed to revive his dominance, the album has enough highlights to maintain decent replay value and enough lyrical miracles to keep mindful rap from totally flat lining. His pen game hasn’t lost even half of a step, and he still possesses the neurotic edge that’s always made him such a driving force in hip-hop.
The Independent (UK) – 80/100
“Believe”, finds Eminem’s faith in his talent creeping back in. The ticking beat and sinister, John Carpenter-esque piano figure are harbingers of resurgent menace, while the hazy, treated chorus hook sounds like medication flooding his spirit with the confidence that carries the rest of the album. There are plenty of typical Eminem tropes scattered throughout Revival.”
The Telegraph (UK) – 80/100
Like his misogynistic streak, his sound is stuck in the past. What keeps our attention is his exuberant delight in language itself, such as his geometry pun in River: “this love triangle / left us in a wrecked tangle”
Rolling Stone – 70/100
At 77 minutes, Revival is a heavy listen, going deep on ballads with guests like Ed Sheeran and X Ambassadors. But a certain indulgent messiness has always been part of the Eminem experience. … When Revival’s confessionals work, it’s proof that, when the real Marshal Mathers stands up, he can still pull us into his evocative dramas.
Paste Magazine – 68/100
Overall, the album is fairly easy listening.
HipHopDX – 64/100
While Em’s bullheaded decision to experiment with the flow should be heartily respected, it doesn’t shroud the fact that he’s not charting any new territory, at least topically. But it’s largely the retreads of past glory where he hits stride the hardest.
AllMusic – 60/100
Provocative and muddled, Revival percolates with ambition but doesn’t lack in laziness either.
The New York Times – 60/100
Revival is probably the best of his recent albums, but like much of his post-peak output, it is a mix of the entrancing and the mystifying, full of impressive rapping that’s also disorienting.
New Musical Express (NME) – 60/100
Not all of it works, but his renewed creative vigour is obvious and his sense of duty commendable.
Exclaim – 60/100
We can say that the real Slim Shady does show up and prove himself on a handful of Revival’s songs, but many of the more ‘noteworthy’ moments are buried under a mountain of contradictions and cringe-worthy attempts at shock value.
Pitchfork – 50/100
While the long tracklist and equally protracted verses make for an exhausting listen, there are rewards for those that endure.
Slant Magazine – 50/100
Eminem can still dazzle with his wordplay–“Adversity, if at first you don’t succeed/Put your temper to more use/’Cause being broke’s a poor excuse” is an early highlight on “Believe”–yet his delivery, listless torrents of language, makes him seem noncommittal to the songs he’s performing. He’s not quite on autopilot throughout, but he does sound distracted. Eminem is more engaged on Revival when his focus turns to his family.
The Observer (UK) – 40/100
There are just too many pop stars here (Pink, Beyoncé, Kehlani) wailing anodyne hooks over glutinous beats. Perhaps the biggest problem with Revival – as with many latterday Eminem records – is the struggle of an intelligent fortysomething artist to evolve while somehow remaining true to the demands of his sniggery core audience of alienated males.
The Guardian – 40/100
The album frequently sags, as any 19-track album is wont to do, though two introspective moments at the end save the concept somewhat.
The A.V. Club – 33/100
Revival isn’t even interesting enough to warrant all of the critical beatdowns it’s taken in its short time in the world. Instead, it’s boring and predictable, which are greater threats to the Eminem legacy than anything else.
Spin – 30/100
The failures of his latest effort don’t simply center on that side step from audacity to reckoning. It’s in how that move has somehow left him struggling to write a listenable song.
Los Angeles Times 30/100
But where Jay-Z raps with style and elegance to spare, Eminem hits clunker after clunker on Revival, his clumsiest record to date. It’s not just the corny jokes and goofy puns, either, although those are plenty bad.
SputnikMusic – 20/100
There are no good songs. There are no ‘moments’ that make any of these 18 songs worth listening to. There’s nothing that implies there is potential, there are no guests that make Eminem worth listening to, there are no good lyrics, there are no good production flourishes, and there aren’t any melodies. There’s no evident flow, and there isn’t anything to be gained from listening to this that can’t be done by listening to literally anything else.
The 405 – 15/100
Revival is so uninspired and lost that picking it apart is a hopeless affair.
Consequence of Sound – 0/100
Revival is the most pleasureless record he’s ever made, so stymied by his worst tendencies that like many other inept apologies from 2017 it only points out how much further he has to go rather than how far he’s come.
Overall Score: 51/100