You can't walk down the aisles of the XXL offices without hearing Eminem's recently leaked album, Recovery, blasting out of someone's speakers. Since hitting the 'Net earlier this week, that seems to be all that we can listen to and talk about. But why should we keep our opinions to ourselves? What does the XXL staff really think of Shady's seventh studio effort? Here's your chance to eavesdrop on our track by track breakdown over AIM. :)

Vanessa Satten: OK so what are you thinking about the first track, "Cold Wind Blows"?

Rob Markman: The little singing intro in "Cold Wind Blows" is eerie. It gave me chills when I first heard it.

Jesse Gissen: "Cold Wind Blows" is one of the best tracks on the album - as far as him just spazzing out lyrically.

Adam Fleisher: Yeah I agree, but when I first heard it, I didn't love the singy intro. Then beat drops and he's like, "OK, hey guys, I'm here."

Rondell Conway: I was afraid when I heard the intro, thought he was going somewhere else.

Matt Barone: The spoken word intro confused me at first, but it actually sets the song up perfectly; it's off-putting and a bit unsettling.

Vanessa: When I first put it on I wasn't sure but by the second time I listened to the song. 5 mins later, I was into it.

Matt: It's a good okey-doke on the listener.

Rob: I was shocked to learn that just Blaze did that beat. The lyrics are crazy though. "Call me a faggot 'cause I hate a pussy." LOL

Adam: "Stick my dick in a circle but I'm not fuckin around."

Rob: Yeah that's classic Shady. This track is a winner!

Adam: And we get our first Michael J. Fox reference.

Jesse: He's got some Relapse type punchlines on it - but this time it totally works - his delivery is more confident.

Rondell: Mike Vick, Elton John, Mariah all get touched in the first verse

Jesse: The Elton John line is hilarious.

Vanessa: I'm tired of Em/Mariah beef but I get why he has to say something.

Rob: Yeah, Vanessa, you and Nick Cannon

Anslem Samuel: Yeah Mariah bodied him with video... jokes.

Rob: Do you guys think Nick is making a diss track as we speak?

Rob: Okay so we all like "Cold Wind Blows" what about track 2? "Talkin' 2 Myself?"

Jesse: I think they could make that into a single.

Vanessa: It's a single for crossover to me cause of the hook.

Jesse: Yeah, that's why I think it's the smart move.

Matt: "Talkin 2 Myself" really drives home that Em isn't playing this time around; immediately jumps into his self-analysis.

Vanessa: and then the Wayne and Kanye shit about dissing them and not doing it.

Jesse: They might actually play that on urban radio.


Matt: Rondell especially loves the singer's name: Kobe.

Rondell: Kobe Bryant on the hook?

Rob: Yo Kobe- the kid singing on the single is having the best week ever. First he was on Fabolous's "Imma Do It" now he's on an Em track.

Anslem: Ain't Kobe the name of Obie's daughter?

Matt: Kobe > Kobe Bryant

Rob: "Talkin' 2 Myself" is dope, because it shows how FUCKED up Em really was. Best lyricist in the game was jealous of Wayne and Kanye who both idolize him.

Rob: I appreciate Em's honesty though. To say that he was actually jealous. Which other rapper would admit that?

Adam: Do we accept his apology?

Matt: I do.

Jesse: Imagine if any of these other rappers would open up like that.

Matt: he didn't have to apologize to me (Because i love Relapse, of course).

Rob: We can go to "On Fire"

Rob: How does Lloyd Banks feel that Eminem stole his hook? LOL

Jesse: He produced that track too LOL

Matt: "On Fire".... it's like, "Okay, I gave you honesty, but now I want to get back to slaughtering you other rappers."

Jesse: "On Fire" has one of his illest rhyme schemes.

Rob: Yeah I like this song.

Matt: The line about wrapping "scissors in SARS" and feeding you to "Jaws" is amazing.

Adam: Yeah, this is definitely an "eat your head off" track.

Matt: Who else thinks of that?

Matt: Random disses at Brooke Hogan and David Cook.

Rob: "I'm lighting in a skillet, you're a fuckin flash in the pan."

Jesse: "Listen Dog/Christmas is off/This is as cold as it gets/This isn't golf/This is a blistering assualt/Dose in your wounds/ this is the salt..."

Rob: Umm guys... who is David Cook?

Matt: Runner-up to David Archuletta (I'm a lame, I know).

Rob: I stopped watching American idol after Ruben Studdard.

Matt: Clearly Eminem still watches. His next album will take shots at Crystal Bowersox.

Rondell: Of course, he hadn't left the house in three years.

Matt: Haha.

Vanessa: He did leave,  He went to Ihop and the comic book store.

Jesse: Guess we're up to the Pink song, "Won't Back Down."

Matt: Okay...So who else loves the fact that Pink is on this song?

Matt: Pink is badass..... yes, i said it

Jesse: I fuck with Pink but I don't like this song really.


Anslem: But this song is bad and ass.

Rob: I'm not a Pink fan. But she doesnt offend on this.

Adam: love the fact that Pink is on the song, Don't particularly love the song.

Anslem: This song doesnt do it for me.

Vanessa: I won't back down.

Matt: Em still kills this song lyrically, though...Song has grown me a great deal.

Rondell: These two together makes so much sense.

Rob: The beat is ILL. DJ Khalil is the fuckin' man.

Vanessa: I am into "W.T.P." hard.

Matt: "W.T.P." shows that Em still has a sense of humor.

Rob: "W.T.P." don't do it for me. I tried to get into a White Trash Party once, they turned me away at the door.

Vanessa: I love how he even opens the song.

Jesse: The description of the white trash car is fucking hilarious.

Matt: I highly recommend "white trash parties," I've been to a few (true story; Jersey has its seedy parts in the southern part).

Matt: Rob, you can tag along to the next one I go to.

Rob: I appreciate "Going Through Changes" though. This song is necessary. R.I.P. Proof.

Rondell: "Going Thru Changes" is the best song! Powerful!

Vanessa: This song tells me even more that this is the album that should have come out fuckin' last fuckin' year. Fuck.

Rob: Agreed

Vanessa: I love "I'm Not Afraid."

Matt: I'm a "Not Afraid" fan, too.

Rondell: I'm a fan of "Not Afraid" too.

Jesse: Eminem - the realest rapper ever.

Matt: This really is a great song, the more I hear it.

Jesse: "SEDUCTION," I love this fucking song.

Rob: I hate the HOOK, Maybe Em should use Auto-tune.

Jesse: He's got some of his best lines in this shit.

Matt: this beat kills.

Rob: Boi-1Da did "Seduction."

Rob: I do think it's funny when Em starts imating Jay on "Seduction" when he goes "Uhhh" like Jay did in "D.O.A."

Matt: "No Love."

Vanessa: my fave!!!!!!


Rob: I love Just Blaze, but not a fan of this beat. It just isn't for me.

Jesse: Took me a min to get past the fact that this is "What is Love."

Matt: Actually don't love this beat, either; but i do like it.

Matt: But this song is saved lyrically

Vanessa: "I’m alive again
More alive than I have been in my whole entire life
I can see these people’s ears perk up as I begin
To spaz with the pen, I’m a little bit sicker than most
Sh-t’s finna get thick again
They say the competition is stiff
But I get a hard dick from this sh-t, now stick it in
I ain’t never giving in again
Cuss into the wind, complete freedom
Look at these rappers, how I treat them
So why the f-ck would I join them when I beat them
They call me a freak because
I like to spit on these p-ssies fore I eat them
Man get these whack cocksuckers off stage
Where the f-ck is Kanye when you need him?
Snatch the mic from him, bitch I’mma let you finish in a minute"

Jesse: Who else will Wayne play hype man for?

Matt: "Space Bound" is my least favorite song on the album. But i don't hate it.

Jesse: This is like a classic rock rap song. I love it.

Anslem: I fucks with this one.

Vanessa: I hate this beat.

Rob: I'm not into "Space Bound" either. This is where the album begins to really dip for me.

Vanessa: I hate this beat.

Rob: Love is evil, spell it backwards guys. E-Vol.

Matt: The thing with Eminem...Even when i hate the beats he picks, his lyrics make me love the songs ultimately.

Rondell: "Space Bound" saddens me.

Jesse: This is one for the honkeys.

Rob: Das Racist

Jesse: I'm a honkey! I'm allowed.

Rob: Okay "Cinderella Man"...

Jesse: LOVE that one.

Rob: Stadium Status again. "We will, we will rock you"

Jesse: "Cinderalla Man" is like that joint from The Eminem Show with the "We Will Rock You" drums.

Vanessa: "Fuck my last CD that shit’s in my trash/I’ll be God damned if another rapper gets in my ass"

Rob: The hook sucks though. Admit it guys.

Matt: "Cinderella Man" is awesome.

Rob: I can't front though. Its gonna be fun to see Em do "Cinderella Man" in Yankee Stadium.

Jesse: this is a XXL rated song right here


Adam: "25 to Life" is one of my favorite songs on this album. I generally like songs when people talk to hip-hop.

Matt: "25 to Life".... the tried and true "I love hip-hop as a girlfriend" concept, but done so damn well.

Jesse: Love the beat on this one too.

Matt: I love the hook here, too. It's haunting, like it's some ghost lady singing to him.

Rondell: Hip-hop must be tired of all these guys bitching about her.

Adam: Then it should straighten its shit up.

Matt: Haha, hip-hop is one stubborn dame. I could never date hip-hop, though i do love her...H.e.r.

Jesse: Shit, we're all married to that bitch.

Rondell: She was my girl first!

Jesse: I like "So Bad."

Rondell: I love the beat on "So Bad."

Jesse: But I'm so happy this is the only "Dre" beat.

Matt: Oh ok, cool, haha.... I'm not crazy for loving "So Bad."

Adam: Yeah "So Bad" bumps.

Jesse: "I'm the beez knees, his legs and his arms"

Rob: Again, I'm not into the hook.

Matt: I would have been quite happy with another "Medicine Ball"-like beat from Dre, but i do agree with Jesse.

Jesse: I listened to “Almost Famous” three times in a row - i chain smoked "Almost Famous" yesterday on the train.

Matt: "Almost Famous" played back-to-back with "Medicine Ball" (from Relapse) is enough to make ears bleed, in a great way.

Jesse: he'll "take your punchlines and snort em."

Adam: "Get off my antidisestablishmentarianism you prick."

Matt: Let's give respect to Just Blaze here, too; the beat is crazy.

Rob: "They not even Austin Powers, how the fuck are they Mike Myers"

Jesse: This would make an amazing video.

Adam: "Ya'll are Eminem backwards, you're meni mes."

Matt: Khalil is the man.

Jesse: "Pinching them pennies 'till Abraham is screaming out AHHH"

Matt: Haha the Abe Lincoln line made me turn the song off the first time I heard it and just contemplate what i just heard.


Matt: this song with Rihanna, "Love the Way you Lie" is like the answer to Eve's "Love is Blind"

Adam: Am i alone in thinking that this could be a huge hit? mainly cause of Rihanna. Taking nothing away from Em.

Matt: It definitely could be, yes

Jesse: This song is a lil too real for radio I think.

Rob: Pop radio will eat this up. I don't love this song but I can acknowledge that it will be BIG.

Matt: This is one of the few songs on the album that I won't replay to death, just because of it's mood, compared to the rest of the album.

Adam: I don't think it's one of Em's best showings, but sonically i really like it, so I think I'll play it a lot

Rob: Again, the hook on "You're Never Over" is blah to me.

Jesse: "You're Never Over" is dope, but the chorus makes my ears bleed a lil.

Rob: But it's hard to shit on this song because it's about Proof.

Adam: The Bonus Track is fuckin' dope.

Jesse: I actually don't really like the bonus.

Rob: The last track, he's spitting.

Jesse: Doesn't sound like Havoc at all either.

Rob: Beat is just okay to me.

Matt: It's not that great of a Havoc beat, but he's killin' lyrically.

Rob: That's my main problem is the album's beats.

Jesse: The beats on this album blow Relapse out the water, they fit perfectly.

**Staff logs out**

**5 mins later, Brooklyne Gipson logs in***

Brooklyne: Wait how late am I for the Em convo?