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Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009
Eminem's new track is reviewed

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers, is expected to return with a full album this year

Eminem has been lying low over the past five years. He's back now with Dr Dre and 50 Cent, but is it any good?

When you've got a voice as distinctive as Eminem's cartoon flow it's noticeable when it's absent.

Through Obama, through economic blackout, through Jay-Z's ascent to biggest rapper on the planet, the Detroit star has kept his bleached head down and his cusses concealed since 2004's Encore.

Rumours surrounding this reclusive period abound, punctuated by whispers of "personal problems" and jokes of his dalliance with professional wrestling.

Still, few words from the man himself.

Until last autumn, when speaking to Zane Lowe, he admitted: "For probably the past five months pretty much straight I've been working with [Dr] Dre.

"I can write without worry about what the beat has to sound like and how loud a snare drum is. All those things are taken care of for me so I kind of feel spoilt, a spoilt little rapper.

"I get my pick and choose of everything but I'm excited. I want to get back out there."

New material

The lid was officially lifted on Relapse, his fifth album proper and his first for half a decade. Rap's most controversial character was officially back on the warpath.

All which leads to Crack A Bottle. First emerging on blogs and websites early this week, the four-and-a-half minutes see long standing collaborators and self proclaimed "platinum trio" Dr Dre and 50 Cent providing adequate backup on what is a thunderous return to form.

The song got its first play on Tuesday night on Tim Westwood's In New Music We Trust show.

His accomplices each take a turn on the mic, but it's Slim who stars.

Zane Lowe meets Eminem in October 2008 in New York
Never one to shy away from a dramatic entrance he begins by introducing himself as "the most diabolical villain in the world".

He rattles through, in typically lewd Slim fashion, the devastation of a malicious party all dealt atop a repetitive burlesque piano loop.

Safe to say, you wouldn't want to try and break up the fracas.

There's no hint of the insular schizophrenia and paranoid tickets which dominated his early releases [remember The Way I am? And it sells and it helps in its self/To relieve all this tension dispensing me /Sentence is getting it, stress has been eating me recently/ All through this chest and I rest to get peacefully] it's Marshall Mathers back on knife-sharp, edgy form.

Contentious, provocative and hilarious. Back to his best, in other words.

Right now, it's not even confirmed as to whether the track will appear on the record and Eminem, by his own admission, isn't sure if we're even still listening.

He said: "Underground kids do today, that's how they want it. If you get too big people usually want to move onto the next thing," he said.

Rest assured, we're all still tuned in.

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