It’s good, but not great

Eminem- “The Eminem Show” (Aftermath/Interscope)
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
On “The Eminem Show” – the follow-up to the 8-million-selling “The Marshall Mathers LP” – he’s by turns a bad-boy rapper, a sensitive father, a neglected son and a disaffected American.
At its best – which is most of the time – the 20-track disc spotlights Eminem in peak form with clever lines and fierce delivery.
At its worse, it’s predictable posturing with swaggering talk of self-importance, guns and the usual potty-mouth rants.
The Detroit rapper is angrier than ever, but he swings wildly from mood to mood on this more personal disc.
Album opener “White America” echoes “The Real Slim Shady,” stressing at once his popularity and his persecution.
In “Without Me,” Eminem rightly points out the hip-hop world “feels so empty without me.”
We see Eminem at his corniest in “Hailie’s Song,” a doting number he wrote for his daughter. But the venom flows again when he lashes out at the government, his ex-wife Kim and – most chillingly – his mom.
“Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it were me? Well, guess what, I am dead. Dead to you as I can be,” he spits in “Cleaning Out My Closet.”
The posing and misogynism are tiresome, but “The Eminem Show,” while flawed, proves that Eminem deserves to be master of ceremonies.