When Eminem burst onto the scene, I was at the prime age to be sucked into his angst ridden lyrics riddled with hate and aggression. I was seventeen and my parents had divorced five or six years earlier. I was lonely, unpopular and lost. I spent the entire summer of 1999 listening to The Slim Shady LP, playing Grand Theft Auto and Tony Hawks on the Playstation in my room, taking in every word and learning it by heart. While this wasn't the happiest of times, it's weighed with nostalgia, which makes me grateful that the rapper decided to make a sequel to 2000's Marshall Mathers LP rather than his game changing debut.

Speaking to Rolling Stone ahead of the release of Marshal Mathers LP 2, Eminem spoke about why he chose that title: "calling it The Marshall Mathers LP2, obviously I knew that there might be certain expectations. I wouldn't want to call it that just for the sake of calling it that. I had to make sure that I had the right songs... so there's not gonna be, like, continuations of every old song on there or anything like that. To me, it's more about the vibe, and it's more about the nostalgia."

Well in the most part he has succeeded, this new record is reminiscent of the original but that was twelve years ago and it feels like a 41-year-old man trying to be 27 again. Lyrics still lambast Kim and his father for their treatment of him, and the hate fuelled anger is back. However, after so many years, those of us wrapped up in the mania surrounding his early career have moved on and now the angst feels more like a mask for a man who is wallowing in self pity. It's almost trying too hard to be something it could never be.

I'm being torn in two by this record. There are flashes of genius and on the singles like 'Berzerk' there is certainly a return to form. 'Rap God', the most recent release, is very much the high point of the entire album. It's quite possibly the best Eminem has rapped since 2004. The track, aside some references to it, doesn't sound like anything from MMLP mind, in fact the production sounds more like Yeezus. The six minute track sees Slim at his vintage best, and at 4 mins 20 seconds, the track takes off into orbit.

One of the best things about MMLP were the collaborations; 'Stan' helped put Dido on the map and saw a single from an album as controversial as anything we'd seen around that time be played on all forms of mainstream radio, even Heart FM and Magic could be found to give the censored version a spin. Thanks to Dr Dre's 2001 album, the likes of Snoop and Nate Dogg as well as Xzibit featured giving the album more texture than the Slim Shady LP. So how are the collaborations on this record? Well there are no 'Stan' moments, but it does see Rihanna take over the hook on the paint-by-numbers pop hit 'The Monster', which feels destined to be the highest charting moment on the album.

The world's most popular rapper right now, Kendrick Lamar, joins his Aftermath label mate for 'Love Game'; his humour and style are the perfect pairing for Eminem and the Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders sampling 'Love Game'. Genuinely the most fun moment of the album which leaves you asking, why couldn't Eminem have been this good throughout?

When left to his own devices Eminem remains nostalgic but not just to the original Marshall Mathers LP; 'Legacy' sounds like 'Toy Soldiers' from Encore, in fact it think the drums have been lifted straight from the latter. 'Brainless' again sounds more like that from his mid 2000s era which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn't offer anything new. Sadly that's the theme throughout this record and no matter how much his flow has found its feet once again, the subject matter is lacking the quality required to go up against other hip-hop albums we've heard this year. Eminem fans will be thrilled to hear their idol back to his best, but wider rap fans will be left wanting.