"Encore" is an apt title for the follow-up to Eminem's brilliant 2002 album, "The Eminem Show." Here, there are moments when he entertains us and other times when he doesn't.

"Encore" is an apt title for the follow-up to Eminem's brilliant 2002 album, "The Eminem Show." Here, there are moments when he entertains us and other times when he doesn't. From the most dexterous and technically skillful rapper in the domain, "Encore" is loaded with the artist's usual contradictions: insight and insecurity, courage and paranoia; a few of the tracks match up well with the nasty wit of "Just Lose It." Five strong cuts upfront offer a synopsis of Em's recent tussles with art and life. "Yellow Brick Road" is fervently autobiographical and apologetic, while "Mosh," a call to action, shows how potent Eminem can be when he gets out of his own head. Just as often he regresses into infantile indulgences: "Puke" offers self-explanatory sound effects, "Big Weenie" is as immature as they come and the great polyrhythmic verbal cadence of "My 1st Single" is undermined by belching.—WR