Eminem may not be the Master of Suspense: He just dropped his new album, “Music to Be Murdered By,” Thursday at midnight, without even milking it with any prior warning. But he appears to be a fan of Alfred Hitchcock anyway.
The new set shares its title and cover concept with the one and only album Hitchcock ever released, a 1958 collection that had the legendary director dropping bits of his trademark dry and macabre humor between easy listening-style instrumental arrangements of songs with ironically appropriate titles, like “I’ll Never Smile Again” and “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You.”
As Hitchcock did, Eminem poses holding both both a hatchet and pistol to his head. But lest that appear too provocative for some retailers in 2020, there’s also a version of the album art in which the rapper poses with a shovel, which fans may find either less or more menacing.
The album also uses portions of Hitchcock’s spoken-word contributions to the ’58 album, in interludes titled “Alfred” and “Alfred (Outro).”
Eminem’s album ends just as Hitchcock’s did: with the filmmaker saying, “If you haven’t been murdered, I can only say better luck next time. If you have been, goodnight, wherever you are.”
Unlike Hitchcock’s vintage album, which featured not a single “feature,” Eminem’s surprise release credits the late Juice Wrld, Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Royce Da 5’9″, White Gold, Young M.A, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Denaun, KXNG Crooked and Joell Ortiz as well as the unbilled Hitch.