It's a shame that Eminem seems so keen on belching and fart jokes as when he turns his mind to more serious subjects, the results are quite stunning. One of the highlights of the Encore album, Like Toy Soldiers is his best work in years.
Built upon a sample by long forgotten '80s singer Martika (and how happy will she be to see those royalty cheques come flooding in?), and a military-style drumbeat, Mr Mathers recounts his feud with Ja Rule, the Murder Inc crew and The Source magazine. Intelligent and articulate lyrics describe the futility of such hip-hop beefs ("I'm not gonna let someone's coffin rest on my conscience") and the sample works as perfectly as his Dido sample did on Stan.
Although the tone of Like Toy Soldiers is concilatory and uplifting, it's depressing to read that Ray Benzino of The Source has already recorded a response track entitled Look Into My Eyes. So the song's good intentions may have come to nothing, but that doesn't dilute the majestic power of this single.