Album Review- Escape Route - Joe Budden
So I'm checking twitter on updates on Joe Budden's beef and subsequent eye punching by Raekwon's entourage and I see a link on Joey's twitter to amalgam digital. I wasn't really paying attention because I was too busy watching Royce punk one of the Ice Water guys who seemed to be confused by what Royce meant when he said the incident wouldn't have happened if he was there. Let me clarify- he is saying you wouldn't have punched shit, stop acting confused.
Finally I get around to it and see Joe has another album out. I'm like wtf, what kind of promotion is that? Escape Route seems like a Joe album title but to tell you the truth, I have mixed feelings about this. We never really question Joe's lyrics. What I do question at time is the way he attacks his songs and the consistency of each track as well as the variety and mix of music.
I have no problem with his general depressed state however the beat selection could use work although it's still better than Nas. The hooks also could use some energy and inspiration behind them. "Never Again", "World Keeps Spinning" and "Forgive me" all end up sounding like one long song. The second and third songs of that trio however feature some good introspective verses, including addressing the "deading" of the Method Man beef.
"No Comment" and "Anti" are classic Budden tracks but seem better for mix tapes than to actually put on a normal release. Which would have been good for Budden to do, kill some established industry beats and concepts and mark your territory. "We Outta Here" gives the album a different sound as Joe brings out Slaughterhouse (Joell once again steals the show) and does some different things with the verses to draw your ear to the track. I could however, do without the autotune on the hook.
That moment on the album seems to be a spark. "Freight Train" follows "Clothes on a Mannequin" a song with a strong hook to support the theme. "Freight Train" is a song where each verse is a different short story and gives the album some flavor. Young Chris of Young Guns fame pops up on "Connect 4" for a rather average song but it is a surprising feature for me.
Honestly, how many pics of Joe Budden do you need to see?
Overall Jumpoff Joe doesn't really have enough unique perspectives on this album nor enough different sounds on hooks or beats to make the album "pop" for its first two-thirds. There are some good bars but he would have been better off tightening up the Slaughterhouse album verses even more and using the rest for a post-release mixtape or something.
Buy the Album Here