Joe Budden might be everything but a rapper to a lot of people. Reality star, podcast host, twitter fingers? But for me he has always been one of my favorite emcees for an ability to use lyricism to actually tell a story and further expound on his emotions. Now some folks grow weary of it at times and it can definitely wear you down unless he is going over more than just relationship stress. The third in the "love" series he has hinted that this might be his last solo album. That aside, we can finally take this album and look at it for it's merits, here is my album review of the new Joe Budden album release "All Love Lost".
The album starts with the title track, "All Love Lost" where Joe does in talking about battles with addiction with alcohol, pills and depression again. Just like Ross is good and describing the luxurious life, Joe is excellent at describing going through the motions and battling his inner demons, painting vivid pictures. "Broke" is one of the singles from the album as Budden raps about how a relationship breaks down. The flow is a little different than normal but the beat and hook work really well.
I like the beat and how he leads into the hook on "Man Down" and the strong guitar licks are a constant component on the album. However I wasn't a fan of the second verse and the third cops out a little bit with celebrity references that aren't as unique as they could have been, they weren't used to really hammer home any emotional points. Jadakiss and Marsha Ambrosius feature on "Make it Through The Night" which is for the fellas on lock down and surviving in the hood. "Slaughtermouse" has gotten a lot of press because it is written as Joe talking to Eminem and talking about their relationship and how Joe feels like they are similarly connected as people. He also talks about fitting in with Slaughterhouse and learning how to work within the group dynamic.
"Love, I'm Good" is another song dedicated to hip-hop as he talks about the state of rap music which is a topic he has talked about before. It's good lyrics as usual but the haunting beat I feel like could have been used to do something a little more different and unique. Emanny, long time collaborator is featured on "Love For You" and "Only Human", the first where Joe talks about the fans and women whose love for Joe is conditional. The latter of the two songs is about Joe's life mistakes again.
There are five other songs on the record "Playing Our Part", "Immortal", "Fuck Em All", "Where do We Go" (featuring Eric Bellinger), and "Unnecessary Pain" with Felicia Temple and Yummy Bingham. They are all somewhat the same song and that's the problem at the end of this album, too much is one note. The topics are all so close with more than half of the album dedicated to Joe's personality defects and pretty much how they affect others especially the women in his life. The beats are all extremely heavy and claustrophobic without any real space in them and all hooks which are so alike. While on his previous album he kind of took things out of the same vein with songs like "NBA" which weren't quite what was expected, this album could have used something to switch up the tenor of the album. A production switch, something more up beat or hard edged, at the very least a slaughterhouse feature or different voice would have helped. This isn't to say he doesn't have features because Kiss is on the album but something where he just kind of went in on some regular rap would have helped the album balance some especially since Joe never met a 32 he didn't fall in love with.