Finally, after a couple delays, Joe Budden’s third studio album, “No Love Lost,” has been released. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this album. In interviews in print, radio and YouTube, he kept mentioning the album would be different from his past albums. That could either be a good thing or a bad thing. I mean if something isn’t broken, why fix it, right?
To my surprise, I wasn’t expecting the different types of records he gave us. I guess his time spent with Eminem and Slaughterhouse influenced him to take a different approach to this album.
If you follow Joe on Twitter, you can see that he has become a different person, a better person, a happier one. Ever since being introduced to Kaylin and developing a loving relationship with her, Joe has seem happier, not that he wasn’t in the past, but you could see it in the records. His older records were darker and emotional, that helped create a certain sound for him and are the basis for a Joe Budden record; however, nowadays, he’s experimenting with different producers as well as rappers he hasn’t previously worked with. The dark records his fans have come to love have taken a small step back for these new tracks.
I am happy for him, yet Joe has mentioned that he doesn’t feel different. However, in a lot of radio interviews, the radio personalities are regurgitating what his fans and I have been saying. Joe has finally found a good place. Joe has found happiness. The days of angry Joe or depress Joe might be gone. And that kind of hurts us, the fans. I know it’s selfish of us but it’s true. Some of Joe’s best records are when he is one or the other. But as a person, I hope he is in a good place because he deserves it after his trials and tribulations.
On “No Love Lost”, Joe worked with a different set of producers including T-Minus and Boi-1da, both who are known for working with Drake, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne etc. T-Minus and Boi-1da provided the beats for the singles, which are more radio friendly/mainstream appeal.
Also, new to the Joe Budden album formula is the amount of guest features on songs. His previous albums had a relatively small number of guests who often collaborated with Joe. The features on “No Love Lost” were…surprising. I never would have imagine that French Montana, Wiz Khalifa, Lil’ Wayne Twista, Juicy J, Tank or Kirko Bangz would end up on a Joe Budden album, but they did. And Joe somehow made them fit.
A little back story to the reason behind the unique features on “No Love Lost.” It started off with an idea Joe had: to do a project with artists he admired/respected. At first, the idea sounded too good to be true but then Joe started showing pics via Twitter, showing progress.
Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Brother Ali, Blu, Elzhi, Slug from Atmosphere, Phonte, Z-Ro, etc. As you can see, any fan of Joe, or hip hop, or lyricism, would be excited. However, it ended up being too good to be true.
Eventually, Joe threw out the idea of this “feature presentation” project and decided to simply look for features for his upcoming solo album. Apparently, it was tough reaching out to other rappers because he was busy with Slaughterhouse’s sophomore album.
It would have been a dope, mark-out moment as they say in the wrestling world, to imagine a song with Joe, Kendrick, Blu and K.R.I.T.
We can still dream, can’t we?
Now, back to the album.
“No Love Lost” was cool, in my opinion, especially after he gave us a solid mixtape in “A Loose Quarter”. For being something I wasn’t expecting, “No Love Lost” provided some great tracks.
“No Love Lost” is a combination of different tracks from Joe, tracks that can reach a wide audience. You have those tracks catered to his fan base in “Castles,” “Skeletons” and “Runaway;” you have those catered to women in “You and I,” “Switch Positions” and “Tell Him Something;” mainstream-like records like “She Don’t Put It Down” and “N.B.A.” There is something for every listener.
He’s able to capture different topics on different songs, whether it’s his ode to his girlfriend Kaylin in “You and I;” talks of loneliness and fake friendships found in “Castles;” the “Walk With Me”-like “Ghetto Burbs,” the self-reflecting “My Time” or simply, Joe bragging about his current state in “Top of the World,” Joe finds a way to capture the listener and let him or her in, which is something we often get from him.
“Skeletons,” “Castles” and “Runaway” are my personal favorites off the album and you could say that all three are typical “dark” records. “Runaway” is it; it’s what a Joe Budden record is all about. He is giving you a personal glimpse into his life.
Although this album’s formula is a rarity for Joe Budden albums, he pulled it off. “N.B.A.” would have been immediately skipped because of the guests but it is growing on me. It’s better than “She Don’t Put It Down.”
Fun fact: I thought it was going to be a remake of his other NBA track.
“Last Day” was surprisingly not bad, just by looking at the song’s title and guest rappers, you would think otherwise, but Juicy J, Banks and Budden made it work.
One of the things about No Love Lost is the way one track transitions into the next. For example, “Our First Again” leads into “Top of The World” as well as “Role Play (Interlude)” and “Switch Positions.”
If I had to rate “No Love Lost” I would give it a 7.5 out of 10. It could’ve been better without a few songs such as the remix.