Joe Budden No Love Lost

Joe BuddenNo Love Lost
With his third studio album, Joe Budden puts together an assortment of moods — from rowdy to resigned — alternating between confessing his sins and perpetuating them. He explains on the album's intro: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference." This could mean any number of things, but namely: Budden can't help that hip-hop's one big party, that its art often encourages unhealthy consumption, but he can help his fate and change. The first half of the album registers as a party record, with some tracks best suited for satellite radio ("NBA," "Last Day") and others for Top 40 ("She Don't Put It Down,"). Budden's raw energy and experience enriche otherwise throwaway pop, even when saccharine hooks (Kirko Bangz) and amphibian croaks (Lil Wayne) threaten to cheapen it. There are slow jams purely for the ladies and lines like, "no matter if it's your place or my place, but at mine the patio got a fireplace" of little interest to the college crowd. Where No Love Lost resonates most, however, is in its confessions. "Runaway" sees Budden struggling to escape hip-hop and graduate to greater society, laid over upbeat drums and layers of electric and acoustic guitar. "All In My Head" is another standout, with Budden and Royce Da 5'9" lamenting about the deadliness of the rap lifestyle over chilled piano and echoing claps; it sounds like a swan song for Slaughterhouse. Guest verses by Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J work well to round out the album. Taylor Gang prove they can stay trippy but fully functional, whereas Budden gets fucked up and depressed. No Love Lost is all about accepting your weaknesses and moving forward. (eOne)