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No Love Here

Miko Malabute | Monday, February 11, 2013

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

“Here’s an artist who has the heart and lyrics that actually speak to you. Here’s a guy that people can actually relate to. He’s real.”

This is not refreshing to us, and to be quite honest, it’s made us weary of listening to anyone new that has been inadvertently channeled our way.

In an arena where standing out has become the norm, where trying to be an individual has become too trying for both the artist and listener, it’s often tough to approach something new and expect something even remotely worthwhile.

In comes Joe Budden, with his newest album “No Love Lost.” Budden allows himself yet another platform to truly be himself.

Though there were questionable “filler,” “attention-grabber” songs in the album, “No Love Lost” Budden’s work truly seeks to communicate to his audience the image of a man that believes he has come full-circle. Budden speaks on topics such as failure, perseverance, love, vices and other subjects that are all indications of a “been-there, done-that” man who can bestow his knowledge onto his fans.

A solid foundation for a good album, no?

 More often than not, there were occasions on the project where Budden tried to transcend his hit-or-miss history with music, as much as his own style would allow.

Songs such as “Castle,” where pensive piano chords complement Budden’s exasperated, yet soothing voice, portray a man who has it all but simultaneously has nothing.  Similarly, “All In My Head,” with fellow Slaughterhouse member Royce Da 5’9″ and vocalist Kobe, shows Budden questioning his own success and position in life. These are two examples of songs that made very pointed efforts to bring forth Budden’s very real insecurities.

However, these efforts were punctuated too often and too soon by the aforementioned “filler, attention-grabber” songs, songs that were absolutely unnecessary, considering the style and audience Budden tries so hard to appeal to.

“She Don’t Put It Down,” featuring Tank and Lil Wayne, is perhaps the largest single from the album and could be regarded as one of the largest reaches in Budden’s career. With a peculiar, sub-70s synthesizer mixed in with a cacophony of drums and Wayne’s even more peculiar style of rapping, this song is definitely a head scratcher.

The odd tune is followed immediately by the song “N.B.A. (Never Broke Again),” this time with the assistance of French Montana and Wiz Khalifa. Yet even those two mainstays couldn’t accomplish much, as the song comes off as your stereotypical hip-hop, embellishing everything that is frustratingly predictable about the culture and lifestyle. Rather, they simply manifest a song that merely feels like a drawl and – ultimately – a likely candidate for the “Next” button on your iTunes.

These kinds of records should normally add versatility to the almost one-dimensional style that Budden brings, but all that they bring is Budden down from the air of “superstar rapper” to “average Joe.”

It’s hard to say what 

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

No Love Here

Miko Malabute | Monday, February 11, 2013

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

“Here’s an artist who has the heart and lyrics that actually speak to you. Here’s a guy that people can actually relate to. He’s real.”

This is not refreshing to us, and to be quite honest, it’s made us weary of listening to anyone new that has been inadvertently channeled our way.

In an arena where standing out has become the norm, where trying to be an individual has become too trying for both the artist and listener, it’s often tough to approach something new and expect something even remotely worthwhile.

In comes Joe Budden, with his newest album “No Love Lost.” Budden allows himself yet another platform to truly be himself.

Though there were questionable “filler,” “attention-grabber” songs in the album, “No Love Lost” Budden’s work truly seeks to communicate to his audience the image of a man that believes he has come full-circle. Budden speaks on topics such as failure, perseverance, love, vices and other subjects that are all indications of a “been-there, done-that” man who can bestow his knowledge onto his fans.

A solid foundation for a good album, no?

 More often than not, there were occasions on the project where Budden tried to transcend his hit-or-miss history with music, as much as his own style would allow.

Songs such as “Castle,” where pensive piano chords complement Budden’s exasperated, yet soothing voice, portray a man who has it all but simultaneously has nothing.  Similarly, “All In My Head,” with fellow Slaughterhouse member Royce Da 5’9″ and vocalist Kobe, shows Budden questioning his own success and position in life. These are two examples of songs that made very pointed efforts to bring forth Budden’s very real insecurities.

However, these efforts were punctuated too often and too soon by the aforementioned “filler, attention-grabber” songs, songs that were absolutely unnecessary, considering the style and audience Budden tries so hard to appeal to.

“She Don’t Put It Down,” featuring Tank and Lil Wayne, is perhaps the largest single from the album and could be regarded as one of the largest reaches in Budden’s career. With a peculiar, sub-70s synthesizer mixed in with a cacophony of drums and Wayne’s even more peculiar style of rapping, this song is definitely a head scratcher.

The odd tune is followed immediately by the song “N.B.A. (Never Broke Again),” this time with the assistance of French Montana and Wiz Khalifa. Yet even those two mainstays couldn’t accomplish much, as the song comes off as your stereotypical hip-hop, embellishing everything that is frustratingly predictable about the culture and lifestyle. Rather, they simply manifest a song that merely feels like a drawl and – ultimately – a likely candidate for the “Next” button on your iTunes.

These kinds of records should normally add versatility to the almost one-dimensional style that Budden brings, but all that they bring is Budden down from the air of “superstar rapper” to “average Joe.”

It’s hard to say what Budden can really do when seemingly his entire career has been chalked up to “hit-or-miss.” It’s tough to so grossly generalize it. But Budden’s consistency is lacking, and the unpredictability of his records reflects the air of an inexperienced rapper, not the wise, hardened man he portrays himself as in this album.

“No Love Lost” is somewhere between mediocre and good, but a man who tries to come off as a man who’s come “full-circle” should have no business having an album in that category.