Joe Budden's new EP is a turbulent ride, but it's worth the journey he takes us on. Joey is doing what he does best on "Some Love Lost."
Ladies and gentlemen, Joe Budden is back in Mood Muzik form. Early last year Joe released No Love Lost, which packaged club and radio songs along with some more personal tracks. That album left many of his longtime fans wanting more of the intimate feel they get from his darker projects. Almost two years later and Joey is back to documenting his turmoil in a way that only he can. Joe Budden is an open book, and his candidness is matched only by his skill.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but seeing the album art on this EP is almost enough to tell you what you’re in for. Dark clouds and a statue depicting an angel about to be stabbed in the back surely cannot be signs of a happy journey. If that’s not enough, the intro sets the tone with KDot’s dark and dramatic production.
The intro seamlessly flows into “The Way You Love Me” and Joe gets right to the serious issues, taking less than a minute to express how he understands the pain that Robin Williams was going through. The subject matter quickly switches to a turbulent relationship Joe was dealing with (very likely his relationship with Tahiry) and how it has affected him. The tone of this song is accentuated perfectly by Felicia Temple on the hook.
The next track, “Only Human”, is an eight minute journey into some of Joe Budden’s most dismal thoughts. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that he had a significant amount of his fans tearing up while listening to this one. He touches on conversations with his mother about drug abuse, relationship problems leading to legal issues, and even coming close to suicide. The second verse of this song has Joe being more open than most rappers, or people in general, would even think about being. Even by Joe Budden standards this is a heavy song. It’s eight minutes of somber feelings, and Emmany being all soulful amplifies it even more.
If all this emotion isn’t too much and you made it through to “Only Human” without breaking down, you get to the song “Alive”. This one is produced by DJ Pain1 and it has another beat that fits the album art. You can feel the dramatic tone as soon as the track begins. With a great hook and the same emotion with a pretty assertive delivery, this track is one of the highlights of the EP. Yes, it’s a short track list, but this song stands out nonetheless.
Joey changes up the focus a bit with “Poker in the Sky”, a song that centers mostly around his grandfather’s cancer. Well, actually the song is kind of split down the middle. Joey starts off detailing how he’s profiting off of his pain. Then we go through more relationship issue documentation to hear about how Joe’s grandfather is close to death. Not to belittle Joe’s battles with women, but this song probably could have been completely given to his grandfather. The intro, name, and ending all center around that, but the other stuff seems a bit out of place. After all, we have plenty of Joe and the women in his life on other songs.
Any Joe Budden fans that aren’t complete neophytes are probably familiar with his “Ordinary Love Shit” series. It makes perfect sense that an EP like this would be the vessel for the fourth installment. As you probably guessed, Joe is getting deep in his feelings here. Who can blame him? He’s addressing a woman he proposed to in the public eye only to have her say no. That’s just backstory though. Even without knowing that, it’s easy to feel the tension in this song just from the way Joe tells the story, especially if you’ve gone through relationship issues yourself. The man knows how to generate empathy.
Hopefully you weren’t silly enough to think this EP might end on a lighter note. 8 Bars gives the production for the finale track, “Different Love”, and it has a feeling that lets you know this is the finale. The last song of the EP is five minutes of Joe pouring out his soul as if he hasn’t been doing that exact thing for six straight tracks. No feature, no hook, just Joe continually dropping truth with no filter (he’s even name dropping at this point). It’s the ending you’d come to expect on this EP if you made it through the preceding songs.
Some Love Lost is a very good EP. There are no weak songs and each one makes an impact. That being said, it’s very good that this is an EP and not a full-length album. This is essentially a soundtrack to depression. This kind of look inside a mind like Joe Budden’s probably shouldn’t last any longer than it is. After 36 minutes of really doing some in-depth listening to this, you’ll probably need a pick-me-up. The music is great, but for your own sake have something on hand to make you happy after you finish listening to it.