Sunday, April 13, 2008

Joe Budden, "Mood Muzik 3: The Album"

On 2005’s outstanding Mood Muzik 2: Can It Get Any Worse?, Joe Budden shattered the preconceptions that came with his 2003 self-titled Def Jam debut. Gone was the good life, replaced instead with an overwhelming sense of doubt, depression, and even self-destruction. On MM3, his emotions haven’t fizzled a bit—check the insightful “Dear Diary” or the Metallica-inspired “Un4given”—but the attack is more balanced. The frustrations of the melancholy “All Of Me,” for example, melt into the optimism of “Long Way To Go.” Still, as Budden notes on “Hiatus,” one shouldn’t confuse change with conformity: “Let me help niggas understand Mouse / Why try to fit in when you’re a standout?” Yep, still your Average Joe.