After telling people to “Lean Back” with Terror Squad and repping “New York” with Ja Rule and Jadakiss, Fat Joe is back with a brand new solo album, All Or Nothing. It’s another solid album to add to his discography.
This album showcases Fat Joe above all else. Out of the 16 songs, only five of them have guest stars. Two of those songs were tacked on at the end (“Lean Back (Remix)” with Lil’ Jon, Mase, Eminem, and Remy Martin and “Hold You Down” with Jennifer Lopez). He sounds refreshed and rejuvenated, especially on the Just Blaze produced “Safe 2 Say (The Incredible).” Joe seems to be at his best when he uses his wit as his weapon. A good example of this is “My Fofo,” his response to 50 Cent’s “Piggybank.” He gets at 50 Cent more by making fun of him than anything else. The result is more effective than just saying how many ways he’ll attack or kill somebody.
Cool and Dre provide most of the production for this album. They do a good job for the most part. However, “I Can Do U” sounds like a rip off of The Neptunes’ style, right down to the falsetto vocal. Timbaland provides a nice club banger for “Everybody Get Up.” Mashonda adds a little R & B flavor to the Swizz Beatz produced “Listen Baby.” However, Joe’s collaboration with R. Kelly, “So Hot” is mediocre and sounds just like any other R. Kelly song.
Overall, All Or Nothing is a pretty good album. It’s probably the best album he’s done since the death of friend and mentee Big Punisher. If he can put more of his wit and charisma into his music, his next album could be even better.