Review Summary: PIL2 Isn't just a random collection of throw away thug cliches on a disc, there's actually the heart backing it up which gives Ja Rule a face to go with his more personal personality. Though consistency in the track continuity could make this a more well-
A sequel to Ja Rule’s most successful album that was released over a decade ago, arriving 8 years after Ja Rule’s last release, and delivered only to have it’s creator be jailed for 28 months instantaniously following its release. Although fans will pleasently find that it has been ultimately worth the wait since 2004. Since Pain is Love is now a series, Ja Rule tries his hand at concept elements to string the tracks of this new installment together better, and give them a point with an overlaying statement about how the highs of fame can lead to all time lows in one’s career.
The good thing with this album is that Ja Rule returns from what seemed like the end of his career, with a lot of new ideas that make his well known approach not just another collection of songs. With his still strong Christian backbone met with darker and more serious subject matter, and a vicious growly delivery, Ja Rule is now somewhat reminiscent of DMX. While the lyrics are far from the generically hollow gangsta raging of previous releases, the consistency of the album’s track listing doesn’t really flow too smoothly, as party focused tracks will follow immediately after vulnerable self-expressive tracks, which are followed by tracks featuring self-promotional boasting, etc., and the overall mood the listener is left with on a listen-through will be undecided because of this.
But this is merely a minor flaw, as PIL2 is still the best offering from Ja Rule since The Last Temptation way back in 2002, and even if there’s more of a cohesive impression in the disc’s opposing attitudes that’s left to be desired, the stand alone tracks themselves have a sense of satisfying fulfillment, regardless of their arrangement. Fans of this type of music are bound to use this disc to single out certain tracks for repeated listens at parties though, and it’s not like they care about whether or not they listen this whole thing out of order and not in one sitting anyway.