Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Heart Than Brains by Bike For Three!

I consider myself to have a pretty broad taste when it comes to music. Sure, I like the indie rock the most, but I also like a selection of genres across the spectrum, and in just about any one, there'll be at least one artist I like. Or, at the very least, one I can stand. I fully admit, though, that two of my not-so-favourite genres are hip hop and electronica. However, one of the hip hop artists I do like is Canadian Buck 65. So when I heard about his new project, Bike For Three! which has him teaming up with Belgian electronica artist and producer Greetings From Tuskan, I was a little hesitant. Sceptical, even. As much as I like Buck 65, Hip hop plus electronica? That rarely comes together well. But I gave it a shot anyway, partially because I like Buck, and partially out of curiosity.

The album starts off, after the intriguing introduction track, Beginning, with three amazing songs, All There Is To Say About Love, Lazarus Phenomenon and Nightdriving. All of which hooked me instantly with insanely catchy music and excellent lyrics. They combine to what amounts to a slap in the face for me doubting them. Not to say less of the rest of the album, but these three are perfect examples of why their collaboration works so well. There Is Only One Of Us is another stellar example, with its almost surreal quality and spacey synths which start slow but ramp up to a wash of synth and electronics in the climax. No Idea How feels like a natural follow up to that, with the pounding chorus and haunting backgrounds. The haunting vibe continues on into Always I Will Miss You. Always You. which starts off with a whispering voice before Buck comes in and sings almost sweetly of a heartbreaking loss. The next track, The Departure follows that up giving us almost a sense of urgency and frantic-ness.
Can Feel Love (Anymore) is, for my money, the best song on the album of greats. The song can be best summed up in the line "will she think the falling rain is sad, beautiful or both?", and is sung from the perspective of an expectant father wondering about his unborn daughter. While lyrics full of hope and optimism, if you are not hearing the lyrics, it almost sounds gloomy or heartbreaking. But even after comprehending the lyrics and message, the music does nothing but to strengthen that sense of hope.
The futuristic MC Space is perhaps the poppiest moment on the album. It doesn't fall flat, but does somewhat stick out from the rest. Let's Never Meet is the most poignant, with lyrics like "Let's never meet and regret a past endeavour/ What we have is rare indeed and guaranteed to last forever." The title track closes the album out with one of the more electronic songs and by the time the album ends with the bookend Ending, you realize you've just listened to something special.

Especially considering the two did this whole project as a "cross-continent collaboration"; they never actually met. But despite that, they still seemed to challenge each other, to push each other into something fantastic. Even the mediocre songs, on the context of the album, are still great songs by themselves. Greetings From Tuskan's music shines and Buck's lyrics are as brilliant as ever. And maybe I am looking too far into them, but More Heart Than Brains -- a title that supports my line of thought here -- seems to be an album about love. Finding love, losing love, keeping love and fearing love. About the good times and the bad, its uncertainties and devotion, it looks at everything.

Sometimes, when listening to artists of genres I'm not usually a fan of, I need to give the album time for it to breath and grow on me. That was not the case this time. I liked it instantly and repeated listenings have done nothing but affirm that. Perhaps I should have had a more open mind going in to the album. Perhaps I should have known not to doubt Buck 65. Whatever the case may be, both parties have said that this will not be a one off side project, but something they hope to continue. I'm with them on that sentiment.

Download All There Is To Say About Love

Download There Is Only One Of Us

Download I Will Miss You. Always You.

Download Can Feel Love (Anymore)

Clicky to exchange monies for music

3 comments:

  1. Is that picture the album cover? It's very similar to Alice in Chains' "Black Gives Way to Blue", which I don't even think is a good cover.

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  2. Hip hop and electronica are a wonderful mesh! I was so surprised you mentioned they didn't often go together well, I am hard pressed to think of two genres that play off each other better.

    Then again I like some electronica sauce on top of all my my music...yummm.

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  3. need to avoid future injuries caused by poor diet and poor Feature on the pedal for this better be conducting a sprain treatment

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