Music Review: "So Much Forever" by Bike For Three!
- by Señor Editor, 11 February 2014
It’s outstanding how much chemistry there can be between two people who never met in person. Consisting of Canadian hip hop artist Buck 65 and Belgian electronic producer Greetings From Tuskan, Bike For Three! has been an intriguing pairing from the beginning. Now, five years after their debut album, the duo is back with “So Much Forever”, out today on Fake Four Inc.
Like 2009’s “More Heart Than Brains”, the sophomore album has been made with Buck 65 (Richard Terfry) and Greetings From Tuskan (Joëlle Phuong Minh Lê) being continents apart and exchanging music and messages. I’ve been waiting for the record for quite a while, with the singles and Greetings From Tuskan’s latest record (reviewed here) only whetting my appetite. It’s finally here!
Right after the moody intro, the album gets into full gear with the electrifying “Full Moon” (the first single - listen below), sounding more b-boyish than I’d ever expect from BFT! It’s a great song, showing how perfectly Lê’s production and Buck’s rhymes work together. The “Who could sleep at a time like this?” chant gets me wide awake and I’m ready for what’s next. After the following “Agony”, one of the album’s highlights, the tone of the album changes, though. The great “Heart as Hell” brings in a much more intimate, subtle and melancholic mood. From here, the record often sounds like traveling alone after a breakup. A lot of the time it’s as thought-provoking as it is emotional.
Joëlle Lê doesn’t just 'make beats' or whatever, she’s a producer in the full sense of the word and the album is very well produced. Her soft vocals also add plenty of charm to the album, and the moment in “Sublimation” with her and Buck exchanging lyrics is one of the most memorable parts of “So Much Forever.” Mister 65’s usual storytelling rhymes make way to a lot of stream of consciousness style verses throughout the record, but it always sounds very natural and free-flowing, and his gruff voice contrasts Lê’s beautifully. There’s one time where his flow sounds odd and awkward, though - on “Wolf Sister”, my least favorite song on here. It doesn’t work for me at all, but it’s actually a very rare exception.
So let’s talk about the highlights. Despite the inconspicuous name, “The Last Romance” actually kicks truckloads of ass. I love the mixing on the vocals, the heavy switch-ups in the beat and the deep bass; everything is firing on all cylinders. Greetings From Tuskan makes her beats work, constantly evolve and live their own life. “The Muse Inside Me” features some of Buck’s best lyrics on top of Lê’s piano. It may be my favorite song here. Things get a little crazy (in a very good way) on “Stay Close Until We Reach The End”, with some maniacal flows on an uptempo beat. These high-energy moments make for a great contrast with the mellow, dreamy tracks like “Ethereal Love” and “Dream”, so things never meander.
“Conflation” is the last song before the outro. “True love never dies, but sometimes it goes to sleep”, says Terfry, as things begin to fade away.
I like this album. It comes with a very specific mind state. It’s not something you can pop in anytime and expect it to fit your mood, but many of the greatest records are exactly like that. There are very few moments that I didn’t enjoy, and they never overshadow the fact that Bike For Three! really delivered an impressive record. It’s quite an intense experience and it was very much worth the wait. Give it a good listen.
Cop “So Much Forever” right here. Check out Bike For Three! on Facebook for news and updates, and follow them on Twitter.
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