Bike for Three! - More Heart than Brains
A remarkable combination of the talents of Buck 65 and Joëlle Phuong Minh Lê, (remarkable in that neither collaborator met each other during the recording), and finally getting its Continental release, this is a very accessible record: straightforward in its intent and very clear in its direction. Maybe all studio hang-ups were banished in the absence of a communal studio, with each artist concentrating on what they really wanted to do. The sheer variety and lushness of the sound-scapes created by Joëlle Phuong Minh Lê brings a greatly needed balance to Buck 65’s passionate stories and ebullient delivery.
The accent is on passionate: the chords and samples on Lazarus Phenomenon create a veritable Garden of Delights for Buck’s romantic whimsy to run riot in. Nightdriving starts as a Europa-tastic trance; that is until the vocals give vent to a very disturbing murder story. The Departure is a similarly triumphant expression of mood and message.
For some reason this collaboration between a ‘vocal’ male and ‘silent’ female psyche reminds me of New Order’s interplay between Gillian Gilbert’s dreamy chords and Sumner and Hook’s laddish outlook. One of the highlights where this is really noticeable (for me anyway) is the tremendous right / left of There is Only One of Us, and No Idea How, both veritable riots of beats, samples and lush chords.
Of course, sometimes it doesn’t work, MC Space is a wee bit annoying (in that it feels totally out of context), and I would say the LP is a tad long (in my humble opinion of course), but on the whole this is a great LP, deserving to be heard.
Words: Richard Foster