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Bike For Three! More Heart Than Brains

By most hip-hop labels' standards, this would be an adventurous album—but this is Anticon, where boundary pushing is the norm. Bike for Three! is a long-distance collaboration between Toronto-based rapper Buck 65 and Belgian beatmaker Joëlle Phuong Minh Lê (a.k.a. Greetings From Tuscan), an unlikely pairing who never actually met while making More Heart Than Brains. There's a strong melodic element here, marked by a lush romantic undercurrent, which suits Buck 65's narrative lyrics. “Always I Will Miss You. Always You” stings beautifully. Unfortunately, many of the tracks here never quite gel, with too many ultimately feeling facile and predictable, leaving the project more academically interesting than musically so. It's all perfectly pleasant, but somehow it feels like it could have been much more.

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