Showing posts with label robin thicke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label robin thicke. Show all posts

Friday, July 3, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 11, 2015

And that happened. Whew, glad that episode is over with.

Next up, I finally talk about Vince Staples. From there, Czarface, Between The Buried And Me, I've got my work cut out for me. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 11, 2015 remember when I said last week I had a sense of foreboding that something bad was coming, that I couldn't quite feel it and it hadn't quite happened yet, but it was on its way? Yeah, I'm starting to wish these bad feelings didn't come up so much, because sure enough...

Friday, July 4, 2014

video review: 'paula' by robin thicke

Well, this was exactly as disastrous as everyone predicted. I'm giving him points for trying - not many points, but, you know, points.

Next up... I have no clue. A few ideas, but nothing settled on quite yet. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

album review: 'paula' by robin thicke

It has been quite the year for Robin Thicke.

Around this time in 2013, Robin Thicke released the album Blurred Lines, an album that would catapult him to the top of the charts with its eponymous single and incite angry thinkpieces by music journalists for the rest of the year, especially after the controversy of the VMAs - which, really, since Kanye West hijacked the microphone from Taylor Swift in 2009, was the best thing that could have happened for that exercise in pointlessness in years.

Now lost among the hyperbole and accusations and inveterate trolling were a few things. Most notably, one important question should have been recovered: was the album any good? Well, it was one of the first reviews I ever made and I do stand by it, and I stand by my assertion that the whole 'Blurred Lines' controversy was blown way out of proportion, especially in a year that had songs that also charted that were far, far worse. Did everyone just forget the Rocko, Rick Ross, and Future collaboration that framed date rape as no big deal, or a good chunk of Lil Wayne's output in 2013? I'm not going to reiterate what I've said about 'Blurred Lines' - the review's right here, go check it if you're interested - but speaking as a feminist, I will say this: there's a big difference between being a misogynist and a moron. And ever since the beginning of his career, Thicke falls into the latter category, especially with his lyrics, which frequently fall on the wrong side of the line between 'charming' and 'goofy as hell'. And combined with the fact that he never really seemed to have the charisma or emotional investment in his material of Justin Timberlake or Usher, it's no surprise Thicke got hit by a backlash tsunami, and it also makes sense why he seemed completely clueless as to why. 

But this backlash wasn't the only thing to hit Robin Thicke this year, as his wife Paula Patton also left him for a slew of complicated reasons on which none of the gossip websites I had to visit for researching this review could agree. What did become apparent is that Thicke was nowhere near as 'over' the relationship as Paula, because he chose to release a full album of material named after her in an attempt to win her back. I'll admit, I had a really bad feeling about this record. Like it or not, as much as Thicke might see it as a grand romantic gesture and as much as I might respect the man for showing vulnerability in his subject matter... look, not many R&B acts can do this sort of album well. But I was definitely curious so I gave Paula a couple listens - is it any good?

Monday, July 29, 2013

album review: 'blurred lines' by robin thicke

For those of you who haven't been following the charts this year, let me provide a bit of commentary discussing the bizarre trends sprouting up on the Billboard Hot 100. While the year started slow (with the early months dominated by either the Harlem Shake, 'Thrift Shop', or a series of piano-driven ballads), a new trend began to coalesce as the summer began, a trend spurred by the release of a critically acclaimed album courtesy of one of the best electronica groups in the country, an album I may have already reviewed.

The song was 'Get Lucky', the band was Daft Punk, the album was Random Accessed Memories, and the music was a blend of funk and disco, two genres that many considered dead at the end of the 70s. And yet here they were, making a comeback unlike anything we'd seen. And while I had been saying the 70s had been making a comeback since earlier this year, it was nice to see the charts reflect some of that. And really, the stylistic flourishes that represented that decade were popping up all over the chart, from the chanting and 'righteous cause' bombast from Macklemore to the slick R&B touches with Justin Timberlake. Hell, Snoop Lion dropped an album that was basically an attempt at resurrecting politically-charged reggae! And with the exception of 'When I Was Your Man', both of Bruno Mars' charting singles were basically 70s throwbacks and they were easily on par with the best of his material!

But really, the song that had to rise to the top was 'Get Lucky'. Not only was it a scintillating and enthralling blend of disco and funk modernized, it had a real playful elegance in the lyrics that vaulted it above the average disco track. In my mind, it still is in hot contention for my list of the best songs of the year, and it might just rise to the top.

Unfortunately, it's been blocked from the #1 slot by another pseudo disco track that apparently jumped out of nowhere, also starring Pharrell, a song that very quickly drew some controversy for some rather overtly sexual lyrics. And it's this song - the title track from the album we're going to talk about today - that has blocked Daft Punk for over five weeks, and it's courtesy of an artist who I thought went out of business a good six years ago.

So let's talk about this artist, shall we? Robin Thicke is a guy you're all forgiven for forgetting, because outside of one single Glee did infinitely better, he honestly hasn't done much that I immediately remembered. Granted, I give him a bit more credit going back through his discography, but I've never been able to like his music all that much, and after listening through his albums, I think I know why. 

For starters, unlike many R&B crooners, Robin Thicke does have a fair amount of vocal personality, and his falsetto range is incredibly impressive (see, Julian Casablancas, this is how you do it). And I'll give him this, when he wants to make a song that sounds incredibly sexual, he has the slick sophistication and class to make it work. However, there's something about his delivery that doesn't quite click with me, namely that I never quite buy that he's entirely emotionally invested in his material. In comparison to, say, Usher, who throws everything and the kitchen sink into his love songs, Robin Thicke is a bit more laid-back, and that kind of puts me off a bit. On top of that, too often his lyrics can be a little too jokey and silly, and while there is a certain degree of self-awareness, it can sometimes undercut or confuse the emotional current of the song.

Now granted, I'll admit right now that R&B isn't my strong suit when it comes to genres (one of the reasons I didn't review Ciara's Body Party, outside of no interest and the general consensus being rather mixed on it). It's not that I can't recognize good R&B, but more that I have a much smaller tolerance for it in comparison to, say, country music. Most of this comes from the lyrics, in that too often the subject matter behind them seems a bit thin or the lyrics feel underwritten. But then again, that might be an area where Robin Thicke's goofier side might be an asset - he might not make an incredibly intelligent or moving R&B album, but I bet he could still make an interesting one.

So, how does his new album Blurred Lines fare?

Youtube review after the jump