Release Date: Jul 30, 2013
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): R&B, Pop/Rock
Love it, hate it or tolerate it, silly single "Blurred Lines" is the catchiest earworm of the summer. For years (and five studio albums), singer-songwriter Robin Thicke has been doing his "soulful R&B" shtick in relative "under the pop radar" mode, but one could imagine him secretly seething, wondering what he finally has to do to achieve even a slice of Justin Timberlake's success doing virtually the same thing. Well, in the T.I.- and Pharrell- featuring "Blurred Lines" (and accompanying controversial music video), Thicke has a frisky hit on his hands.
When Marvin Gaye was pressured to make a commercial dance record, the singer responded with "Got to Give It Up," which went to the top of the Hot 100. Thirty-five years later, Robin Thicke -- he of the perpetual Marvin fixation -- offhandedly recorded "Blurred Lines," musically based on that 1977 hit, with producer Pharrell. Thicke wasn't gunning for number one, but a deliberately sexist video further polarized opinions and pushed the song to that spot -- a very rare achievement for a 2013 single within the marginalized genre of R&B.
Now that Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines” has achieved summer-jam ubiquity, it's worth contemplating why it's taken the goofily smooth crooner 11 years to crossover to the pop charts. Since his musical direction has undergone only a few slight revisions over the past decade, it's tempting to place the blame on mishandled marketing. Look back at the video for his first single, 2002's “When I Get You Alone,” and you'll find a scruffy, long-haired, awkward hippie belting it out while biking through the streets of New York City.
The debate surrounding Robin Thicke’s latest album, and especially the video for his No. 1 single “Blurred Lines,” has been hearty and fascinating but ultimately unnecessary. Chatter all you want about topless women and his misogynistic lyrics, but is anyone going to rest easier knowing that (as he claimed to Rolling Stone) he’s really singing “big dick for you” to his wife? Because the plain fact is that Blurred Lines is not a deep album.
Robin Thicke sings, writes, produces, plays keyboards and even raps a little on his excellent sixth album, but his greatest talent is projecting bonhomie. Thicke is the handsome son of a TV star, but he never incites resentment, because he always seems to be an amiable Joe who's in on the joke of stardom – the George Clooney of the club jam. In an era when Chris Brown remains a sex symbol for many people, his ability to be casual and gentlemanly while also boasting about the size of his rhymes-with-Thicke is nearly a miracle.
Robin Thicke's sixth studio release - sharing a name with the uncontested song of summer and its racy video - has more than its share of morally questionable, chauvinistic and sexually over-the-top lyrics. Restraint would serve this album well, but Thicke is here for a good time, in case you couldn't tell. Luckily, slick production (including Pharrell, will.i.am and Timbaland) and guest spots from Kendrick Lamar and T.I.
Despite the fact that R&B singer Robin Thicke has sold well in the past and even topped the R&B charts, he’s never made the difficult jump from genre success to pop ubiquity, until now. For his newest album, Blurred Lines, Thicke decided that the yearning ballads and light bossa nova he’s been making since 2003 aren’t doing the trick. So he brought in some of the biggest pop producers of the last decade, including Pharrell and Dr.
Some people make music to communicate the stirrings of their soul. Robin Thicke makes music to communicate to you the size of his penis. I'm not being figurative: on the charmless Give it 2 U he promises his lady friend "a big dick for you" and then there's the uncensored video for the fastest-selling single of the year, Blurred Lines, that features G-stringed women dancing past the words "Robin Thicke has a big dick".
Robin Thicke, an American R&B singer who's a vocal ringer for Justin Timberlake, had been making reasonably successful albums for years without exciting a morsel of controversy. The worldwide No 1 single Blurred Lines changed that. The focal line of this lubricious party jam is "I know you want it", repeated over and over, and has precipitated an internet storm over its "rapiness".
We first met Robin Thicke about a decade ago, zipping through the streets of Manhattan on a bicycle in his debut video, Jesus mane flowing behind him, then doing some sub-“Saturday Night Fever” moves in a freight elevator. The song was “When I Get You Alone,” and it sampled Walter Murphy’s “Fifth of Beethoven,” the 1976 disco-classical fusion, a hybrid of flash and seriousness that Mr. Thicke appeared perfectly comfortable with, even if few others were: wildly out of step with the sound of the time, his single never hit the American charts.
The summer of progressive disco continues as the vibe of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and the souped-up pop of Justin Timberlake converge in R&B singer Robin Thicke's curvy, ripe new album "Blurred Lines." Seething with sex, come-on cockiness and more testosterone per measure than a Keith Sweat jam, "Blurred Lines" is a celebration of plasticine funk, warbly bass and plump booties. At its best, as on the R-rated track "Give It to You," Thicke drives his falsetto in service of a seduction and features L.A. rapper Kendrick Lamar having his way with a woman in ways worthy of Penthouse Forum.
There’s a hint of 'always the bridesmaid, never the bride' about Robin Thicke. The unsung 'hero' behind hits for 3T, Brandy and other miscellaneous R&B and pop also-rans, he remained on the periphery of the fame game without ever quite tasting its rewards. Now, he’s demanding his chance. Thicke has styled himself an enfant terrible by way of an industrial-grade makeover - in the 90s, he looked like a tramp - and involving Pharrell Williams in the highly questionable 'Blurred Lines', with its apparent date-rape theme.
Robin Thicke has dominated the charts with “Blurred Lines,” a silly, salacious song built on a Marvin Gaye riff and “You know you want it” mantra. It seems to have emboldened him to create a disc dominated by smarmy come-ons. On this eleven-track set of poppy funk, the blue-eyed soul seducer has morphed into a leering Lothario. He uses his surname as an adjective for his anatomy, promising to get freakier than Christian Grey.