A lot of things have been said about Robin Thicke lately.
In the same way Macklemore makes people cringe, Robin Thicke seems to not quite fit into the world that they so obviously love. In Thicke’s case, he’s been boxed into a strange category that makes him too old for the Justin Timberlake crowd and too creepy for the neo-soul group. Both have managed to make everyone severely uncomfortable with how comfortable they are with totally repackaging and redistributing African American culture in safe white packaging. Perhaps it’s because “Blurred Lines” was the most overplayed, most over interpreted song of summer 2013, people have basically decided that they’ve given up on Robin and it seems like his estranged wife Paula Patton has done the same thing which brings us to the point of this; Robin Thicke’s latest Paula.
The apology tour started in May of 2014 where, clad in jeans and a t-shirt, the Bizarro Justin Timberlake took to the stage and sang his Remy Martin drunk heart out with the lead single “Get Her Back” Drunken tears in his eyes, he set out to well, get her back. It was a spectacle. Twitter erupted in a frenzy as we all asked the same thing: “What the hell is going on?!” It was almost too easy to make fun of him and because the internet is like that, they did and it was also hilarious. It seemed like he was a one hit wonder who was milking his fifteen minutes with a random sob story about his wife leaving him at the ‘height of his career’. Please don’t forget that he had two other hits from previous albums, so essentially he’s one of those guys who gets a great lead single but struggles to follow up so he’s pretty much like a boyfriend you have in your 20s who promises you some things but as they deliver they forget the other stuff.
It’s been tough being Robin Thicke.
Mostly because of the name but…
Let’s listen to Paula.
Italics are lyrics.
Track 1: You’re My Fantasy
This automatically gives ‘I listened to a Sade song with spanish guitars, lets go with that’ Touch me your my fantasy…He’s talking about reincarnation we were lovers in a previous life.
The hook Please x8 Touch me you’re my fantasy BRUH. WHERE IS YOUR CHILL. There’s way too much thirst on this track already and I kinda feel uncomfortable because he’s spent all this time whispered most of the hook into the mic really close and I can spell the Henny, er Remy Martin on his breath. Now he’s talking about hearing her giggle down the hall. Get a priest.
2:44 this song is already too many lyrics too long.
4:10 Can’t get too much of you I’ll never make it without you We’re connecting the early creep part with begging and audio from what sounds like a dinner party where I’m guessing he’s being weird and staring at Paula, uh, the woman who’s his fantasy while she’s busy doing other things…like avoiding him.
5:20 we’re repeating the hook, pre hook and extended musical break.
Track 2: Get Her Back
The bouncier track so far. He’s got Motown harmony on this and a loose guitar riff but again, he’s leaning too heavy into that mic again and the Remy is really distracting. He’s listing all the things he has to remind herself of, like when you go shopping and keep reminding yourself of the eggs milk and bread you need. I shouldn’t never raised my voice ?! Bruh.
It’s a stripped down list of things that he wants to do. Play you that song you and your girlfriends wanna sing sooooo someone else’s track right?
Track 3: Still Madly Crazy
He’s channeled John Legend for this song, raspy voiced and piano backing. It gives Lost Without You vibes…which oddly enough became a wedding anthem back in 2004. Im sorry you had to suffer my lack of control you’d think by now I would’ve grown. It sounds more like Paula errrr his fantasy put up with a lot of shit. I’m trying to find the pity.
Track 4: Lock The Door
We’ve got creepy choir going…we’re going to sex church apparently.
sha nah nah nah nah
He’s continuing raspy piano delivery and I think the knocking is actually John Legend asking dude to get the fuck off his piano.
I kept trying to tell you you kept pushing me too far
i kept trying to warning you you were slowly breaking my heart
Kept giving you all of me but you kept taking too much
I dunno what this is but this ain’t love.
The lady choir is playing Paula…ehhhhh….fantasy woman so the hook is basically an argument and he keeps knocking for her to let him in because…she’s locked the door.
3:12 Reenforced locked door.
3:30 still dragging on about her and the locked door, no porch lights..sure she even still lives there?
4:00 Open the doggie door throw a dog a juicy bone.
Track 5 Whatever I Want
Group start of Awwwwwwwww into a bouncy guitar bass line that sounds kinda like what you’d expect at a creepy swinger party.
The Little Shop girls are back.
I can do whatever I want
I can do whatever I want
Wait, you wanted back in the house the track before. What’s going on here?
2:20 the chant clap portion of our already still too long song
You usually list the things you are going to do since you can do whatever you want…like…find a producer who’ll craft songs for you a little neater than this stream of consciousness musical arrangement you’ve dedicated to your wife.
Track 6 Living In New York City
Trying too hard to be funky with a 70s soul bassline
:10 he just yelled black daddy.
:15 I said black daddy.
yeap. he did.
Me you NY why not?
Very Prince if Prince decided to be the front man for Morris Day and the Time and give them his weakest material because BLOUSES.
1:30 I said black daddy
This is the song you have in the background when you’re listening to Spotify while waiting for the DJ to show up so you shazaam it and you kinda double take because it wasn’t bad but you’re now embarrassed because of WHO it is.
2:44 I gotta testify. GOOD GAWD.
Track 7: Love Can Grow Back
Brassy bluesy 4 am smokey Jazz club…alright we’re getting somewhere.
:22 You’re way too young to dance like that in front of man like me baby.
and it’s awkward.
1:19 Show me our love can grow back with your new nails on my back.
Robin built a time machine and is lusting mightily for Jessica Rabbit…I’m not mad I’m just saying that this was about Paula..but that’s none of my business…
Track 8 Black Tar Cloud
Probably the beatier meatier track on this already bloated album but the beat reminds of a far better produced Kanye beat.
:40 you tryna hit me with my favorite golf club
:55 You took 20 pills
this is either the Tiger Woods story or the plot to some crazy Lifetime movie with Valerie Bertinelli.
This track actually manages to sonically be about a few different things at the same time which is what you need if you want album to hold up six minutes after it’s been released.
Track 9 Too Little Too Late
It’s 1997 in Robin’s head.
Way elastic beat that feels like it’s a demo for a boy band. The Ladies are back.
1:15 and I already want this song over.
2:00 listing the things he should’ve done again. feeding and pleasing being the top things.
Track 10 Tippy Toes
Another big bass track.
Dancing on her toes
Dancing on her tippy tippy toes.
I’m creeped out.
This is has to be a rejected track from Hairspray.
1:50 She can twerk but she’d rather dip bounce and bust.
2:00 This song is way too long
Track 11 Something Bad
I can smell the Remy…
:00 Theres something bad in me
THIS SONG HAS CORNY SYTHS RIFFS IN IT.
He’s going for the True Blood theme but it sounds like the music you play in a techno futuristic strip club where you pay them to put their clothes back on because the music is so terrible and you feel terrible.
1:40 little birdy flew in the window took a picture and flew out with a dirty tweet
the buh buh buh baddd stutter…
THIS DIDN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN, THESE GIRLS DESERVE BETTER
Track 12 The Opposite of Me
We’re at a mid-tempo top 40 Lite FM song where we learn what she actually wants and it turns out, surprise, it’s not actually him.
All that she needs is a good man All she needs is another try All that she needs is something that I can’t give her.
All that she wants is the honesty
All that she wants is the opposite of me.
All that she wants is someone that doesn’t hurt
All that she wants is the action not the words.
2:00 I just rewarded her with my drunken rants.
Still too long.
This song is just like Blur’s She Fucking Hates Me. Go listen to that instead.
Track 13 Time of Your Life
Bryan Setzer called, he said please don’t try to bring big band swing back.
Michael Buble probably would’ve knocked this song out of the park because it’s Michael Buble and he’s adorable as hell.
1:22 This album is a fucking struggle to listen to.
Track 14 Forever Love
The second single from the album pretty much is trying to snatch the schmalz crown from the King John Legend. Again. raspy voice and piano.
:49 I’ll be there biggin you up.
This has to be taken from the diary of a 15 year old.
This may be the most vulnerable track on the album. Considering how many confessional lines that were left in different parts of this incoherent album that may not be a good thing.
THANK GOD IT’S THE END.
This should’ve been a concept record where the label said YOU CANNOT BE A CREEP AND NAME IT AFTER YOUR WIFE or an EP where he just let it out there and saw what happened while privately working on fixing the whole thing, like a normal person. Make a mixtape, send it to the not bae and work on fixing yourself. It’s easy to blast him for releasing this album immediately after his latest because it’s not like the streets were clamoring for the follow up but it’s also a little heartbreaking to know that this is the best way to get attention for something that so obviously bothers him. This doesn’t seem like the first time the two of them have had a blow out, the previously mentioned “Lost Without You” was dedicated to her when they broke up the last time. The thing that’s interesting about this album is that it doesn’t seem to have an real producer attached to it to give it shape and mold it into an actual album worth listening to; it feels very much cobbled together from discarded tracks that didn’t make previous albums and iron was hot, so strike it.
I’m currently in the making friends again after being estranged part of my relationship and it is NOT EASY but we both had to walk away and evaluate things. Yes, there is bad poetry and poor choices (hair cuts and dye jobs) but those things are done privately where when you wake up you can say, “Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, I am NOT the right completion for blonde” and have not bae tell you they already knew that…and then you start talking.
There have been far more superior break up albums released this year, two from across the pond by Coldplay (Ghost Stories) and Sam Smith (In The Lonely Hour) that dive deep into the deep sea that is break up misery and probably dozens more that effectively convey that sense of loss this album is trying to capture. Paula seems like he just looked through some of his notebooks for some of the most cliche things to sing about while chugging all of the finest top shelf booze he had access too.
Everyone can do better.