With his seventh studio album released on June 30, Robin Thicke is out to woo a very special lady: his ex-wife. Naming the album after her and having every song be about her in one way or another one might find the album endearing. The public thought otherwise when he asked them their opinions on twitter through #AskThicke and they responded with hateful comments and accusing him of advocating date rape in his lyrics.
The album has been out for a few weeks now and it has not performed well. Selling 24,000 copies it’s first week it was nowhere near as impressive as his previous work which topped out at 117,000 when it debuted. Paula is lacking influences that Blurred Lines had from producers like Pharrell and Dr. Luke. While Thicke has the voice he is lacking in originality and the ability to diversify his sound.
Without listening too closely to the lyrics, initially the album isn’t bad. Most songs are sorrowful at his loss but a few have some excitement and pop. Neither of which is a high enough quantity to pull out a hit like “Blurred Lines” was. In that song he could get people dancing and jumping around at the drop of a hat. This time around the songs have little drive to get people moving. Also listening to some of his songs his influences become very apparent.like “Living in New York City” sounds just like James Brown. It’s nice to pay homage to one’s influences but the similarities seem far to close for an original piece of work.
Now to get a little deeper we take a look at the lyrics, and boy is that a whole different can of worms. As “Blurred Lines” walked the razor’s edge of being fun while talking a very unpopular subject, in Paula he tries to walk the edge again, but this time he falls right off. Some of the songs are admitting his need to have Paula back in his life like in “You’re My Fantasy,” “I will always daydream wishing that you were mine / I understand right now you need some space and time / I can smell your perfume / Your legs are on my walls / Your body’s on my ceiling / Your giggle down the hall.” Or they are admitting his own weakness and what he’d done, like in “Still Madly Crazy” when he says, “But I was in chains in the rain, lost my soul, now you know / I’m so sorry you had to suffer my lack of self-control / You think by now I might have grown.”
There are plenty examples of that in the album with each song delving into different layers of their relationship. The album does have a few catchy songs, if not listened too closely, but it is just a bit too personal for the general audience. This may have wooed Paula if he’d met her one on one and sung her a few of these songs, but to the public it doesn’t perform as well.
Written by Jacob Conflitti