Robin Thicke had some tough luck with 2011’s Love After War. How tough? Well the album debuted at no. 22 on the albums chart, which is a
good sign the album is headed NOWHERE. Gone now are Thicke’s glory days where “Lost Without You” made people everywhere believers in blue-eyed soul and The Evolution of Robin Thicke broke through. He didn’t fare as well with the successive releases of Something Else or Sex Therapy, but both had more attributes and notable songs than his ‘all time low’ Love After War. Believe me, I still love to play “Side Step” and “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy” on my iPod from time to time. And even Love After War had its moments, but it still never screamed definitive commercial or critical hit. So guess where ole boy is? Trying to reinvent himself in a time where blue-eyed soul or neo-soul isn’t dominant and people could care less about “Love After War”. Love has been replaced/likened to sex and playing into that particular pitfall, Robin Thicke makes a shocking return with “Blurred Lines“.
Honestly, there are pros and cons to “Blurred Lines”, like every new song that makes a radio
splash. Being positive first, I dig the song, like 20 plays on my iPod within like a day of purchase. It’s different, and Pharrell Williams‘s production is superb and certainly among his most fresh in a long time…You know how “Drop It Like It’s Hot” was a big hit? It’s not that caliber, but it is definitely unique and catches the ear. T.I.‘s guest spot does little to tickle my fancy, but it also isn’t a deal breaker; Not sure if the self-proclaimed ‘King of the South’ is as good anymore. In regards to Thicke’s performance, he shows his versatility by changing registers from low, middle, and higher (falsetto). As far as the singing, Thicke holds in down. Would I be excited to hear Thicke perform “Blurred Lines” live? No, but I do enjoy the studio track.
The cons? It’s as corny as a four letter word, made cornier by a ludicrous video in which Pharrell, Robin Thicke, and T.I. prance around with topless girls and stomp their feet, etc. The best-worst line? “You wanna hug me? What rhymes with hug me”, which Thicke delivers playfully with tongue-in-cheek sensibility. Ha ha! Very clever and funny (sarcasm). Add in the even more ridiculous chanting “hey hey hey(s)” and you have an even more laughable affair. The clumsiest moment of the video? The sign that says “Robin Thick Has a Big D…” Congratulations, that’s going to make your next album go platinum, I’m sure. #SMH.
The verdict, as stated earlier is that I like the song. Does Thicke ‘force’ things ever so much? Yes. Shock value is seen as commercially viable these days. Sometimes it goes and sometimes not. Believe it or not, being hyper-sexual sometimes adversely affects… Janet Jackson certainly wasn’t helped by the infamous Super Bowl incident as Damita Jo and successive albums found dwindling sales – not to mention her progressing age. Madonna‘s shock value also fails to allure as it did back in the day, due in part to her age and the fact that it seems ‘forced’ or ‘inappropriate’. As of yet, “Blurred Lines” has received a lot of press and views (‘Blurred Lines’ Banned By YouTube As Robin Thicke’s Video Features Nude Models). The question is, will the controversy of the nudity be enough to truly promote interest in Thicke OR does it just provide eye candy? Time will tell.