Paula has been nothing but bad news for Robin Thicke, and no that statement isn’t referencing Paula Patton herself. Examining Robin Thicke’s discography – excluding A Beautiful World credited to ‘Thicke’ – Paula certainly ranks at the bottom. That said, what about the remainder of Thicke’s works as a whole? Based on his output up until this point, what albums stand out as significant legacy shapers and which ones should be selling dirt-cheap in the bargain bin? This list ranks Thicke’s six albums of note.
6) Paula (2014)
Standouts: “Get Her Back” & “Forever Love”
Rationale for ranking: It’s kind of like Super Ted – “…made all wrong from the start.”
5) Love After War (2011)
Standouts: “Animal,” “Our Generation,” “Pretty Lil’ Heart” featuring Lil Wayne & “Love After War”
Rationale for ranking: Prior to Paula, Love After War would’ve easily been considered Thicke’s worst album. “Thank God for Paula,” you might say. Seriously, trends on the boring side.
Tie – 3) Sex Therapy (2009)
Standouts: “Ms. Sexy,” “Sex Therapy,” “Meiple,” “It’s in the Morning” & “Shaking it For Daddy”
Rationale for ranking: As superb as Something Else was, it was also underrated and perhaps too indulgent in blue-eyed/neo-soul. Sex Therapy definitely gave Thicke an edgier image without turning him into a total ‘bad boy’ – Blurred Lines would handle that.
Tie – 3) Blurred Lines (2013)
Standouts: “Blurred Lines,” “Give It 2 U,” “Feel Good” & “4 the Rest of My Life”
Rationale for ranking: A tie for third might be a bit high for Blurred Lines, despite the fact that it elevated Thicke’s profile. If Sex Therapy gave Thicke and edgier image with a bit more aggressive sound within the context of his blue-eyed, pop soul, Blurred Lines also elevated the naughtiness, while being more pop-oriented than Thicke’s previous albums.
2) Something Else (2008)
Standouts: “You’re My Baby,” “Sidestep,” “Magic,” “Dreamworld” & “Tie My Hands” (with Lil Wayne)
Rationale for ranking: Something Else, maybe surprisingly, has an argument to be Thicke’s best album. While it lacks flash and pizzazz, it is a soundly conceived contemporary soul album. Other than The Evolution of Robin Thicke, Thicke seems like he’s solidified his artistic identity without a hitch.
1) The Evolution of Robin Thicke (2006)
Standouts: “Got 2 Be Down,” “Complicated,” “Ask Myself,” “Lost Without U,” “Wanna Love You Girl,” & “Can U Believe”
Rationale for ranking: First albums of note (we’re excluding A Beautiful World) are almost always hard to supersede. While Something Else has a legitimate case for the number one spot, The Evolution of Robin Thicke was the album that established Thicke’s career. Even though Blurred Lines brought Thicke his pop swag (and first number one album), it was “Lost Without U” and the pop soul of The Evolution of Robin Thicke that put Thicke on the map. This album set up Thicke’s career.