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Album Review: Robin Thicke’s “Paula”

07.3.2014 | By |

THE 1-4-0: It’s hard to know whether to rejoice over the catchy tunes or grieve over the depressing thematic of Robin Thicke’s latest creation.

THE BREAKDOWN: As a whole, the album has a great 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll, RNB, soul and funk vibe sprinkled with a bit of 80s pop and rock, but even with the assortment of sounds at various times it lacks personality.

The album sounds good and it’s clear to hear that the singer was inspired by legends like Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Bill Withers and even Michael Jackson, but rather than taking those inspirations and creating a sound of his own many times Thicke ends up sounding more like a copycat than an original cat.

THE GOOD:

“You’re My Fantasy”: Two minutes two long, but definitely has a smooth, sensual and relaxing sound only made better by the romantic Spanish Guitar.

“Get Her Back”: The best song on the album by far because it’s the most catchy and original, as well as the most straight forward when it comes to lyrics. It also manages to combine a lighthearted and fresh contemporary RnB sound with a very soft but groovy funk background.

“Still Madly Crazy”: YESSS! This song takes us joyfully by the hand to time when the world was still all right with Thicke, 2007’s “Lost Without You.”

“Lock The Door”: Here is yet another great song in the album because it sounds like he collaborated with Bill Withers, but still manages to put a Thicke stamp on it. His voice is strong yet soulful, and the melody is classic with just a piano and the background singers.  

“Living In New York City”: The upbeat tempo of the song gives the album a nice change of pace. It’s a great danceable tune, but at the same time too closely reminiscent of the sounds of Stevie Wonder and James Brown.

“Love Can Grow Back”: This song has all the jazz of a Ray Charles record, and all the soul of an Etta James track. BUT please please don’t pay attention to the uhm…very unconventional lyrics: “So go out and get ‘em done / When you come back we’ll have so much fun / With your new nails on my back / You be scratching and scratching my itch.”

“Time Of Your Life”: Now this is an excellent rock ‘n’ roll inspired tune, its energetic and fun…although I really wish he would just say what the heck “that thing” is!

THE BAD

“Whatever I want”: The terrible chorus should be enough to turn you off from this song.

“Black Tar Cloud”: By this point I’m already tired of the backup singers.

“Too Little Too Late”: The lyrics are great, but he doesn’t pull off the 80s Michael Jackson style well at all. The really bad tune completely over takes his voice rather than complement it.

“Tippy Toes”: WTH was he thinking with the lyrics?! This song is like a slap to acts like Little Richard and Elvis Presley. And what does “dancing on her tippy toes” even have to do with getting Paula back?

“Something Bad”: I definitely won’t disagree with the name. Thicke pulls off a George Thurgood just as bad as he does an MJ.

“The Opposite Of Me”: It’s a bunch of fluff neither the tune nor the lyrics stand out. 

“Forever Love”: Too long,a complete snooze fest and a terrible way to close an album. He should have ended with “Time Of Your Life. ”

Overall Score: C. “Paula” is not his best work, but it definitely didn’t crash and burn thanks to some precious gems in there as well as the influence of many legendary musicians.

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