fri 04/12/2020

CD: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines

CD: Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines

American-Canadian blue-eyed soul star effectively showcases his party side

Robin Thicke, looking irritatingly pleased with himself, as ever

There is something eminently smug and punchable about Robin Thicke. Born into a showbiz dynasty of US TV celebrities (media geek fact: his dad also composed the theme to Diff’rent Strokes), he appears to have lived a cossetted existence, writing slick, plastic sex songs for a multitude of stars from an early age while heavily involved in the epic artifice of TV talent shows. What’s not to loathe?

There is something eminently smug and punchable about Robin Thicke. Born into a showbiz dynasty of US TV celebrities (media geek fact: his dad also composed the theme to Diff’rent Strokes), he appears to have lived a cossetted existence, writing slick, plastic sex songs for a multitude of stars from an early age while heavily involved in the epic artifice of TV talent shows. What’s not to loathe? Except that you don’t get signed to The Neptunes’ label or have Jay-Z work with you on the basis of dilettante dabbling. No, Thicke, punchable or no, can navigate his way around a pop song.

His latest album, his sixth, also eschews his ongoing quest to write the ultimate bedroom ballad. Sure, there’s plenty of explicit lust aboard but Blurred Lines doesn’t ooze those R Kelly-esque levels of liquid porno sleaze that a certain portion of the soul community mistakes for sexiness. And then there’s the title track, one of the year’s biggest hits, featuring Pharrell Williams and TI. Its central riff is ridiculously catchy and despite the line “you the hottest bitch in the place”, its good-girl-goes-bad theme has hooked ladies onto dancefloors from Romford to Reykjavik. There’s something of Prince about it, albeit Prince by way of Eighties Euro-cheese disco-merchants Ottawan.

Clocking in at 38 minutes, Blurred Lines doesn’t outstay its welcome and mingles easy listening funk redolent of WHAM!’s “Club Tropicana” with the brassy fun of Chic (notably on the frolicking summery “Ain’t No Hat 4 That” and “Get in My Way”). Elsewhere the EDM boom has taken grip as Armand van Helden-style steroid house kick-drums bite on “Take It Easy on Me”. The rude, lewd “Give it 2 U”, featuring Kendrick Lamar, revels in surprisingly techno electronic noisiness, as well as priapic claims of enlarged manhood. Thicke embraces such variety enthusiastically and even the ballad, “4 The Rest of My Life” maintains a certain lyrical vigour.

All in all and begrudgingly, if you insist on embracing this sort of thing, Robin Thicke does it very well.

Watch the unrated video for "Blurred Lines". "What's wrong with being sexy?" as Spinal Tap once asked. Answers in the comment section below, please...

Prince by way of Eighties Euro-cheese disco-merchants Ottawan

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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