While Robin Thicke‘s sixth album “Paula” came out rather quickly and has garnered much media attention as a result of his separation from the woman of his dreams, it manages to express something that the infamous Blurred Lines album, released not even a year ago, failed to express: passion.
1. You’re My Fantasy – Sounds a little bit like Lost Without U, but more rhythmic. A great single from the Robin we lost in the crossfire of songs like Blurred Lines and Give It 2 U. It’s also a nice song for getting Paula to loosen up and actually hear what he’s saying if she decides to listen to the album… Very chill and romantic.
2. Get Her Back – the first track released from Thicke’s album doesn’t disappoint. It’s a little repetitive, but if perceived as an anthem from someone who wasn’t ready for a seemingly strong relationship to end, it’s a good way to start.
3. Still Madly Crazy – A sweet ode to he and Paula’s happier days that will bring a smile to any lover’s face. It’s a beautiful, melancholy, personal song that expressed Robin’s vulnerability in a refreshingly non-gimmicky way. This man is in love.
4. Lock The Door – a bluesy soul track with a few cliches, but this is not the first time we’ve gotten cliche lines from the blue-eyed soul singer. Nevertheless, fans of Robin are sure to enjoy the song. It’s authenticity is a great reminder of the strong artist Robin can be when he doesn’t let commercialization turn his tactful naughtiness into trash…
5. Whatever I Want – Slightly reminiscent of Blurred Lines, this track might be a tongue-in-cheek way of Robin’s self-recognition. He blames no one but himself for his separation, so this subtle way of marking the starting point of his own issues leaves a good impression. The songs varying points of view seem to be making a joke about the frivolousness of post-marriage rebounds. It seems little odd at first, as it doesn’t flow with the reunion mood of the rest of the album, but a personal twist at the end reveals just how appropriate it is.
6. Living in New York – Repetitive big-band wannabe that sounds like it took two minutes to put together. Still, Paula’s poignant opening line makes a touching addition, depending on how you view the relationship on which the album is based. It definitely shows Robin’s more soulful side and, I’m not gonna lie, it’s kind of catchy.
7. Love Can Grow Back – Robin’s heart comes through a bit more in this track. The creepy opening line, “Oh, you’re way to young to dance like that in front of a man like me baby” will certainly make the people who dubbed Blurred Lines ‘rapey’ cringe. It sounds very personal, more than likely influenced heavily by he and Paula’s happier, more intimate times.
8. Black Tar Cloud – this song is one of the darker tracks on the album. It seemingly highlights the lows in Robin and Paula’s marriage, and the honesty, depending on how you feel about the album as a whole, is either refreshing or intrusive. Either way, the doo-wop infused, lyric-heavy track is one of the strongest on the album and highlights just how musically talented Robin is.
9. Too Little Too Late – No doubt this phrase came to many minds when Robin first announced that his new album was inspired by his estranged wife, in an attempt to ‘get her back.’ It’s danceable beat adds variety to the album, but that’s about it. The song would probably be more poignant had it not featured a trumpet and upbeat-sounding background vocalists. It almost sounds… happy.
10. Tippy Toes – a rock and roll track that seems more like a filler than anything. It seems like something his son would have fun dancing to… maybe that was the intent?
11. Something Bad – A jazzy track that’s different from what we’ve previously heard from Robin. It’s playful, but comes off as cheesy where it tries to take itself serious. Verdict: cute, fun, not a good way to prove he’s serious, but a great way to distract from his cons and remind Paula of his pros…
12. The Opposite of Me – An easy listening track that’s kind of self-deprecating… But after what he’s been through, what do you expect? It’s a chill track that could fit into a variety of playlists, but the sobering lyrics might make it a bit too much of a downer for a party.
13. Time of Your Life – the Michael Buble sounding track is really different for Robin, but this is not a bad thing in the least. His ability to sing like one of the greats of the fifties shows a span of talent Robin’s been hiding behind playful lyrics and repetitive R&B runs. It would be great to hear him cover some of the classics in the future.
14. Forever Love – Typical Robin. A little more heartfelt, but nothing we didn’t see on Love After War or The Evolution of Robin Thicke. And after Blurred Lines, that’s a very good thing. A good way to end this sentimental album. Not sure about the relationship, but if Robin is still capable of writing soulful ballads like this one, his career is far from over.
Say what you want about Robin Thicke and Paula Patton – in the end, we really don’t know what happened. But 20 years is a long time, and even though some of the songs on the album sound like they were thrown together pretty quickly, Robin’s true love for his ex-wife weighs heavily on each track. While I’m not a fan of the method he’s using in attempt to woo the former Mrs. Patton back to his side, but after seeing him lay his heart out the only way he knew how, I kind of hope she gives him a second chance.