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Robin Thicke
Blurred Lines Ash O'Keeffe , August 5th, 2013 11:55

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There’s a hint of 'always the bridesmaid, never the bride' about Robin Thicke. The unsung 'hero' behind hits for 3T, Brandy and other miscellaneous R&B and pop also-rans, he remained on the periphery of the fame game without ever quite tasting its rewards. Now, he’s demanding his chance.

Thicke has styled himself an enfant terrible by way of an industrial-grade makeover - in the 90s, he looked like a tramp - and involving Pharrell Williams in the highly questionable 'Blurred Lines', with its apparent date-rape theme. The accompanying video parades a bevy of naked women in front of balloons that spell out "Robin Thicke has a big dick" (a case of the lady doth protest too much if ever there was one).

The Pharrell Effect has emboldened many music pundits to polish a turd. But while Billboard proclaims that "you'd be hard-pressed to find a critic with ill will towards the song ['Blurred Lines'] itself" (not entirely true) and Rolling Stone lauds Thicke for his "bonhomie", we'll simply stick to describing his sixth offering as misogyny masquerading as, err, she must be well up for it.

If he's not boasting he has a "big dick for you" on 'Give It 2 U', or telling women what they really want on the album's title track ("I hate those blurred lines/ I know you want it"), Thicke is wooing the lovelies with his pillow talk on the same track ("You the hottest bitch in this place") and using the kind of chat you might find on a third-rate sexline on 'Take It Easy On Me' ("I'll rip through all your fancy clothes/I wanna shop for your underwear"). Really, it's enough to make you want to lock up your vagina and throw away the key.

With its cocksureness and supposed suaveness, Thicke's album is on par with Jerwayne and Ashley from Channel 4's comedy series Phoneshop singing Omar's 'There's Nothing Like This'. Only much less funny. Sonically, this album may stray from the soulful R&B that Thicke has developed over his previous offerings, but his fusion of EDM-lite beats, synthetic salsa, neo-soul, vocal autotune and modern R&B leaves a confused impression of this wannabe lothario.

On 'Ooo La La', Thicke mimics 80s-era Michael Jackson. But its falsetto, chintzy beats and dumbed-down funk bass make it a laborious track to wade through. The autotune found on 'Take It Easy On Me' was delivered with far more pizzazz by Victoria Beckham and Dane Bowers (I must be out of my mind, I know). The vomit-inducing faux-sincerity on 'Top Of The World', which details a young girl's struggle to make it in this big bad world with her "funny teeth", is slathered in smooth sax and dated dulled drum beats, while the pseudo autobiographical and saccharine 'The Good Life' sits at odds with the rest of the album as Thicke proclaims: "The good life, I know I've made it with you". And 'Get In My Way' is hen-party fodder at best.

It's not that Thicke can't carry a tune. It's that he thinks that having songs that smoulder with sex appeal a la Luther Vandross, Boyz II Men or Barry White means that you have to degrade woman and boast about how your penis is bigger than the next fella's.

It's obvious that Thicke is a career musician - he's been at it since the late '90s as both performer and songwriter. Notoriety may have propelled him to the arena of international stardom, but if he continues to come across as a complete bell-end with his lyrics and promotional, er, tools, then it may well be his undoing too.

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Aug 5, 2013 4:10pm

this guy is an absolute goof !!!

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Aug 5, 2013 4:18pm

In my opinion of the two big singles of the summer both having Pharrells involvement. I think blurred lines is a better pop song than get lucky by a long stretch. I'm not interested in the album to go for a gander but as a single when I first heard it a few months ago it actually made me think of Prince in some respects.

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Aug 5, 2013 6:34pm

If it's a review of the album, why is there a picture of the single?

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Aug 5, 2013 8:00pm

you know what, i love it. i dont feel denigrated. like there's never a blurred line between me and a man when I'm deciding what i want. good grief its a song not a manifesto for relations across the world

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William Barshop
Aug 5, 2013 8:23pm

The single's catchy as anything, but the album just piles on the slimy cheese. Spot-on review.

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Aug 5, 2013 8:25pm

Thanks for covering this.

I eagerly await the belated review of Rebecca Black's debut album.

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J Pillbox
Aug 5, 2013 9:18pm

My vagina is now sealed inside a lead box at the bottom of a coalmine and guarded by a 3-headed fire breathing dog.

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Aug 5, 2013 10:06pm

A white, South-African R Kelly 10 years too late? R Thickey? Well, regardless he still has the peepers of a startled wolf cub

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Aug 5, 2013 11:33pm

The album is lacking in a "voice", something his first album had in spades. I was disappointed by the abundance of shit radio singles, and basically no hurt. Still like the sexy playfulness of Blurred Lines and the last track is the only remotely decent thing on it. Even Kendrick pops up, which is so below him

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Aug 6, 2013 12:55am

one shouldn't pay much mind to what Robin says or does - he's a bit "Thicke" you see...

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Aug 6, 2013 8:44am

Is he telling the truth about the size of his willie?
Knob! (see what I did there)

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Aug 6, 2013 8:58am

His hair's a bit fucking "Thicke" that's for sure. Look at it. It's an affront to everything that's right and decent, and bald.

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Lea Brillo
Aug 6, 2013 10:04am

I'd be much happier if some disgruntled boyfriend cut Thicke's balls off & stuffed them in his smug gob, the vile turd.

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Aug 6, 2013 1:10pm

Was this just reviewed here because it still bears the faint tang of that pseud's debacle about sexism and hip-hop videos?

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John Doran
Aug 6, 2013 5:37pm

In reply to aaron.:

Nice random use of words there.

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Aug 6, 2013 6:53pm

Based on sound and lyrics the 35+ year old Thicke appears to be competing with the Bieber for both listeners and ladies. Damn that's gotta feel good... and make his family quite proud.

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Aug 7, 2013 3:07pm

if you like 'blurred lines' for the tune but dislike the lyrics you can always go with this: (by Mod Carousel)

and there's also Melinda Hughes' riposte 'Lame Lines' (less camp and more direct):

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Aug 8, 2013 12:17pm

In reply to John Doran:

The sentence makes perfect semantic sense. I look forward to more R&B reviews.

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