Robin Thicke: will he squander one of the greatest set ups in pop history next week? Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was the song of 2013, no matter how it was written or what it meant. “Blurred Lines” remains a classic pop release from its opening Marvin Gaye-ish notes. It put Thicke on the map commercially as a rock star after years of quiet critical admiration for his white R&B sound.
But failure is looming in the form of his new album, called “Paula” due on Tuesday. Almost no one has heard it. Those who have, didn’t like it. Plus, Thicke just released a creepy video in which an attractive model caresses his naked torso while he reproduces text messages from his angry wife– the same wife for whom he’s named the album. The video’s title is “Get Her Back” but it’s not clear if he wants Paula Patton to come back, or if he wants to “get her back”– as in revenge.
Could very well be the latter.
“Paula” the album does not appear so far on iTunes. Advance sales on amazon aren’t promising–the album is hovering around number 300. That’s not good. In fact, it’s very distressing. It’s the same pattern that brought us Jennifer Lopez’s failed “AKA” album.
Also, very few people have heard anything more than the single. Someone at the Daily Beast posted a negative review. Most albums are available for listening in some form at least two to three weeks before they come out. The “Blurred Lines” album followed weeks of the title track on the radio and in clubs, and it came with a controversial video. The “Get Her Back” video so far has inspired no outrage, just yawning criticism that this is not the way to persuade a wife to take you back.
One other sign that things are bad: the iTunes pre-order price is just $7.99. That’s four dollars off what it should be, and a flag that iTunes sees disaster in the offing.
Here’s the video. Honestly, the song is good. Just listen to the audio if you want to enjoy it. When Robin Thicke isn’t mimicking real R&B artists, he’s very good.