This has not been a good week for Robin Thicke. Yesterday he did a much ballyhooed “takeover” of ABC, appearing on “Good Morning America,” and “The View,” in New York, then flying to Los Angeles to do Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show.
This morning, his “Paula” album has not moved an inch on the two main chart indicators, amazon.com or iTunes. “Paula” languishes respectively, at 33, and at number 8.
That was Wednesday. On Tuesday, VH-1 featured an #AskThicke campaign on Twitter. That backfired completely. The questions fans asked were bitter and nasty. The negative comments are still coming in, two days later. Rarely has so much pent up anger come pouring out against a pop star. The number 1 sneer is about the rape references in Thicke’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” Runner up is the stalker-ish feel of “Paula,” a mediocre album directed at his estranged wife actress Paula Patton.
On top of that, Thicke admitted in one interview that he hasn’t even spoken to Patton in four months. So it’s not like she’s calling him up and saying, “Oh Robin, the album is such a beautiful dedication to me.”
That’s because the more you listen to “Paula,” the worse it gets. Plus, the credits don’t reflect the sampled pieces of music that he included. And you know, he’s still being sued by Marvin Gaye’s family for appropriating their dad’s music and style.
And with “Paula,” Thicke has copied Gaye’s style for real. Marvin Gaye recorded an album called “Hear My Dear” in 1978 that was a cold rebuke to his divorce from Berry Gordy’s sister, Anna. The only difference was that “Here My Dear” told the truth, pulled no punches. Similarly to “Paula,” it was not a hit.
Of course, life was different back then. There was no social media. Gaye knew the album would fail, but it was part of his financial agreement with Anna Gordy. Its followup was a disaster, too. Gaye left Motown, and had one final hit at Columbia Records in 1982 with “Sexual Healing.” His father killed him subsequently.
No, it’s unlikely Alan Thicke will do in his son. But the audience will. Robin Thicke would smart after “Paula” tanks on Monday to take a breather and get an image consultant. And just cool it with the Paula stuff. It’s time to come off the merry-go-round, or risk being thrown off.