Robin Thicke: Paula – Album Review

July 1, 2014 5:26 PM

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This is not a good year to be Robin Thicke. If you believe the headlines, his love life is currently in a state of unmitigated disaster, and his public image might be even worse as he releases his seventh studio album, Paula – named after his very publicly ex-wife Paula Patton. Lead single “Get Her Back” is currently less known for its throwback R&B than for its BET Music Awards debut, in which Thicke pled for his wife’s good graces, and for the music video – featuring purported text messages between Thicke and Patton, among other salacious things – that’s drawn accusations of stalking. Most recently: while Twitter Q&As are, as Nick Cave once griped, standard practice for any artist worth his PR campaign, and always draw their share of jokers, Thicke’s #AskThicke effort was thoroughly mocked from start to finish.

None of this was inevitable. It’s hard now to imagine a time when “Blurred Lines” wasn’t snark-bait, but when it came out, critics saw it mostly as a goofy takeoff of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie.” The track went on to ride the Timbaland-Pharrell resurgence to the peak of cultural ubiquity, not...

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