We are nearing the end of my top 10 run down of the best albums 2013 had to offer us mere mortals and many end of year lists will surely feature this guy. He surprised everyone, even me, by having the biggest song of the Summer and probably the year and finally getting the shine he so annoyingly never got. That is right folks, Mr ‘Hey Hey Hey’ aka Robin Thicke takes 4th place on my 10 best albums of the year.
Now, despite having the biggest song of the year with ‘Blurred Lines’, a lot of people failed to realise that Robin Thicke did actually release an album this year. Considering the runaway success he had with the song you’d think his album, of the same name, would have gotten everyone talking but sadly no. Even though it did chart at Number 1 here in the UK upon it’s release on the Albums chart, it never did catch on with the public.
And I am still annoyed at that because this album is damn brilliant! I guess it’s a case of the lead single overshadowing the album with Robin Thicke this time round. I can’t hate though because after almost a decade of being an ardent fan of this guy it was nice that he was FINALLY getting the success and recognition he deserved.
For the 90% of the population who bumped to ‘Blurred Lines’ the song all summer long but never realised he released an album, let me tell you why this album makes it at number 4 on my list.
Robin Thicke has always been that RnB and Soul crooner with introspective lyrics and a falsetto even Justin Timberlake wishes he had and because of this he’s always been ignored by pop radio. Basically, he made REAL music and pop radio doesn’t support real music but instead supports Pitbull and Flo Rida.
So for this album Robin said that he was letting loose and wanted to make a fun record. It was going to be his least introspective album and make bangers that grown folk like he and his wife could dance to all night long. For the first time in his career, Robin Thicke was aiming for the Top 40 and initially I was worried because with current pop radio trends, Robin could of ended up making an album full of uninspired EDM trash.
But no, staying true to his RnB roots, Robin made an album that combined RnB, Disco and Dirty Pop together that sounded so fresh and funky against anything else I heard all summer. He wasn’t trying to compete with Miguel or Justin Timberlake or even Bruno Mars. He carved out his own lane and ran with it.
If you think ‘Blurred Lines’ is the only good song Robin has to offer I beg you to listen to this album. Like properly listen to it. ‘Ain’t No Hat For That’ and ‘Get In My Way’ are brilliant examples of Robin Thicke appealing to pop audiences without losing his RnB and Soul flavour. The album even has production credits from music’s answer to Osama Bin Laden and general career ruiner, Will-I-Am who I thought would ruin this album and turn it into a bastardised euro pop, auto tune, techno ball of crap but he didn’t! He produced Robin Thicke’s current single ‘Feel Good’ and you can sense the EDM influence but it isn’t too in your face to take away from Robin’s soulful delivery. If the beat wasn’t there, the song would still be great.
What I really liked about this album was that even though this was Thicke’s foray into Pop territory he still managed to include some of that signature introspective Thicke on this album. ‘4 The Rest of My Life’ and ‘The Good Life’ were gentle reminders that Robin is a REAL artist and that the Robin Thicke who wrote ‘Lost Without You’ all those years ago is still there as he never left, he just took a detour on this album.
Normally I like to explain both the good and bad parts of an album and give my own little critiques of where the artist could of improved but with Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ album there is not a single thing wrong with it. It served it’s purpose as a fun, Pop/RnB record and yielded the biggest song of the year. Sure there was some controversy along with way as the song ‘Blurred Lines’ was accused of promoting rape culture. I won’t comment on this because I’m not a woman so I don’t want to pretend to explain from their POV what they interpreted. And of course there was the whole Miley Cyrus-Foam-Finger-Grinding-On-Robin-Thicke shambles at the VMAs in August but I’m trying to not remember it too much so lets stop there!
Easily the most underrated album by a major artist this year, Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ proved that when he is toying with new genres that he isn’t a one trick pony. In fact he can make a thoroughly enjoyable album that ended up the perfect soundtrack for summer 2013. Its just annoying that everyone seemed to jumped ship once the single ‘Blurred Lines’ got boring and ignored the album it came from because everyone is seriously missing out!