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More than Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke delivers a breezy blockbuster of an album

With his single Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke finally scored a No. 1 hit after 20 years of writing romantic R&B songs that did well with black audiences, especially women, but never crossed over to pop radio.


Blurred Lines: "If you can't hear what I'm trying to say, if you can't read from the same page …" If the hit single's sexy message wasn't clear enough, the controversial video (which spawned a flurry of gender-reversal parody versions) redoubled the demeaning.

Take it Easy on Me: The sexy is taken back from Justin Timberlake. On a synth-heavy club banger produced by beat-master Timbaland, an excited Thicke expresses interest in a woman's baked goods and offers to shop for her underwear. What a sweetie.

Ooo La La: Here comes a seventies disco smoothie, all falsetto and false promises: "You can have my money/You can have my soul if you want it, too." The platinum and the PIN number will be fine, thanks.

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Ain't No Hat 4 That: Rhymes with I Can't Go for That by Hall and Oates. The retro groove is smooth and summery, but the lyrical message – that bonnets are no panaceas – is upsetting to milliners everywhere. Co-written by the singer's sitcom-starring father, Canada's Alan Thicke.

Get in My Way: More Nile Rodgers-style guitar and Earth, Wind and Fire funk-lite.

Give It To You (featuring Kendrick Lamar): More lewdness, with hip-hop wunderkind Lamar as Thicke's wingman.

Feel Good: If Prince were to succumb to today's pervasive, thudding four-on-the-floor beat. A piano ballad threads into sexy club fodder, on which Thicke is gallantly obsessed with fulfilling his lady's needs.

Go Stupid 4 U: Is that a ukulele? Light-touch R&B where Thicke is almost old-fashioned in his courting: "Girl, I wrote a song about you, designed a little part that reminds me of your ass; sexy from the back, give me some of that." Reminiscent of Noel Coward.

4 the Rest of My Life: "I sang in your ear, 'cuz I wanted you to know that I had soul." A falsetto-told story tenderly looks back on young love and his own wife, the actress Paula Patton. Wedding-song possibilities.

Top of the World: A stoned, laid-back rap is easy on the ears, with a sax riff and a few Marvin Gaye-isms floating in here and there. A nice change of pace.

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The Good Life: Almost doo-wop in its swing, with Thicke trying on Sam Cooke's cardigan and a more serious lyrical manner. Neither fashion fits him well.

Pressure: Generic, percolating R&B. The album's energy is flagging. Will things rally with the final song?

Put Your Lovin' On Me: The album's most Timberlake-like track is a stylish, brooding and sensual winner, with the singer on his best crooning behaviour. A breezy blockbuster of an album that began with one of the summer's top party songs ends with something heavy and memorable.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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