It’s been a whirlwind of a year for RnB/Soul sensation Robin Thicke, his suggestive 2013 single Blurred Lines seemingly came out of nowhere and led to worldwide success. From Thicke’s goings on last year we must focus on the now, his new album Paula is dedicated to and named after his wife Paula Patton from whom he is currently separated from. Paula is record number seven for the star, it will be interesting to see just how blurred his lines are or not when it comes to reconciliation and a return to the genres that shaped him; and hopefully we can finally put that viral song to rest.
Thicke is well and truly back into his RnB roots, You’re My Fantasy is kind of a smooth and hip swinging track, where the singer pines for his wife’s presence and touch once again; Get Her Back is just as repetitive as his pleads, it has a nice feel, but more would have been expected from a lead single. As if we didn’t know already, Robin is Still Madly Crazy for Paula, the piano ballad is a serenading break from the soulful beats going on so far; the break down of a relationship is perfectly depicted in the soul laden Lock The Door, Thicke mastered the emotion in his voice to recreate being rejected. Time to get down and funky with Whatever I Want, and the soulful Living In New York City depicts the new life taken up by the lover you’ve separated from; the corny soul power ballad Love Can Grow Back is about how Thicke misses how Paula gets her nails done so she can scratch him with them, and is a beckoning for her to show him that their love can grow back.
We are treated to more of what went on during Thicke and Patton’s separation with the RnB ‘Robin reveals all’ track Black Tar Cloud, the song expresses the anger and emotions felt during the hard times and paints a darker picture behind the scenes of what used to be a perfect bond. Too Little Too Late is more beat heavy and lifts the album’s spirits a little more, even though the concept remains negative; the catchy swing of Tippy Toes is addictive, but after a while you kind of want to sneak away from it. Something Bad demonstrates the strong, lower quality to Robin’s voice while The Opposite Of Me is the heart on Robin’s sleeve where he admits that Paula needs the “action, not the words”. The fun, energetic vibe in the swingy Time Of Your Life was instantly refreshing; it’s not long though before we are once again reassured that although Paula is no longer a part of Robin’s world, he will always be there for her and keep a special place for her in his heart with the ballad Forever Love.
Paula is a depiction of a guy who misses his other half, that special someone whom he is desperate to share his life with once again. The concept was delivered in the form of RnB and soul, both styles are favoured to express all kinds of emotion and Thicke does have a knack for each genre; his vocals are flawless and his hooks generally hit the spot. Although it did get a bit tiresome hearing about how he has done wrong and about how he is no longer a part of Paula’s world, it is notable that the quality of the music heard on the album was decent overall, but it is unlikely to follow the success of last year’s effort in precision. The single Blurred Lines was a bit of a novelty, the album Paula is a bit more deeper than that.