Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Evolution of Robin Thicke

- Growing pains? I think not.

When I first made it to Hollywood, I became friends with someone who did pretty well in the competition. As with most friendships I've started with fellow musicians, it started off with a conversation about what our influences were. The first artist my friend gave me was Robin Thicke. I had heard the name but couldn't quite place it. So, in between Hollywood and top 24, I went to Best Buy and bought The Evolution of Robin Thicke, which my friend said was the better of Robin's two albums.

Now, I should start off by saying that jazzy r&b is usually not my thing. But going back to when I first started to discover music, BoyzIIMen, Shai, R. Kelly, Silk, Keith Sweat, etc. were my first love (along with a lot of rap). I know, you wouldn't know it now, but I actually learned to sing with r&b singers first. I would sing as loud as I could along with my mix tapes of r&b hits of the early 90's while delivering papers when I was 15, copying riffs, learning how to hear harmonies, etc. But by the time I got out of college, I had discovered rock & roll, and r&b kind of fell to the wayside (rap had fallen to the wayside when I was still in high school).

Anyway, all that to say - I'm not a huge fan of modern r&b. But this record is a great, great record. Robin is well-known in the pop/r&b world, writing songs for who's who of modern pop/r&b. But as an artist, he shines. Robin's silky falsetto is shown off throughout the entire CD, and his jazzy pop way of writing modern r&b is an interesting take on a genre. I didn't enjoy some of the collabarations on the album (with Pharell, Lil' Wayne, etc.), as they strayed more to the urban/hip hop vibe, but overall the album is a really fine record.

Lyrically it's sexy without being over the top or explicit. Robin's voice naturally lends itself to a sexy vibe, but there's more here than innuendo. Listen to what he's saying and he's talking wistfully about real love. Sometimes, he comes across as a little arrogant in his love (from the hit "Lost Without U": Lost without you/Can't help myself/How does it feel/ to know that I love you, baby), but overall he comes across with an earnestness that doesn't come out a lot in the genre.

A few of the songs seem to run together once you've listened to the album a few times, as the under-production of most of the songs (acoustic, rhythm progamming, bass, vocals) makes some of the songs indiscernable from each other. But there are some gems here. "Lost Without You" is a bona fide hit, "Angel" is a great song, and "2 the Sky" is a favorite. There are some misses, too, but for a second album, it's a great record.

I think that Robin will soon be known simply as an artist instead of Alan Thicke's son.

The CD gets 3.8 out of 5 stars.


gdahimself said...

To Chris
From GDA

I trust that the time was at least as spiritually and matrimonially as restorative as you and Sarah wished.
Is your suntan and/or sunburn going to challenge the talents of tour makeup artist?
Did you complete the reduction of your Ipod down single inclusions of recordings that bear repeat listenings for pleasure and those that are archetypes of their respective idiom or genre of music?

The Evolving Robin Thicke:
I wonder how many people got the opening reference?
The following line, “Lost without you/Can't help myself/How does it feel/ to know that I love you, baby”, to me sounds more like insecurity than arrogance.
The album may be under-produced but the songs lack of individuality would seem to me that;
1) The songs may be too similar in writing, or
2) The arrangements are not varied enough, or
3) The musicians’ performances may not have yet crafted their individual parts to vary with each song, or
4) All of the above .

What do you mean by under-produced, a lack of planning and rehearsing that results in imperfect execution or there are holes where something obviously is missing?

It would be interesting to hear what you think about this recording in a month or so.

It would also be interesting to hear what you think of Brian Wilson’s production for “Pet Sounds” and the original 1966 - 1967 “SMiLE” recordings. There are many tracks on “Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys” [BOX SET]

bmorebamma said...

hey mr. sligh welcome back. lost without you gets played on r&b radio stations here in bmore alot , did you know that he wrote that one to his wife,there is a video and she's in it, he said so on oprah,

gdahimself said...

To bmorebamma
From GDA

It is probably/should be a moot point but the answer to your hanging question, why did I delete the postings I did was because they revolved the common-frequent posting with it’s unfortunate tag that proved to be problematic and unpopular. You posted it was time to put this particular topic to bed. Strategic subtraction seemed to be good idea.
Since this has exceedingly small future value, it will probably follow suit.

bmorebamma said...

to GDA i agree it's over , it's good to hear from you again how you doning hows your family(if you have one )how are things in jersey. lol;) "cyber waving from bmore"

gdahimself said...

To bmorebamma
From GDA

A qualified Okay on all accounts

How about checking out one the quirkier Garden State landmarks.
I’ve never been there, it is four hours away in Margate (once known as South Atlantic City).
Weird NJ Visits Lucy the Elephant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIsNtA_eNio&mode=related&search