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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Aug 26th, 2014

Robin Thicke: Paula

robin thicke paulaRobin Thicke
Paula
(Star Trak)

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Art is made every day with the very purpose of making love or coping after the death of love. R&B crooner Robin Thicke’s motive on his new album, Paula, may or may not have a clear cut mission to do one or the other and to fully understand the album, it is impossible to separate it from Thicke’s own very public marital separation from teenage sweetheart, actress Paula Patton. Paula is a torrid turn from most of what anyone has ever heard of Thicke before, emotionally. The album chronicles the seemingly schizophrenic diagram of a man searching, broken and hell-bent on trying to get his woman back. That narrative is bare, sometimes laughable while he is laughing and remorseful as he seems to lay sins bare. The track “Lock the Door” touches on a cool, ’70s sassy vibe and atmospherically twirls into a gospel funk about a man trying to get back in good with a woman already scorned. “Get Her Back” is a breezy swoon-filled minimalistic track that lays over soft beats and frail plucks of guitar. The rasp in Thicke’s voice on “Still Madly Crazy” is a kind of raw, tearful blues. The fiery guitar riff on top of “Black Tar Cloud” is wickedly charged. When the bass and drums hit, the doo-wop feel of background singers nicely complement this dramatic urgency about a man who suddenly realizes his mistakes. The fiasco of sounds over Thicke singing in a heady, deeper register makes it one of the most unforgettable tracks on the album. The big band swing of “Time of Your Life” is hopeful, while the run on “Living in New York City” is a fight anthem cut from the loins of James Brown himself. Genre-bending, soulfully full, Paula is written so intimately it seems as if it is only meant for one to hear, while the rest of the world is just kind of caught in between.

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Robin Thicke: Paula