If the earlier R&B balladry brought to us by platinum-selling fruit of Alan Thicke’s looms was the result of his trying to be like John Lennon, imagine what schlock he’ll produce when just ‘trying to have fun and dance’.
Actually, aside from the glaring female degradation, flat-as-a-pancake dick references, and terrible house beats, Thicke (as in Robin) pleasantly surprises with some specific, tender love letters to his wife. As a result, Blurred Lines is hit-and-miss. It hits when Thicke taps into 70’s dance sounds (better than Daft Punk) and details his real-life courtship story. It misses when he opts instead for the lamest club-pop tactics – all of the ways to say ‘let’s dance and fuck simultaneously’ have been used too much already.
As for the title, Thicke told Power 105.1 recently that he’s “realized as [he’s] gotten older that we all think we’re living either in a black or white world, or on a straight path, but most of us are living right in between those straight lines.” To cheesily co-opt this anology – this album sits in that gray area between decent guilty-pleasure summer radio and anger-inducing garbage, depending on the track.
Thicke aims for song of the summer and misses abysmally. The kitschy, cowbell-infused beat succeeds and may be silly fun (emphasis on silly), but R&B crooning doesn’t mesh well with the misogyny of calling your lust target – every girl in this topless parade - a “bitch:”
“Take it Easy on Me” is a shitty pop cluster-fuck, but it’s only track 2; let’s not assume it can’t get worse. The bland chorus contradicts the other terrible lyrics, the rhyme scheme is awkward, and the Daft Punk vocal effects for “Doin’ it in the drycleaner” feel closer to parody than dance-floor:
While still cheesy, this by-the-book disco jam is more the summery hit the title track aimed for. Sure, neither the message nor titular French expression are very original, but it’s a pleasant listen, with Thicke’s solid Bee Gee falsetto a huge relief from the previous tracks’ Aguilera vocal riffs:
Life’s quandaries can’t be solved by shopping – a simple but vocab-heavy message for this cheeky funk-disco jam, albeit a strange one for such template-based dance pop. Catchy, but too forgettable to soundtrack a DreamWorks movie’s obligatory dance finale, or even one of co-writer dad’s shows:
This predictably empowered “I’m Gonna Make It” message (haven’t you already made it, Thicke?) is set to some very catchy disco. Most of Blurred Lines‘ throwback 70’s funk is single-worthy, so maybe Thicke was trying to avoid Daft Punk comparisons by picking the slapdash title track instead:
When you go balls-first for a shameless club bumper, you’ve got to hit your mark. On this boilerplate “let’s fuck” track (a theme to be expected from house-ish music), neither Thicke nor Lamar say anything memorable, adding to the head- and stomachaches this obnoxiously un-catchy beat will give you:
“Feel Good” is the first house-infused Top-40 club-fodder song on this album that actually “feels (somewhat) good.” Thicke lists a bunch of “would you love me if”s over a pleasant enough mini-Guetta piano track. A bit boring and recycled, but inoffensive – and his Timberlake falsetto is always on:
Sorry indie world and Hawaiians – from here to Paramore, pop music is officially trying to crush all of the charm out of the ukulele. On this song, object of Thicke’s affections is so hot, he “gets stupid” enough to call this music:
The last of his irritating, Twitter-abbreviated titles, “4 The Rest…” is actually a really smooth R&B summer slow-dance about the real-life story of meeting his wife when they bother weren’t “even 20, baby.” Not only is that just ‘totes adorbs,’ but the whole package is firmly listenable, too:
The sequel to “Get in My Way” shows Thicke is “on top of the world,” along with a separate story’s female protagonist. Apparently hard work pays off with a chance to abandon your roots (the Canadian loins of a Growing Pains star) and try out your best stereotypical black accent and amateur rap game:
To close the album, Thicke goes for a cheesy 12/8 not-so-power-ballad that examines the nature of “making it.” The smash success of “Blurred Lines” means he “made it,” but the message here is that he’s successful for finding love with his wife, even if “there is no street with his name.” D’awwwwwww: