Friday 15 December 2017

Blurring sexy with just plain old sexist

Success: Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines is one of the big monster hits of summer 2013
Success: Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines is one of the big monster hits of summer 2013
John Meagher

John Meagher

Big release of the week: Robin thicke Blurred Lines (Polydor) 3 STARS

He may have released five albums to date, but few people in this part of the world took any notice of Robin Thicke. One would have been forgiven for dismissing his slick brand of RnB as a poor man's Justin Timberlake.

Robin's new album Blurred Lines
Robin's new album Blurred Lines

That all changed this summer when the title track from this album became a global chart-topper. It was number one in this country for seven weeks, until a forgettable Avicii dance number knocked him off his perch last week.

Much of the song's incredible appeal is built around the significant contribution of rapper T.I. and the minimal input of Pharrell Williams (who, as if anyone could forget, guests on 2013's other defining tune, Daft Punk's comeback single Get Lucky).

Yet, while the masses were snared by Blurred Lines' undeniable catchiness and the cleverness of its construction, others were uneasy about lyrics like: "I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two" and "I know you want it". Thicke has been forced to strongly deny that the song is an apologia for rape.

Yet those who peruse the lyrical content of this album might struggle to stomach the Californian's crass worldview of sex.

On Give It 2 U, he boasts that he's "got a little Thicke, big dick for you", while Take It Easy on Me he offers to "rip through all your fancy clothes" to "get a shot of your underwear."

You have to remind yourself that the author of such choice terms is not a lothario barely out of his teens, but a 35-year-old married father-of-one.

His words do a significant disservice to this album because, in places, Thicke's music is very engaging indeed.

A handful of funk-soul songs are just as sonically captivating as the title track, including the suggestive Ooh La La and the aforementioned Give It 2 U which features a guest appearance from Kendrick Lamar: the LA rapper can't put a foot wrong, it seems.

Maybe one shouldn't be surprised by Thicke's Loverman routine: after all, he once released an album called Sex Therapy.

KEY TRACKS Blurred Lines; Ooh La La

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