I Can't Call It: Paula: Robin Thicke

Posted On Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lenny Kravit'z "Mama Said" is easily one of my favorite albums of ALL time. Not only is it a beautiful, amazing, wonderful piece of music but this man is begging and pleading to get his wife (Lisa Bonet of The Cosby Show fame) back. Now for the quick back story on "Mama Said" back in the day while Lenny was producing Madonna's "Justify My Love (that got Madonna sued by Public Enemy for jacking the beat from "Show 'Em What You Got") he was also hittin' Madonna off and of course Lisa caught wind of it so what's a recording artist to do when your wife leaves you for cheating on her? You make an album begging and pleading to get her back, that's what you do! And Lenny's begging and pleading (in a VERY cool way btw) is one of the reasons why "Mama Said" is SO damn good. Now fast forward 24 years and creating in the R&B world has reared it's ugly head with Mr. Robin Thicke. Now, one things cats who know me, know that I LOVE when an artist's music reflects what they're going through and since "Paula" falls in that category, I've got one simple question...why am I not looking forward to this album?

The reason I'm probably not looking forward to "Paula" because even though I love dude's music, Robin Thicke is kinda corny to me, where on the other hand Lenny is cool as hell. And naming his album "Paula" he's already starting off on the wrong foot with me cause that's that good ole fashion corniness I was just talking about. I mean, I know you want your woman back but damn, can't you at least be smooth about it? But that's the reason why in no shape, form or fashion am I excited about listening to this album in the least bit. But hold tight, maybe I'm being too hard on the bul, I mean could dude REALLY make an open love letter to your lady THAT corny?

Robin sets "Paula" off with "You're My Fantasy" which is real dope and has an ill latin feel to it with Robin telling Paula, "I remember when I was the only one you'd call, everything has, everything has changed", "Get Her Back" is self explanatory and has Robin breaking down how "he should have kissed her longer and how he should have held her longer" and Robin continues to professes his love on "Still Madly Crazy." "Whatever I Want" brings this pitty party uptown with an ill groove that reminds me of The Incredible Bongo Band's "In A Gadda Da Vidda" made famous by Nas' "Thief's Theme" and has Robin's singing how Paula now has freedom to do whatever she wants "now that the monkey on your back is gone, now that the pain and regret have moved along/now that you finally found some peace in your mind, who knows what buried treasure you might find." Robin must have seen the trailer to the new James Brown movie "Get On Up" right before he went in the lab to record "Moving To New York" cause he's giving his best James Brown impression on this jawn which ain't that bad (which ain't half bad...now read that correctly...I didn't say he's doing James, I said it ain't half bad) and is actually kinda funky and "Love Can Grow Back" reminds me of some classic Etta James Sunday kinda lovin'. "Black Tar Cloud" is a banger that has Robin talking about how everything went down, "packing up quickly, the baby at grand mom's/the raging coast is far from clear/yelling and screaming and smacking me, how could you do this you spoiled little rich kid/a rock in the TV, you bashing my ride up, you smashed my guitar/chasing me around the house, swinging, trying to hit me with my favorite golf club/you revved up the car, you smashed through the gate/I ran up the street, I waited a hour to cool off/when I came back it was too late/you were lying in bed, said you took 20 pills/now I'm calling the ambulance, police, I'm freaking out til you said chill, baby I didn't really take them pills/I'm just desperately crying for help" and similar to that cloud Nas told us about on "The World Is yours", Thicke also needs a new nigga (in a non-slavery way) for this black cloud to follow."

"Too Little, Too Late" has Robin droppin jewels, "Every time you walked through that door, I should have held so long you would never need to ask for more/every time you walked through that door,  I should have spun you around and around like the kitchen was the dance floor/every time you walked though that door, I should have listened, fixed it, kissed it, healed it, not belittled it/every time you walked up in this house, I should have made you feel special and treated you right" while "Tippy Toes" and "Something Bad" has Robin living out his inner Happy Days fantasies with the latter explaining that he has "something bad" going on inside of him. "The Opposite of Me" reminds me of some old school Peter Gabriel and by the time "Time of Your Life" hits, I feel like the past 4 songs have started to sink this ship but "Forever Love" comes through in the clutch to save the day and end the album on a dope note, "I can't carry the weight around baby, how could I have even belonged/learning all my lessons, dangerous impressions/pushed you right out of my world, I know that you and I have tried very hard to find different results/but how can we be patient, when we're always racing/and no one's ever there to hold." But my favorite song on "Paula" is "Lock The Door" cause this track reminds me of a mixture of a lil Stevie, some Bill Withers and a down south gospel choir and there's no way even with some wack lyrics like "at least open the doggy door, throw a friend a juicy bone" (there's more of that corniness I was talking about earlier) can mess up that kinda combination and not for nuthin' but the track flat out bangs.

The funny thing is after chillin' with "Paula" for a minute this jawn isn't as wack and pathetic as I thought it would be but at the same time this it ain't NO WHERE close to this generation's "Mama Said." Music wise, this album is REAL dope, there's no way anybody can front on the production of this album. Now, the problem's gonna come when it's time to break down some of these lyrics "I thought everyone was gonna eat the chips, turns out I was the only who double dipped" but I told you straight up and down from the door that this dude was corny so the wack lyrics don't even surprise me. And to be honest they're actually an after thought to me because the production is so good. But when I tell you that Robin put his heart and soul in this album, I TRULY mean he put his heart, soul AND the freakin' kitchen sink into this album. But putting your heart, soul and the kitchen sink doesn't always equal good music. Now, in NO WAY am I saying that there isn't any good music on "Paula" cause it mos def is but I don't think making good music on a whole was money's number one priority when making his album, it was getting his woman back. Now, I'm sue I can hear women from all over world saying "Kil, f-ck good music, he's trying to get his girl back! That should be his number one priority!" And my response would simply be then don't make a whole album trying to get your shorty back. Write ONE song to her then shoot ONE video to that song, dedicate a performance at the BET Awards to her but I'm sure there are a rack of actors who have been caught out there but they don't make their next movie about trying to win their shorty back. They just do what us normal folk do. You know, buy flowers, send cards, emails & texts...then again, who am I  kidding? If this was a Hollywood actor, he would've brought her a new car, some new jewelery and sent her on an ill shopping spree and would upgraded her from "main chick" status to "wifey" status...screw the cards, flowers and emails. But I can say this, Robin sure as hell left everything in between the paper's lines with this album, I just hope for his sake he gets his girl back cause after this album, he ain't gonna be able to show his face out in these streets for a minute.

3.5 outta 5

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