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Sound Off – Robin Thicke: Something Else

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on June 10, 2009

The latest albums making noise

A few traits define Robin Thicke’s brand of blue-eyed soul. Listeners will find themselves transported to the breezy tropics with his melodies, be romanticized in every possible way with his lyrics and will be soothed by the upper range of his voice, which is prevalent on the songs compiled for his third disc, Something Else.

Thicke effortlessly accomplishes all three on the set’s opener, “You’re My Baby.” Here, his voice is appropriately delicate as he assures his lover he’ll scare away the “monsters in the closet” and provide her the security of a “blankie.”

More lyrically aggressive and forcefully delivered is “Sidestep,” which manages to both plea and command with the recurring “c’mon nows” delivered throughout his trademark “ooh-hoos.”

Continuing where S.O.S. Band’s “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” leaves off, “Something Else” is funk on the verge of disco with guitar riffs that would do the former proud. Depending on the interpretation, “something else” can be sexual in nature or a simple longing for a change of pace and scenery, but both achieve a happy ending on this jam.

Duality is present on another offering on Something Else, specifically “Shadow of Doubt.” Though full of “do-do-dos” and lines like “I wanna dance like I’m James Brown,” one can’t help but wonder if Thicke is speaking about his place as one of R&B’s few prominent white performers, and the internal and external struggles he’s faced because of it. (Remember that VIBE controversy from last year, when Thicke claimed that he was denied the cover because of his race? That month’s issue instead featured another controversy: a naked Ciara.)

Thicke is more overt on “Dreamworld,” a moody combination of piano and a lone drumbeat whose lines list the characteristics of his utopia. Especially important among them are things such as respect for his wife, actress Paula Patton, who is black, and the couple’s freedom to “walk in Mississippi” without staring eyes. The fading end of the song again commands listeners and attempts to convince them to “dream on, let’s dream.”

Though upbeat in sections, Something Else is mostly mellow slow jams. It’s relaxing, at times thought provoking, but engaging and entertaining. Tracks such as “Magic” and “The Sweetest Love” have had their fair share of radio play, and rightfully so, and the only questionable inclusion on the album is Thicke’s duet with Lil Wayne, “Tie My Hands.” Something Else is the perfect mood-setter for romantic occasions, but would be required listening on a smooth jazz kind of Sunday.

That’s My Jam’s Rating:

5. Get It Now
4. Get It On Sale
3. Get It As a Gift
2. Get It To a CD Exchange Store
1. Don’t Get It At All

Track List:
1. “You’re My Baby”
2. “Sidestep”
3. “Magic”
4. “Ms. Harmony”
5. “Dreamworld”
6. “Loverman”
7. “Hard On My Love”
8. “The Sweetest Love”
9. “Something Else”
10. “Shadow of Doubt”
11. “Cry No More”
12. “Tie My Hands” with Lil Wayne

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