Oh dear. Oh deary deary dear. This wasn't the smartest move ever now, was it? Neither professionally nor personally can this work out as a good thing for Mister Thicke, whose name has never sounded more apt than it does while listening to his latest album, named for his currently-split-from wife Miss Patton. The couple publicly called it quits, but failed to announce the actual reason why, but if Paula is even close to being factual accurate, it's because Robin Thicke is a drunk lecherous douchebag and his wife is an attention seeking lunatic. How's that apology going so far, buddy?
Less than a year since his Blurred Lines album rejigged his career trajectory, he's back sans the super producers who made that album such a hit - although, admittedly, only the title single actually did any business in the charts - and also back to that one part bedroom jams, one part old school big band sound that made his career pre-2013 so unexciting to listen to.
If you can, for just one minute, try to push out of your mind that this album is supposed to be one long "I'm sorry" note written by Robin, then it doesn't start off too badly. "You're My Fantasy" is a semi (heh)-decent latin-flavoured love song, even if it flip flops between Robin pleading "Please please please…" and then suddenly wanting to get his bone on. This confusion between wanting to repent and wanting to bump uglies keeps rearing its head (heh) throughout the rest of the album, with the biggest offender to be found on "Lock The Door", when he follows up a gospel-tinged ode to a heartbroken woman with the couplet "At least open the doggy door / Throw a friend a juicy bone." Lovely.
Elsewhere, a different kind of confusion keeps popping up (heh heh), with Thicke spending half the album trying to get people up on the dancefloor at his local salsa club - "Whatever I Want" actually sounds to us like he's enjoying the frivolous freedom of being single again, or at least that's what the chorus of "Kiss me kiss me kiss me all over, cos now I can do whatever I want" seems to be saying - and the rest of the time, he's on his knees, exposing too much of his private life to an audience who are sitting, listening, expecting another Blurred Lines and now are just uncomfortable because a couple they don't know particularly well are arguing in their apartment.
"Black Tar Cloud" details someone (cough cough Paula cough) attempting suicide just to get a rise out of Thicke, just after chasing him round his house trying to hit him with golf clubs. Also, just what does "I though everyone was going to eat chips / turns out I was the only one who double dips" actually mean? Is that innuendo for … we can't even imagine what? Or was Paula really trying to kill her husband because he overused the salsa?
This is a difficult one to get to grips with, because there are some songs on here that aren't totally irredeemable - "Living In New York City" is a soulful, Rick James-esque stomper, and "Too Little Too Late" isn't a million miles away from a JT album track, if not exactly single material - but in this case, separating art from the artist is impossible, since this is exactly what he wants. It's too cloying, too aggressively needy, too all over the place, and far, FAR too personal. Again, did he think airing his dirty laundry would be the best way to get his annoyed other half back into his life? This should be grounds enough for an instantaneous divorce.
ONE POINT FIVE OUT OF FIVE