Robin Thicke

A Beautiful World

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Beautiful World marks the debut from one of Alan Thicke's sons, Robin. Like Morrissey, Thicke rides his last name, but musically he's on track with Jamiroquai and Justin Timberlake. He comes up with a delectable pop mix that's part Motown and part funk, giving Beautiful World a wide musical palette of sensuality and color. Thicke sets things up to be an emotional roller coaster that is self-searching and hungry for love, and such a move is impressive, but from the album opener, "Oh Shooter," one can sense the album struggling to develop into a full, solid set. Lyrically, Thicke is a little green, and as a singer his angel-like falsetto doesn't stretch far enough. He's riding the neo-soul/blue-eyed soul wave of the new millennium, which is definitely a welcomed effort inside the world of radio-tailored pop music. Unfortunately, that poses Beautiful World to get lost in the shuffle. Those who will take the time to really listen to Thicke's sweet stories will find Beautiful World to be enjoyable. "Brand New Jones" is a sunshiny groove layered in golden, synth hooks. "Flowers in Bloom" and the title track swoon with a springlike appeal; quick electronic beats soar throughout the latter, making for a feel-good moment. "When I Get You Alone" samples Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 for a funky R&B cut, and Thicke is stylishly slick throughout this sexy romp until the words, "Baby girl, you the sh*t/That makes you my equivalent" cheese things out. "I'm 'a Be Alright" doesn't do much better, for Thicke's vocals are hushed for some added sexual appeal, Lenny Kravitz-style, but it's already been done before. "Cherry Blue Skies" allows the album to bounce back just a bit before coming to a close. It's too bad Thicke didn't make Beautiful World as strict and raw as this perfect smooth soul standout, but it's safe to say that it's a sign of good things to come. Thicke has potential and Beautiful World is real, but much too focused on being a hardcore soul thing. Remy Shand pulled it off, but Thicke tried too hard.

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