He first showed up around ’02 as a long-haired hippie riding a bike around town in his first video, “When I Get You Alone,” which sampled “Fifth Of Beethoven” and quietly dropped his first album, A Beautiful World, in 2003. And when he returned a few years later, “Lost Without U” wasn’t even his first single – that honor goes to “Wanna Love You Girl.” I remember driving all over town searching for his Evolution album on release day. The wife found it a week later at a local shop; the shop only received two copies.
So I’ve had my eye on this guy ever since his meager beginnings and I know his strengths and weaknesses, both of which are glaring on his new release, Something Else.
If you’re of fan of Thicke’s tender falsetto, you’ll probably love “The Sweetest Love.” It’s the closest thing to “Lost Without U.” His voice is tailor-made for tracks like that, as well as “Cry No More,” where he just glides across the melody. It makes you wonder why more singers can’t pull that off – and it makes you wish T-Pain would choke on his Auto-Tune. The first single, “Magic,” shows that he can turn up the tempo when he wants, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen too often.
If Thicke has had one major weakness across all three albums is that he is often too laid back. His song “Dreamworld” is aptly named – I dare you to make it through the track without snoring. That’s too bad too, because his depiction of his perfect world (complete with people not giving him grief about his interracial marriage) is a good premise. And on “Shadow of Doubt,” the goofy ad-libs – another trademark – throw things off.
Something Else is equally imperfect and brilliant. And once you get to know him, you realize that it’s par the course for Thicke.
Best Tracks: Magic, The Sweetest Love, Ms. Harmony
3.5 stars out of 5