Friday, September 01, 2006

September 1, 2006: What I'm Listening To... and Pleasantly Surprised

So, it's September. Thank God! I'm not a summer person. I mean, at least when you're cold, you can add layers without attracting attention. When you're hot, there are only so many layers of clothing you can remove without getting arrested! So, the sweat-drenched cotton is history, and the funky sweaters can come out now. That's the upside.

Downside: it's still hurricane season. I fear for my relatives in The Bahamas every year from June to November. I didn't realize that I should be watching my own tail. As I look out the window, Ernesto is tapping DC's ass. That's not as good as it may sound. The rain is coming down in buckets, and, in typical DC fashion, the media is overhyping this. You'd swear it was 2003 and Hurricane Isabel was spanking us like a toddler. Ah, journalists and hyperbole.

Even though it's not the Second Coming, this would be a perfect day to be at the crib, listening to some soft music. Which brings me to the title of this missive.

I'm so feeling Robin Thicke! Again! He suckered me in three years ago with his first CD, A Beautiful World. I bought it strictly on the strength of that cut, When I Get You Alone, which sampled Walter Murphy's A Fifth of Beethoven. You know that was the cut back in the day... people dancing to classical music in the club. Crazy! It's ironic that Thicke would've sampled that cut, because the song hit the charts in 1976, almost a year before Robin Thicke was even born. I feel so old!

The rest of A Beautiful World... okay, I guess. But back then, Robin Thicke was looking more like Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes. And the dude's the son of Alan Thicke (absolutely no cool points there) and Gloria Loring, Liz from Days of Our Lives (one cool point; she sang that song Friends and Lovers with Carl Anderson). And his name, after all, is ROBIN! No wonder he used to go by just "Thicke." I was like, "What is this dude doing on Interscope?"

Honey, flash ahead three years. I'm in the car, bobbing my head to this hella-sexy cut with some soft crooning, a nice beat, under what sounded like a Kashif sample. Then I see the video. And it's this kid, Robin Thicke, on the beach with Pharrell -- and the requisite "honeys" -- singing Wanna Love You Girl. He's all cleaned up, looking like the boy next door. Then in May, I'm at BEA, where you get a ton of swag forced on you. So, months later, I'm cleaning up, and I run across a CD sampler of The Evolution of Robin Thicke, his new CD that's coming out October 3. Then I see Li'l Wayne and Robin Thicke on MTV Jams, and Robin's singing the hook for Shooter. Now, I'm distrustful of blue-eyed soul for the obvious reasons ... the propensity of the dominant culture to mine the cultures of other folks for monetary gain, and the affectations of brothahs' mannerisms to sell records (see here). Nonetheless, I put the CD sampler in.

The verdict: the CD sounds like it's going to be the shit! He's got some nice collabos -- Li'l Wayne, Faith Evans, Pharrell, of course. Plus his vocals on non-collabo cuts are awesome. That song Angel will bring tears to your eyes. And then I found out that he's married to Paula Patton, Angel Davenport in Idlewild. She was even the model on the cover of A Beautiful World.

So, Robin Thicke has pleasantly surprised me. I know where I'm going to be come October 3 -- at Best Buy with a copy of The Evolution of Robin Thicke and my credit card clutched firmly in my fist.

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