Is there something unseemly about breaking up in public? If you are writing about Robin Thicke’s new video for “Get Her Back,” from his new album Paula, then the answer is yes, of course. Why? Because like the R&B classic, Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear, about the breakup of his marriage, Robin Thicke’s Paula, due out July 1st, is about the breakup of his marriage to his high school sweetheart, total babe and actress Paula Patton. And perhaps Thicke’s getting the kickback due to his general dumb ubiquity last summer, with the unavoidable topless babes/creeper lyrics video for his first real hit song, “Blurred Lines.”
He’s certainly getting blowback from the press about Paula thus far. To wit:
Lainey Gossip: “F-ck everything he is so gross… On the Fifty Shades Of Grey standard of romance, this is registering for them. I think, for me, Robin Thicke might be more disgusting than even Adam Levine. Officially.”
There’s this from Vulture, who had previously called Thicke “the dork king of R&B“: “This might be how you sell a few albums [with “pathetic text messages”], but it’s certainly not how you reconcile with your estranged wife.”
And The Washington Post calls the album creepy and boring: “Now, once again, Thicke seems to have confused the intensity of his own emotions with any sort of public interest in his efforts to reconcile with his wife.”
Look, the video for lead single “Get Her Back” is not very good. It is arty and dramatic — a stripped shirtless Thicke sings the song oh-so-sincerely, his face covered in shadows, while text messages, presumably from “Thicke” and “Paula,” stream across the screen. “You drink too much/I wrote an album about you,” etc. etc. There’s a pretty girl in the darkness, Paula Patton-esque if you squint. Like “Blurred Lines,” you could overthink it and its sexist/lame implications to the point that you’re circling the drain. Thicke’s bloody, she’s drowning, all that is a metaphor for a relationship.
But the song — particularly without the video — it’s all right, taken in the light of Thicke’s R&B loverman cheesiness. He probably just needs some image rehabilitation — maybe he should beg Kevin Hart to get back on the Real Husbands of Hollywood, where any mitch can be rehabilitated into someone totally funny and charming?