Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke (CD)

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blurred lines

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke ISBN: 602537424788

Overview: This album is rooted in R&B and the soul of the 1970s. The album has a casual and lighthearted feel, while also infusing more bass and synthesizers to make it more danceable. The title track of this album achieved something rare for an R&B single these days in reaching the #1 spot on the Billboard charts. Blurred Lines, “contains a motley assortment of high-gloss dance tracks seemingly made for pop-chart contention,” according to the review by Andy Kellman.

Track List:

1 Blurred Lines
2 Take It Easy on Me
3 Ooo La La
4 Ain’t No Hat 4 That
5 Get in My Way
6 Give It 2 U
7 Feel Good
8 Go Stupid 4 U
9 For the Rest of My Life
10 Top of the World
11 Good Life

Critical Evaluation: I found the best tracks on here to be “Blurred Lines” and “Top of the World.” Both are somewhat catchy, the title track being more of a danceable song, and “Top of the World” with a nice piano melody in the background and lighthearted lyrics. The title track is meant to remind the listener of Marvin Gaye’s disco-funk groove in “Got to give it up.” However, I did not really enjoy most of the songs on this album. I found them to be rather repetitive and predictable. Robin has a reputation as a songwriter, but I found lyrics to be inconsequential, bland, and in many cases, overly sexualized. Many of the earlier songs have Robin singing almost entirely in falsetto. These earlier songs incorporate more electronic elements. “Ain’t no hat for that,” seems to talk about a shallow woman; three songs towards the end seem to be more positive and seem to be about Robin’s wife and outlook on life. I can appreciate these songs from that standpoint, though none of it is really my musical preference. A review of the album by Andy Kellman argues that none of these songs are Robin’s best. Without having listened to any of his other music, I hope he’s right.

Reader’s Annotation: Blurred Lines features danceable songs with heavy beats and more lighthearted melodic tunes for R&B and New Soul fans. 

Information about the author: Robin Thicke is the son of vocalist and actress Gloria Loring and theme song composer and actor Alan Thicke. He grew up in suburban Los Angeles. Brian McKnight heard a demo he recorded at 14 years old and helped Robin get a recording deal with Interscope Records.

Previous to 2000 he experienced most success as a songwriter for other artists. He released several albums before finding success on the charts with “The Evolution of Robin Thicke.” Andy Kellman writes, “Thicke then settled into a lengthy career as a widely respected artist — with occasional diversions into humorous, self-aware showboating — who remained true to his root influences while occasionally departing from ’70s-indebted stylistic comfort zone.”

Genre: Pop, R &B Music

Curriculum ties, if any: This could be examined in a music class.

Booktalking Ideas: I could see fans of mainstream dance music and R&B enjoying this music.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  The lyrics of this album make this more appropriate for older teens.

Challenge Issues:

  • Sexual situations
  • Some language

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with the album. As I’ve listened to this album, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of an album I had not listened to, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this album is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the album.
    • A description of who the album is best suited for.
    • A summary of the album and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the album. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the album
    • Alternative works a student could listen to
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

This album meets the recreational needs of teens.

Why did you include this album? : It is very popular so it represents something teen librarians should be aware of.

Reference Page:

Kellman, A. (2013). Artist biography of Robin Thicke. All Music. Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/robin-thicke-mn0000238686/biography

Kellman, A. (2013). Blurred Lines review. All Music. Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/album/blurred-lines-mw0002518827

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  1. Pingback: Alphabetical List of Titles | let's talk about that book...

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