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Album review: Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'

Robin Thicke's new album, 'Blurred Lines,' celebrates plasticine funk and warbly bass.

By Randall Roberts

9:44 PM EDT, July 29, 2013

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The summer of progressive disco continues as the vibe of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and the souped-up pop of Justin Timberlake converge in R&B singer Robin Thicke's curvy, ripe new album "Blurred Lines." Seething with sex, come-on cockiness and more testosterone per measure than a Keith Sweat jam, "Blurred Lines" is a celebration of plasticine funk, warbly bass and plump booties.

At its best, as on the R-rated track "Give It to You," Thicke drives his falsetto in service of a seduction and features L.A. rapper Kendrick Lamar having his way with a woman in ways worthy of Penthouse Forum. "Feel Good" is a mid-tempo, soon-to-be hit featuring rave-inspired synth washes. And the title track, one of the hottest hits of the summer, is a glorious take on future-disco.

Just as often, though, Thicke and his producers, which include himself and collaborators Pro J, Dr. Luke and Timbaland, dip from the cheesier realms of '70s pop. "Go Stupid 4 U" rises to the level of its title with lyrics as dumb as a faded glow stick — unless you're a 12-year-old girl. And the words to "Get in My Way," a self-help ode to persistence, border on parody when the well-heeled son of TV actor Alan Thicke sings with a twang of ghetto swagness about being "set free, out of jail."

He's best when he's roaming free and chasing the ideal (objectified) woman. "I want to shop for your underwear" he sings on "Take It Easy on Me" — and he's certainly not talking about boxers.

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Robin Thicke

"Blurred Lines"

(Star Trak/Interscope)

Two stars 

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