Something Else is aptly titled. "It's time for hope and change," Thicke says. "It's in the air. And I'm speaking on the times around me." Thicke echoes the change with mesmerizing Superfly-era vocals, Gamble and Huff-inspired horn arrangements ("Hard on My Love"), unabashed lyrical optimism and an irresistible invitation to the dance floor ("Side Step"). "I don't want to be a preacher, but I do think at the core of every great existence is an abundance of love and joy, and the only way to create that is to give it," he adds.
Born in Los Angeles, Thicke grew up with an ear trained squarely at R& and Hip Hop. "I was listening to Kurtis Blow at 8, NWA at 12, Jodeci and Mary J. at 14 and Boyz II Men and Babyface soon after," Thicke says. "I didn't even listen to rock and roll music until I was 17. And I find myself thinking that's more normal than it is." André Harrell (then president of Bad Boy Entertainment and mentor to Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy and Thicke) heard the lanky white kid and was dumbstruck. "I heard what Martin Luther King, Jr. described in his dream of a new America: a place where a white man in the San Fernando Valley can feel Detroit, Harlem and the blues," he says.
The spirit of Michael Jackson looms large throughout the new release. "Michael is the epitome of celebration, and the core of this album has that: It's celebratory, healing, loving music," Thicke says. To deepen that connection, Thicke employed the same horn section used on Jackson's "You Wanna Be Starting Something," from the 1979 classic, Off the Wall. "André Harrell told me, 'When God is singing loud, that's the sound of horns,'" he says. Gary Grant and the Jackson horn section contributed to the album's trans-generational appeal. "I kept the kids on some songs and the adults on others, so it's the sound of young and old coming together."
Something Else also benefits from writing sessions that took place in different cities, a tactic employed by several of Thicke's idols, including Marvin Gaye. "New York is the center of information, so I took a few trips there and set up a big studio," Thicke says. Songs like "Sidestep" and "Something Else" with their heavy, insistent grooves, were the result. "Paris is the center of romance," he says, "and I went there, and found 'Sweetest Love,' 'You're My Baby' and 'Miss Harmony.'"
The first single, "Magic," draws all of Something Else's influences together into one blast of disco-infused dance pop. Robert Hales, director of Gnarles Barkley's "Crazy" video, was tapped to add visual balance between downtown dance couture, references to Fred Astaire's Mr. Universe and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of Thicke's all-time favorite films.
Melding the retro and the modern across 12 tracks, Robin Thicke leads his international fanbase into inspired, sexy and refreshing new territory.
Robin Thicke's first album, A Beautiful World, released in 2003, yielded the hit song, "When I Get You Alone," and paved the way for his breakthrough second release, 2006's The Evolution Of Robin Thicke. Now on the way to double platinum status, Evolution's mega hit "Lost Without U" became the #1 most played song in Urban Adult Contemporary BDS and topped four Billboard charts simultaneously. TV appearances included the unprecedented distinction of two appearances on Oprah Winfrey within two weeks.
The year 2007 concluded with the VH1 Soul/Vibe award for "Best Breakthrough Artist" and nominations from BET ("Best Male R&" and "Viewer's Choice"), Soul Train ("Best R& Soul Album, Male"), MTV VMA ("Male Artist of the Year"), MOBO (Best Song, "Lost Without U"), the American Music Awards ("Favorite Breakthrough Artist") and "Lost Without You" was named ASCAP's ("Song Of The Year").