Saturday, November 5, 2005

We Wanna Love U TOO Robin !!!! -Toya
First of all, I need to ask this one thing: Why is it that MY posts are always the ones to piss people off? Tia never seems to offend anyone. *sigh*

Don't know if any of you read the recent feedback to the The Artist Formerly Known as Thicke Post entitled "I am so, SO Angry" but we received a comment from a "Larry" who claims to be Robin Thicke's Music Director and keyboard player. To be honest, I am a bit skeptical to whether he is who he claims to be. I mean even Stephen Christian from Anberlin has posted on here a few times and I didn't believe it was him until I saw him and asked him myself face to face. Here is Larry's comment:

o.k. ......................I'm writing this little note to set the record straight about Robin Thicke.......................I stumbled onto your chat page and noticedall the crazy comments!!!!!!!!For those who are wondering let me introduce myself formally:I'm Larry .............................Robin's Music Director aand keyboardist.

(Okay yall, this is by no means a diss but I like how the punctuation was thrown in for dramatic effect. Like there was supposed to be a gasp and some background music going "Dunh Dunh Duuuuuuuunnnhhh." Dude, it's not that serious. We put our stuff on the WORLD WIDE WEB so we can't be shocked when the people we write about find our site. Glad you got a gig though.)

I played on the last album ,and the Usher song Robin wrote ( can u handle it )When i first saw ur comments i was a little perplexed??????????So naturally , the next day at rehearsal I told Robin about your chat board. He giggled a vit Ithen he agreed that i should write u all back to let you know .................YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW GREAT THIS NEW ALBLUM ISS!!!!!!!11the first single was to help Robin get the long deserved exposure he's needed. You all clearly know about that well..He'll no longer be a well-kept secret !!So trust and believe , if any 1 of u are real fans ...get ready to be blown away. hint :lost without u

Larry's comment is the perfect segue for me to discuss something that has been on my mind as of late and that is the plight of the "artist". In his comment, he states that the first single was to "help Robin get the long deserved exposure that he's needed." Notice that even he didn't say that the single is actually good! For some reason, there has been such a "dumbing down" of the music consumer by record companies that breakthrough artists can't actually break through by being themselves.

For example, one of my best friends is my favorite artist. To me, he is the industry's best kept secret. For years he has sent me his work that he has done for other people and for himself and for years his material has always been a step above the rest. But recently, I heard some of the material that is actually going on his first record and I was a little disappointed that my favorites didn't make the cut. See the new stuff isn't awful. It's just not as inspiring. It doesn't give me the chills that his previous work did (by the way, if one of my best friends didn't escape my critiques what would make you think that Thicke, who I have only met twice about eight years ago, would get any less). He then shared with me that when he played his genius material for record execs, they looked at him like "We don't get it." When he played the more commercial material, the execs were like, "Oh that's hot!". He then said something to me that was very profound. "Stevie Wonder could not have come out with Innervisions as his first record." It is so true. Even The Beatles had to write trite little pop songs like "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" before they could get to "Eleanor Rigby".

I don't know if Nu America/Interscope is completely to blame for A Beautiful World's lack of success. It wasn't without promotion (3 videos, a Sprite commercial, a Hewlett Packard or Dell commercial that used I'll Be Alright, a feature on MTV's You Heard It Hear First and a promo spot that I saw numerous times on BET but however not much touring in the US if I remember correctly.) Almost every artist/producer/music snob I know owns and loves that record and all of its "abstractness". Commercially, an artist like Thicke is a risk for any record company and that's why we don't see many artists out like him. Hell we rarely even see singers nowadays. Record companies are signing cheerleaders and trying to pass them off as singers and signing gangstas and trying to pass them off as rappers. Tia and I were watching Chris Brown's video "Run It" and Tia said "I remember when you had to be able to sing AND dance to get a record deal." "Oh but see, no. Labels don't sign singers anymore." I replied. "They sign cheerleaders now. Look at Ciara. I wouldn't be surprised if the next group that came out was called Junior Varsity." Immediately, in perfect timing as always, the new B5 video came on and they were all wearing varsity team jackets. (Insert heavy sigh and rolling of eyes right about

A Beautiful World yielded no radio hits in the US not because the songs weren't catchy but because the current state of radio is crappy. However, Wanna Love You Girl is just catchy and simplistic enough that it may indeed be a hit. Annoying as all hell but catchy nonetheless. Hey, I have even caught myself singing it as of late. It has a certain Prince and the Revolution type feel to it. Like there needs to be a guy two steppin' in the background with a skinny leather tie and a keytar.

And while the song may be growing on me, I hate that video. I am with Tia when she says that videos now and days seem to be created from sort of tired template. I mean is there some sort of checklist?

Numerous half naked girls for close up booty shots... check!

Cameo by overly exposed producer/wanna be rapper...hell yeah and check!

As for the rest of the album, I wasn't blown away by the snippets I heard on the website either. And grant it, they are just snippets. My concern is that with Robin Thicke signing with Star Trak, using the same producers as Justin Timberlake and singing songs that sound as if his and Justin's vocals could be interchangeable and barely anyone would even catch it, the gap between him and JT just got very small. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to buy the new record though.

I am no less of a fan of Robin Thicke's than I was when he was Thicke. Being a fan doesn't mean that you like everything your favorite artist or sports team does. Being a fan means that you stick with them because you know that despite some shortcomings, they are great all around. So unless Robin does some old R. Kelly, Gary Glitter type mess, we are still fans. Hey we love his boy Jordan Knight too and he got it FAR worse in the concert review I did of him two years ago which I am pretty sure his road manager read because we personally gave him the link. This is BGLU and as Eddie said in Barbershop "no one is exempt".

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