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Blurred Lines Turns Tables on Robin Thicke's Old Nemesis Timberlake

Blurred Lines Turns Tables on Robin Thicke's Old Nemesis Timberlake

Whether seen or not, Thicke has been working his ass off for over two decades to finally get to this point, and he seems ready to fight for his time in the spotlight.

You see, though Thicke has been working hard, he always seems to have bad luck with timing. Specifically speaking, his first two albums were overlooked due to being released in conjunction with Timberlake's. Even Thicke's biggest singles, "When I Get You Alone" and "Wanna Love You Girl," couldn't rival songs like "Senorita" or "SexyBack."

But it seems that the tables have finally turned.

Whether seen or not, Thicke has been working his ass off for over two decades to finally get to this point, and he seems ready to fight for his time in the spotlight.

You see, though Thicke has been working hard, he always seems to have bad luck with timing. Specifically speaking, his first two albums were overlooked due to being released in conjunction with Timberlake's. Even Thicke's biggest singles, "When I Get You Alone" and "Wanna Love You Girl," couldn't rival songs like "Senorita" or "SexyBack."

But it seems that the tables have finally turned.

Blurred Lines Turns Tables on Robin Thicke's Old Nemesis Timberlake

When Timberlake's most recent album, The 20/20 Experience was announced, it seemed to be the biggest thing in music news for the past year. After all, it'd been six years since Timberlake had decided to step away from the microphone in order to focus on his acting career, and it was beginning to seem as though he wasn't going to make a musical comeback.

But he did, and for once, Timberlake's reputation didn't seem to be enough to satiate the taste of the public.

Certainly The 20/20 Experience isn't a flop, selling nearly one million copies in its first week, but that didn't quite make it a hit, either. Musically, it nods toward some of Timberlake's biggest influences -- Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder -- but the final product didn't feel inspired. What's worse is that the drive Timberlake has always had is gone, leaving us with a safe album that didn't push any boundaries.

Of course, you wouldn't be able to tell that from critical reviews, which are generally positive. But the truth is, Timberlake got away with making a subpar album simply by being Justin Timberlake.

So, timing be damned, Robin Thicke released a song that was instantly catchy with the help of T.I. and long-time producer and collaborator, Pharrell. And it seems that Thicke has finally managed to get out of Timberlake's shadow long enough for people to remember him.

Interestingly enough, Timberlake and Thicke might have even switched roles.

The story continues on the next page.

 

Blurred Lines Turns Tables on Robin Thicke's Old Nemesis Timberlake

For Timberlake, he's taken a step away from pop hits and toward whatever genre ex-boy-band members retire to. Thicke, on the other hand, has managed to hold onto all the elements that have carried him thus far in his career while still delivering the kind of experimental pop album that everyone was expecting to hear from Timberlake.

But for anyone trying to compete against (or even just exist alongside) a name and reputation as big as Timberlake's, it'd take the right album at the right time. And that's where Blurred Lines steps in.

And truth be told, an album like Blurred Lines is a gamble, even for a well-established artist.

Thicke's largest fan base already loves him for his soulful ballads and jazzier R&B tracks. But with the release of the single "Blurred Lines," he's introducing himself to an entirely new audience, one that comes with its own expectations. That's not something that many artists are willing to bargain with, but Thicke has managed to do it without alienating either.

For new fans, tracks like "Take It Easy on Me," "Pressure" and "Feel Good" push the envelope with an injection of pop and a strong dose of dance. Other tracks, such as "Oh La La," feel more like the Thicke we've come to know. But even his more "traditional" tracks seem to have gotten a face-lift, so it's hard not to take the mixed reviews with a grain of salt. Thicke knew what he had to do in order to deliver the promises he made with "Blurred Lines," and he's done just that.

Blurred Lines Turns Tables on Robin Thicke's Old Nemesis Timberlake

And one thing is for certain: Thicke is no "poor man's Justin Timberlake." The man knows how to blend hip-hop, soul, funk and pop just as well, and despite his lengthy discography, it feels like Thicke has finally made his own FutureSex/LoveSounds with Blurred Lines.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Blurred Lines is perfect. But even at its worst, it still feels better than what Timberlake handed in on The 20/20 Experience.

For one, the name The 20/20 Experience indicates that Timberlake is giving his listener "the full experience." But with recent news that a companion album will be released on September 30, it seems as if Timberlake was really only using The 20/20 Experience as a chance to dip his toes in the water to become reacquainted with his audience.

My recommendation for Timberlake? Take your time and put out something you're proud of the first time so you don't have to release two albums in one year. Well, there's that, and the crazy idea that he should edit his work.

On a ten-song album, only three of them are under seven minutes. There's nothing wrong with a long track, and there's nothing wrong with trying to write a story using music, but "Don't Hold the Wall" and "Tunnel" should both end around the six-minute mark. "Pusher Love" has three minutes that could be shaved off to make it more palatable.

It's all in the details, and truth be told, Timberlake got sloppy the way someone does when cheating on his or her spouse.

Now, whether Thicke's reign over the radio will hold up can only be known in coming weeks. Though "Blurred Lines" has been holding the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 List for the past 16 weeks, Timberlake's newest single, "Take Back the Night," which comes off of The 20/20 Experience, Part 2 of 2, has reached No. 33 on the Hot 100 list, while his last single, "Mirrors," is holding at 14.

We'll know more in a month or so when Timberlake releases his new album, but if I'm being honest, I'm a little more than disappointed in his carelessness. Maybe it's time he passes the torch on to someone who genuinely wants to carry it.

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