Heckler's Delight: Robin Thicke
Who'd have imagined that Alan Thicke - he of Growing Pains fame - would sire a son who would grow up to be a multiplatinum R&B star? Not us, but we're sure glad he did. Robin Thicke's sultry vocal stylings are modern urban radio staples, with "Lost Without You" and "Magic" charting and dampening the undergarments of many a sweet, swooning young thing. He's the George Clooney of pop, and he'll be melting hearts and inspiring vivid masturbation fantasies May 17 Reliant Arena - a date Rocks Off only recently learned was rescheduled from tonight. If you've got tickets, you're probably really excited about that. But what if you're mean-spirited? What if you want to toss a monkeywrench into Thicke's well-oiled gears? What if you smuggled a megaphone and a wishlist into Reliant? More importantly, what songs could you, now with a few extra days to mull them over, insist that Thicke cover? Below are a few choice suggestions.
Genesis, "Invisible Touch" A considerable 1980s rock hit, "Touch" might present some problems for Thicke. Phil Collins' vocal line is almost inflexibly angular; the song's sharp core mechanics demand adherence to a melody full of ridges and right angles. Thicke, by contrast, is a smooth, buttery crooner who oozes all over arrangements; he doesn't hump them. So some serious tinkering would be in order, and I'm not sure he and his backing band would be able to make a cover work on the fly. It'd be interesting to hear, though, wouldn't it? And totally awkward.
The Sugarhill Gang, "Rapper's Delight" Tackling early hip-hop's singular anthem would present a logistical nightmare for Thicke, who lacks the requisite rap experience (though, to be fair, most active '00s rappers probably don't possess the necessary dexterity either) and who, as the only vocalist onstage, would be forced to slip into the various personas buoying "Delight." Given the song's cultural ubiquity and renown, the bassist and drummer could probably turn out a capable approximation of the motif, which would make the embarrassing spectacle of hearing Thicke spit verses like "Said a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie-to-the-hip-hip-hop, a-you dont stop/ The rock it to the bang-bang boogie/ Say up jumped the boogie/ To the rhythm of the boogie-the-beat" all the more embarrasing. And maybe more entertaining.
Green Day "Basket Case" Impossible. Just no way this could happen, even in an alternate universe. Our prediction: pestilence, disease, pandemonium and a fit of belly-borne laughter so crippling and inexhaustible that the show would likely conclude early, with a giggling Thicke being carried offstage on a stretcher to a green room where a sedative could be administered, and the star protected from hordes of rioting teen/twentysomething/thirtysomething damsels in Louis Vuitton.
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