Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke, right, with one of his Video Characters

As somebody once said, music is organized ‘noise’. Noise is sound that irritates people rather than soothes their minds. If one must rank music on a scale of noise that stretches from zero to hundred, nearly all music will find a place on the scale. It is just that some will rank, closely, towards the zero end. Some might even score zero. When I was younger, I used to love music with a reasonable degree of noise or madness. As I got older however, I started getting attracted to music towards the zero end of the scale. I discovered that Thicke’s Blurred Lines gets me enchanted as it falls at the point on the noise scale that I like. It is the reason why I often jump each time it comes on Trace Urban television channel.
At one point it was Jazz, then Blues, Gospel, Soul and now Hip Hop. Hip Hop dominates the popular music landscape across the planet. It has, however, grown to become extremely complex with people like Wiz Kalifa and his friends as architects. This current derivative of Hip Hop that finds a place in the hearts of, mostly, adolescents is said to be financially more rewarding. It is the reason why it is most favored. However, there are people who love doing certain things for the sake of it and money will not sway their direction as a result. The song, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, to me, seems to reflect the mind of a guy that has chosen to defy the rule. It moves far away from Hip Hop barring the contribution from TI Pharrell.
The lyric is also at variance with what obtains from the mostly abstract or illogical lyrical tradition of mainstream Hip Hop and related genres of music. The lyric represents the words of a man who is trying to persuade a woman to leave her boyfriend because he is a better man than the boyfriend. The role of rapper, TI Pharrell, is an extension of the same message albeit in rap format.
Robin Thicke was born 1977, meaning that the genre of Disco was about to fade away at the time he was becoming conscious of his surroundings. By the time he became a man, Hip Hop has dominated all the space there was for any music style. But passion is strong and overcomes just anything. His passion created the space for his genre of music. To me, Blurred Lines’ tends towards Disco. What I don’t know is whether it was by design or coincidence. One hears heavy baseline, seemingly from a bass guitar and some percussion and drumming.
Above all, the music reflects the mind of a guy who wants something unique, something that he alone has. You feel and see this in the pace of the song, the feeling it evokes, the video characters and their dress code. The video appears to have been short in just a single location, obviously to avoid any complex and potentially rowdy outcome, enabling the man to come out with exactly what he intended to present to music fans.
Music is the foundation of showbiz. Where it becomes boring, the opposite happens. Robin Thicke knows this and wouldn’t want to give the slightest room for such to happen.


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