Paula (album)

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Paula
Album cover
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1, 2014 (2014-07-01)
Recorded2014
GenreR&B
Length51:29
Label
Producer
  • Robin Thicke
  • Pro Jay
Robin Thicke chronology
Blurred Lines
(2013)
Paula
(2014)
Singles from Paula
  1. "Get Her Back"
    Released: May 19, 2014

Paula is the seventh studio album by American recording artist Robin Thicke. The album's official release date was July 1, 2014, though it was streamed by Thicke's record company a day early, on June 30, 2014.[1][2] The album, released by Star Trak Entertainment and Interscope Records, served as a tribute to his estranged wife Paula Patton. The album was supported by the single "Get Her Back".

Upon its release, Paula received mixed reviews from music critics. The album debuted at number 9 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 24,000 copies in its first week of release. The album sold only 530 copies in the United Kingdom,[3] 550 in Canada,[4] and 158 in Australia in its debut week.[5][6]

Background[edit]

In 2005, Robin Thicke married actress Paula Patton after dating for over a decade.[7] On February 24, 2014, the couple has announced their legal separation, saying in a statement, "We will always love each other and be best friends, however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time."[8] In the months following the announcement, Thicke made several attempts to repair their marriage and began dedicating his 2006 song "Lost Without U" to Patton during his concerts. He then premiered the song titled "Get Her Back", written about her, at the 2014's Billboard Music Awards, and a month later, he announced that the title of his seventh album would be Paula, after the actress.[9] Thicke said of making and titling this album,

I came right off a tour and I had all these songs and all these ideas and feelings in my heart. And I went right into the studio. I wrote all the songs in about three weeks and we recorded the album in about a month. Obviously all the songs were about her or about how I feel about her. A lot of songwriters have done this kind of thing before. They won't tell you in the title or they'll be suggestive ... I was just like, 'There's no reason to hide who this is about.' It's all about her.[10]

Composition[edit]

The beginning of the song "Living in New York City" features Paula Patton saying, "I'm moving to New York". Thicke revealed that Paula contributed the brief recording of her voice as a favor and that the song was inspired by her making a similar statement to him previously.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic49/100[12]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars[13]
Billboard64/100[14]
Entertainment WeeklyB-[15]
Exclaim!4/10[16]
Los Angeles Times1.5/4 stars[17]
New York Daily News3/5 stars[18]
Now1/5 stars[19]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[20]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[21]
USA Today3/4 stars[22]

Paula was met with mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 49, which indicates "mixed or average reviews", based on 11 reviews.[12] Clover Hope of Billboard gave Paula a score of 64 out of 100, noting that Thicke and Patton's personal life makes the album interesting, while criticizing it for being too detailed. "'Paula' plays off how invasive and uncomfortable a celebrity breakup is — not just for the couple involved, but for those watching and, in this case, listening," Hope wrote. "Fans want to know, but maybe not this much."[14] Alexa Camp of Slant Magazine gave the album two and a half out of five stars, criticizing "Get Her Back" for being reminiscent of an interlude and "Lock the Door" for "feel[ing] like an Unplugged version of a grander, more memorable song" (though praising its arrangement). She felt that "Black Tar Cloud" is a convincing apology, but criticized the song for its unflattering description of Patton.[21] Elysa Gardner of USA Today gave the album three out of four stars, stating that the album "reminds us what a fluid and expressive singer Thicke can be". Gardner went on to note that "the album is more texturally and emotionally varied and melody-focused than last year's Blurred Lines, with arrangements that nod heavily to old-school soul".[22] Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times gave the album one and a half stars out of four, saying "the record is a failure, a virtual what-not-to-do guide for both songwriters and spurned lovers. But in an age when appearance rules, there’s something kind of fascinating about Thicke’s willingness to look this bad."[17]

Julia LeConte of Now gave the album one out of five stars, saying "Solidifying the theory that Thicke rushed the record together in a weird play for both public sympathy and capital gain, each song reeks of some other influence, the only real originality coming via the confessional and often TMI lyrics."[19] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B-, saying "Paula's muddled take on sexual politics probably won't woo his wife back, and the lack of an obvious "Blurred"-size hit means the Hot 100 may be equally unmoved."[15] Andy Kellman of AllMusic gave the album two out of five stars, saying "Some of the songs that could fit on any non-conceptual Thicke release sound like commissioned work. Take 'Living in New York City,' a distant descendant of James Brown's 'Living in America' and Janet Jackson's 'Nasty,' seemingly made for a visitors bureau, or the equally hammy 'Tippy Toes,' which could be used to sell a line of footwear. Those aren't the only numbers that resemble frivolous 'Hey, we need one more' throwaways. Along with empty flash like 'Something Bad' and 'Time of Your Life,' they're all part of Thicke's least appealing album."[13] Ryan B. Patrick of Exclaim! gave the album a four out of ten, saying "From the uninspiring album cover to the angst-y content within, Paula doesn't even reach the level of his pre-"Blurred Lines" output, which represents an equitably solid discography of R&B/soul."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 24,000 copies in the United States.[23] In its second week, the album dropped down 32 spots to number 41, selling 6,000 copies, bringing its total album sales to 30,000.[24] In the United Kingdom, Paula debuted at number 200 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 530 copies in its first week.[25] The album debuted at number 207 on the ARIA Albums Chart, having sold 158 copies in Australia that week.[5][6] The album sold 550 copies in its first week in Canada.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Robin Thicke and Pro Jay.[26]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."You're My Fantasy"
  • Thicke
  • James Gass
5:57
2."Get Her Back"
3:33
3."Still Madly Crazy"Thicke2:55
4."Lock the Door"Thicke4:21
5."Whatever I Want"
  • Thicke
  • Gass
3:45
6."Living in New York City"
  • Thicke
  • William Taylor
  • Ronnie Breaux
  • Lemar Guillary
3:26
7."Love Can Grow Back"Thicke3:27
8."Black Tar Cloud"
  • Thicke
  • Keyes
  • Gass
3:25
9."Too Little Too Late"Thicke2:54
10."Tippy Toes"Thicke3:07
11."Something Bad"
  • Thicke
  • Chris Payton
  • Larry Cox
  • Taylor
  • Breaux
3:41
12."The Opposite of Me"Thicke3:00
13."Time of Your Life"Thicke2:57
14."Forever Love"
  • Thicke
  • Cox
5:01
Total length:51:29

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia June 30, 2014 CD, digital download Star Trak Entertainment, Interscope Records
Belgium
Denmark
France
Ireland
Italy
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
Germany
Canada
United States July 1, 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stutz, Colin (June 18, 2014). "Robin Thicke Releases 'Paula' Album Art, Track List". Billboard. 'Paula' will be released on July 1
  2. ^ Menyes, Carolyn (June 30, 2014). "Listen: Stream Robin Thicke 'Paula' Before July 1 Release Date As Singer Pleads to Get Wife Paula Patton Back". Music Times.
  3. ^ Guardian music. "Robin Thicke's Paula sells just 530 copies in first week of sales". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  4. ^ a b "Robin Thicke's Album 'Paula' Sold 550 Copies In Canada, 530 In The UK (Yes, Total)". Huffingtonpost.ca. 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  5. ^ a b Cashmere, Paul (2014-07-14). "Robin Thicke Debuts On Australian Chart At 207". Noise11. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  6. ^ a b Hampp, Andrew (2014-07-18). "How Robin Thicke Went From Hero to Zero -- and How He Could Rebound". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  7. ^ Nudd, Tim (May 9, 2014). "Paula Patton Breaks Silence About Robin Thicke Split: I'll Always Feel 'Deep Love' for Him". People. Time Inc. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Margaret, Mary (February 24, 2014). "Robin Thicke and Paula Patton Separate". People. Time Inc. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Robin Thicke Announces New Album 'Paula'". Rap-Up. June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  10. ^ Thicke, Robin (June 27, 2014). "Robin Thicke on Recording 'Paula' album". On Air With Ryan Seacrest (Interview). Interviewed by Ryan Seacrest.
  11. ^ Thicke, Robin (July 3, 2014). "Robin Thicke tells Shaila the truth behind "Paula" + the status of his marriage". Midday's with Shaila (Interview). Interviewed by Shaila Scott.
  12. ^ a b "Reviews for Paula by Robin Thicke". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Paula - Robin Thicke". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Hope, Clover (June 27, 2014). "Robin Thicke Reaches Out For 'Paula': Album Review". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Kyle Anderson (2014-07-02). "Paula Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  16. ^ a b Patrick, Ryan B. (2014-07-01). "Robin Thicke - Paula". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
  17. ^ a b "Robin Thicke knows no shame on 'Paula'". Latimes.com. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  18. ^ "Robin Thicke's album 'Paula' is a plea to win back his wife: album review". NY Daily News. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  19. ^ a b Julia LeConte (2014-07-03). "Robin Thicke - Paula". Nowtoronto.com. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  20. ^ Julianne Escobedo Shepherd (2014-07-09). "Robin Thicke 'Paula' Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  21. ^ a b Camp, Alexa (June 25, 2014). "Robin Thicke: Paula | Album Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Gardner, Elysa (July 1, 2014). "Oh, 'Paula': Robin Thicke is sorry, and then some". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  23. ^ "Trey Songz Scores Second No. 1 Album With 'Trigga'". Billboard. 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
  24. ^ Tardio, Andres (2014-06-25). "Hip Hop Album Sales: Trey Songz, Iggy Azalea, Pharrell, Eminem, 50 Cent". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  25. ^ "Robin Thicke's Paula charts at 200th after just 530 sales". Descrier. July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  26. ^ Paula (booklet). Robin Thicke. Star Trak Entertainment, Interscope Records. 2014. B0021107-02.
  27. ^ "Robin Thicke - Paula (Deluxe Edition) - Only at Target". Target. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  28. ^ "How Robin Thicke Went From Hero to Zero -- and How He Could Rebound". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robin Thicke – Paula" (in French). Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Robin Thicke – Paula" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Robin Thicke – Paula". Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Robin Thicke | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  33. ^ "Robin Thicke Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  34. ^ "Robin Thicke Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  35. ^ "2014 Year-End Charts - Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 27, 2015.