Something Else (Robin Thicke album)

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Something Else
Something Special official.png
Studio album by Robin Thicke
Released September 30, 2008
Recorded 2007—2008
Genre R&B, soul, alternative hip hop
Length 50:21
Label Star Trak, Interscope
Producer Pharrell (exec.), Robin Thicke, Pro J, Best Kept Secret, Mark Ronson
Robin Thicke chronology
The Evolution of Robin Thicke
(2006)
Something Else
(2008)
Sex Therapy: The Session
(2009)
Singles from Something Else
  1. "Magic"
    Released: May 20, 2008
  2. "The Sweetest Love"
    Released: September 9, 2008
  3. "Dreamworld"
    Released: March 4, 2009

Something Else is the third studio album by R&B singer Robin Thicke, released on September 30, 2008.[1] It is a follow up to Thicke's highly successful second album The Evolution of Robin Thicke and features a guest appearance by Lil Wayne.[2]

Background and Composition[edit]

After Robin Thicke finished his tour for The Evolution of Robin Thicke, he immediately went into the studio to start recording his next album.[3] The album features production from Thicke and Pro J. Thicke describing the recording process of the album:

We just went in to the studio and we jammed. A lot of the songs are just jam sessions that turned into songs and then some of the other ones are songs I would write and then bring the band in to help me record it, but the band is on every song because we’re not using synthesizers and drum machines ... We had like two different drums setup, ten different guitars, twenty percussion instruments, three different organs or Wurlitzers or Rhodes. So we had it set up that we could be like kids in a candy store and try to create something fresh, something else.[4]

The album drew musical comparisons from critics to the sounds of Philly soul, Motown, and disco funk which Thicke attributed to the use of live instruments, including string and horn sections.[5]

The song "Dreamworld" muses about Thicke's ideal world in which there is, among other things, no poverty and racism.[4] The song was partly inspired by his marriage to Paula Patton and observations of her personal and professional experiences as a black woman.[4]

The song "Tie My Hands" was written by Thicke after the events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He was motivated to write the song by his own feelings concerning his inability to aid in the midst of the tragedy, saying, "What happened there greatly affected a lot of us Americans. Because, though we felt like these people deserved to be helped immediately, we couldn't help. Instead we were all just watching this debacle happen in front of our eyes."[5] Months later, Thicke played his original iteration of the song for rapper Lil' Wayne which, according to Thicke, "moved" the New Orleans native. Thicke held on to the song and did not release it until he was contacted by Wayne in 2008 regarding it, which led to their collaboration,[5] marking their third time featuring on the same track following "Shooter" and "All Night Long".[6]

Thicke wrote the song “Shadow of Doubt” following a 2007 performance on The Oprah Winfrey Show (for which he felt uneasy and unprepared despite it being well-received); he described the song as being “about a nagging feeling of inadequacy, one that ceaselessly stalks, no matter how one ascends.”[7]

Speaking in October 2008 to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul, Thicke explained the lyrical background to 'Something Else': "With me I think there's always been a little bit of self-examination, spirituality and love in the music. But, where the last album was more me sitting around my house with my piano writing all these songs to make MYSELF feel better, this time I've started talking more about OTHER PEOPLE'S experiences, rather than just my own. The feeling I had while writing these songs was that I wanted to embrace people, and that I wanted to BE embraced."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[8]
Billboard (favorable)[9]
Blender 2.5/5 stars[10]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[11]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[12]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[13]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[14]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[15]
USA Today 3/4 stars[16]
Vibe (favorable)[17]
Yahoo! Music UK 8/10 stars[18]

The album received positive reviews from the critics and compare his voice and style to Marvin Gaye.[16]

  • Rolling Stone Magazine gave a mixed review to the album, giving 3 out of 5 stars saying:

"Robin Thicke offers a vanilla alternative. (No pun intended.) His largely self-produced third album picks up where his big 2007 hit "Lost Without U" left off, with Thicke cooing in an airy falsetto that holds promises of honesty, fidelity and long nights in the boudoir focused solely on Her Pleasure. The music is a lush, louche swirl of strings, congas and Fender Rhodes that flaunts its debts to Marvin Gaye ("You're My Baby"), classic disco ("Something Else") and Philly soul ("Magic"). As a utilitarian background soundtrack, it'll do nicely — lots of babies will be made to ballads like "Cry No More." But Thicke's songwriting teeters into self-parody, and his mixed metaphors — "We're just spaceships in the night/Ripping the clothes off of the past/Making a new path" — could break the mood of the randiest couples".[14]

Chart performance and sales[edit]

The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 selling 136,944 copies the first week.[19] In its second week, the album fell to number 12, selling 38,577 copies, but rose back up to number 11 the next week. As of April 2009, the album has shifted over 435,000 units in the US.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Canada (Billboard) 26
France (SNEP) 92
Netherlands (MegaCharts) 25
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 65
UK Albums (The Official Charts Company) 83
US Billboard 200 3
US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard) 3

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "You're My Baby" (Robin Thicke, James Gass, Max) 4:16
2. "Sidestep" (Robin Thicke, Larry Cox II, Greg Malone, L.B. Breaux) 4:11
3. "Magic" (Robin Thicke, James Gass, Max) 3:53
4. "Ms. Harmony" (Robin Thicke, Bobby B. Keyes, Max, Robert Daniels) 4:47
5. "Dreamworld" (Robin Thicke, James Gass, Max) 4:39
6. "Loverman" (Robin Thicke, Bobby B. Keyes, Max) 4:42
7. "Hard on My Love" (Robin Thicke, Andrew McKay, Andre Harrell) 3:36
8. "The Sweetest Love" (Robin Thicke) 3:55
9. "Something Else" (Robin Thicke, Bobby B. Keyes) 3:16
10. "Shadow of Doubt" (Robin Thicke, James Gass) 3:27
11. "Cry No More" (Robin Thicke) 4:18
12. "Tie My Hands" (featuring Lil Wayne) (Robin Thicke, Dwayne Carter, Jr., James Gass) 5:21

Singles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Something Else: Robin Thicke: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  2. ^ "Something Else, Robin Thicke: R&B / Soul". Walmart.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  3. ^ In The Studio With Michelle Williams And Robin Thicke | Sohh On The Scene | Sohh Blog
  4. ^ a b c Thicke, Robin (13 October 2008). "Something Else with Robin Thicke" (Interview). Interview with Matt & Craig Clizbe. 
  5. ^ a b c d Robin Thicke interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' November 2008
  6. ^ The Evolution of Robin Thicke (media notes). Robin Thicke. United States: Interscope Records. 2006. 
  7. ^ Joshua, Alston (October 2008). "The White Boy who Turned You Out (But Robin Thicke Wants More)". VIBE. 16 (10): 114–115. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Something Else - Robin Thicke". Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ Wood, Mikael (October 4, 2008). "Something Else". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ Walters, Barry. "Robin Thicke : Something Else". Blender. Alpha Media Group. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Rodman, Sarah (September 23, 2008). "Another pick-up line you've already heard". The Boston Globe. Boston.com. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Something Else". Robert Christgau. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (September 24, 2008). "Something Else". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Rosen, Jody (October 2, 2008). "Something Else : Robin Thicke". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ Henderson, Eric (September 30, 2008). "Robin Thicke Something Else". Slant Magazine. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Gardner, Elysa (September 30, 2008). "Robin Thicke's 'Something Else' lays on the love". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  17. ^ Fennessey, Sean (October 1, 2008). "Robin Thicke: Something Else". Vibe. Vibe Media Group, Inc. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  18. ^ Gennoe, Dan (October 27, 2008). "Robin Thicke - Something Else". Yahoo! Music UK. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Robin Thicke - Something Else Album Review". Musicloversgroup.com. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2012-03-10.