Last week, Robin Thicke’s Pharrell-assisted “Blurred Lines” featuring T.I. made it to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The general reaction among fans has been frustration. They complain that this catchy tune is too simple and unsophisticated for the crooner. The main reason why followers of Robin are upset is because they feel the song doesn’t represent the singer’s true talent.
One fan says,
His one ,silly, pointless song..becomes his biggest hit. He has released great music since 2000 and was ignored by pop radio. With that being said I dig the song [b]ut he has WAAAAY better in his catalogue.
It’s true that “Blurred Lines” is one of those songs that doesn’t particularly have much meaning. But why does such a song become successful while other songs by the same artist which showcase their talent do not? For one thing, it’s not an accurate assumption to say that only mindless pop songs with a catchy beat are hits. Adele has a string of hit songs that are about personal, relatable material. And even before “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke has achieved moderate success with his adult contemporary R&B jams. In 2007 “Lost Without U” reached No. 14 on the Hot 100.
One reason why “Blurred Lines” is so successful is because of timing. It’s the perfect summer song. The track was actually released back in March and even though it’s video featured topless models, the song didn’t really gain traction until the summer came. The instrumentation and lyrics make it ideal for this time of year.
Additionally, the song is appealing since it makes use of different musical techniques–that is, it doesn’t rely on the EDM sound that’s been dominating radio since the last decade. It’s a sign of where pop music is headed in the next few months or so. With this sexy track Pharrell has again proven his musical innovation; his work with Daft Punk on “Get Lucky” is the anthem of the summer so far. Both songs make use of funk elements which is something that has been creeping into pop songs as of late.
If trends like this keep up it can be expected that Robin will continue to explore this more uptempo side to his music. It remains to be seen what the rest of the record contains musically. Fans can get their hands on Thicke’s new record Blurred Lines June 30.