Robin Thicke: Love After War

Love After War

(Robin Thicke)
Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thicke has written songs fro many artists such as Usher, Lil' Wayne, Michael Jackson, and Christina Aguilera. He is the son of Canadian Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke.

Robin Thicke returns with Love and War in both a regular and deluxe edition CD release. Seventeen tracks make up the total regular release album consisting of R&B, Soul, Funk, and other influences. Lil’ Wayne appears on the track “Pretty Lil’ Heart”. Thicke and Wayne have a long running collaboration appearing on one another’s past albums.

The first track on the album begins with Angel On Each Arm, a funky high energy track that sounds very reminiscent of Mark Ronson’s work from his Versions album. Lots of horns, big sound production, and Thicke providing a powerfully robust vocal performance which makes the track easily one of the better high energy tracks on the album.

Track two, I’m An Animal, has a disco core to it combined with funk organ, Detroit horns, and synths playing off in the background. Again Thicke provides a straight forward high energy vocal performance that’s powerfully delivered. So far so good.

Never Give Up is the following track and absolutely has to be my favorite off the album. The track has soulful vocals that play alongside a fantastic low tempo orchestration that builds as the song progresses then falters and rises continuously throughout the track. It literally gave me goose bumps.

The New Generation is a song that has great heart that is basically a shout out to unity and love. Overall though it feels a bit more throwback then anything. Thicke seems incapable of delivering a poor vocal performance but the construction of the track simply feels retro, as if we’ve been here before with someone else. The same critique can be applied to the next track, title track Love After War. 1980 makes a serious house call on this one. Again, fantastic vocals, but we’ve done this before.

All Tied Up is a super smooth track that is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye. Thicke’s voice just floats smooth across the slick instrumental element on the track. This, possibly unfortunately for some listeners, marks the down tempo routine of the album. From this point on the majority of tracks on Love After War are slow smooth ballads. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion, especially since almost all of them take on a sense of individual style, but I can see how some listeners might get a bit tired of back to back ballads.

Overall the album is a fantastic collection of tracks that fans of Marvin Gaye, Raphael Saadiq, Lenny Kravitz, and other R&B/Funk/Soul artists can really get behind. As much as I want to deduct more points for some of the songs on the album being a bit under par in comparison with the majority of great tracks on this album, as a whole, the album is undeniably one of the best R&B releases on the back end of this year. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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