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by Mosi Reeves

August 1, 2013

The Robin Thicke Primer

by Mosi Reeves  |  August 1, 2013

Robin Thicke's music career dates back to the late '90s – that's him doing background vocals on New Kids on the Block singer Jordan Knight's cover of Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man." Thicke has released five albums as a solo artist, with the new Blurred Lines on track to become his most successful to date. The No. 1 title track -- an homage to Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" -- is hardly the first time he's dabbled in disco. One of his best singles, "Magic," uses the same kind of midtempo glitter-ball arrangement, and his 2003 single "When I Get You Alone" riffs on Walter Murphy's Saturday Night Fever chestnut "A Fifth of Beethoven."

But if you've followed Thicke's career during the past decade, then you know that his primary strength is ballads. On the softly swaying bossa nova melody of "Lost Without U" and his passionate tribute to the late Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," his effortlessly smooth voice turns into a thing of poise and warmth. He often refers to his marriage to his high school sweetheart, actress Paula Patton, and you can hear the union's calming influence on his life. This playlist collects both sides of the singer, from growling at ladies at the club to enjoying the fruits of everlasting love at home.

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