Robin Thicke has had a rough year. He and his wife, actress Paula Patton, split up and the ensuing attention as he was trying hard to reconcile wasn’t too positive. Apparently, some people thought an R&B singer pouring his feelings out about heartbreak didn’t fit into the current vein of graphic songs begging women to perform various sexual favors.
Thicke’s album Paula (and it feels like an album in the more old-school sense), dedicated to his estranged wife was met with more of the same scorn, but after the controversy blows over, it may yet be appreciated as the raw sonic portrait of a love gone awry and how that hurts. Thicke, like most R&B singers, and really, most men, can express through music what they can’t put into words directly to a loved one.
Here, Thicke talks to the Tom Joyner Morning Show about Paula, the album and Paula, the woman.
On whether he got any advice from his father, actor Alan Thicke who’s been married three times:
On whether he recorded Paula before or after the breakup:
The thing is the “Get Her Back “song is the first song I wrote when we first started having problems and then when we separated, I was on tour, so when I finished that tour,I just went right in the studio and finished that album in a couple weeks.
On the common theme in all his music:
You could probably play any song from the last five albums and it would sound like it was out now. (Sings) “I wish I could change, I wish I could change.” I’ve been saying the same thing for 10 years.
On how he and Paula decided they needed to separate:
We’ve been together 21 years since we were 14 years old. It was a mutual decision. It wasn’t like somebody stormed out the house and that was it. We’re grownups and we knew what we were doing. We’ve got a beautiful little boy and when the energy in the house isn’t working, you’ve got to make some changes.
On what he learned from the breakup:
I’m learning every day. We kind of raised each other. We adopted each other as teenagers so I think we’re trying to figure out who we are individually instead of leaning so hard on each other.
On what he was thinking when writing the album:
I didn’t really think about nothing at all. These are the things that are going through my head or my heart, so I gotta write what I’m feeling.
I made it a personal title but it’s a universal feeling that we all go through when you lose somebody special and they’re trying to figure out the next step in your life. Like I said, the songs have been saying the same thing for ten years.