Picks and Pans Review: Cherry Blue Skies
Following in the blue-eyed soul tradition of Hall & Oates, Boz Scaggs and George Michael, Thicke (full name: Robin Thicke) sets out to prove that he's pretty fly for a white guy on his debut disc. And he does just that on his ultrafunky first single, "When I Get You Alone," which samples Walter Murphy's 1976 disco hit "A Fifth of Beethoven." It's the basis for an old-school party groove where retro-'70s R&B meets Beastie Boys-style hip-hop. Injecting his hyper, falsetto-tinged vocal with just the right amount of humor, Thicke makes the track a fun, wink-wink nod to his obvious heroes: Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone.
Unfortunately Thicke—the 25-year-old son of Growing Pains star Alan Thicke and his ex-wife actress-singer Gloria Loring—can't sustain that juicy flavor for the rest of Cherry Blue Skies. Despite a few other infectious up-tempo numbers such as the piano-driven jam "Brand New Jones," the CD suffers from Thicke's thin vocals and often slight songs. "Oh Shooter," a slinky but slack recounting of the singer-songwriter's real-life encounter with a bank robber, fires blanks emotionally, while the title tune, with its unconvincing psychedelia, doesn't do much to make listeners swallow its Utopian lyric pleading for everyone to "get on the same side."
Bottom Line: Partly cloudy Skies