NEW YORK — Robin Thicke had a close call. A few months ago, despite his new song "Wanna Love You Girl" heating up clubs — and despite being under the wing of music-biz sage Jimmy Iovine and Pharrell — the singer could have sworn he was on borrowed time. Thicke's second LP, The Evolution of Robin Thicke, was following in the footsteps of his debut, Beautiful World: It wasn't selling.
Then, as fate would have it, his record label allowed him to shoot a video for his second single, "Lost Without U." It was a win across the board. The fans got a sexy, soulful record reminiscent of Maxwell and old-school Smokey Robinson. Star Trak/ Interscope got some sales — the album, which has been holding steady in the Billboard albums chart top 10 and is currently at #6, is just shy of 600,000 copies sold. And Thicke got some much-warranted and much-wanted recognition.
"Every Wednesday [when the SoundScan charts come out], I get the call from my manager, and luckily for me, the last month, it's been great news," he said recently. "I feel blessed and excited to share the music with people."
As it turns out, Thicke says he penned "Lost Without U" while he was wallowing in self-pity.
"I wrote it when I released my first album and I was on tour," he said. "I was feeling really insecure. I was wondering — 'cause I wasn't having commercial success — if I was talented enough. Am I not sexy enough? I was going through an insecure period and wanted my lady to tell me how fabulous and how sexy and how wonderful I am. And how she depends on me. I would be lost without her telling me that. All my songs are that personal.
"A few months ago, I was suicidal still," he said, melodramatizing his anxiety over being in the doldrums. "I was on tour. Struggling and wondering if I was ever going to reach enough success commercially that I would be able to do another album or shoot another video. I thought ['Lost Without U'] would be my last video I ever did. Which is why I put my wife in it. I wanted it to tell the truth and wanted to represent what the last few years of my life is."
Thicke's LP is doing so well now that his record label reissued the project on Valentine's Day. The digital edition now has three new songs, while the spruced-up brick-and-mortar version has bonus ringtones and wallpaper. And yes, Thicke — happy to finally be riding success — insists that he'll be shooting a new video for an as-yet-determined track soon.