For his LP Something Else,
Robin Thicke found inspiration from two places: Motown records and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He hopes to capture that nostalgic flair on the album.
“I mean with a little wind in our sails after having the success on the last album, we were all excited to go in [to the studio],” he said. “We wanted to have all the equipment set up, all the percussion instruments and all the guitars and have everybody … just like kids in a candy store.”
This album, for Thicke, was about finding some peace and coming to terms with a world that he sees as unfair at times. “I really just wanted to achieve some healing, and I needed to be healed,” he said. “I needed to believe in myself, and my wife — being an African-American actress and being African-American in this world — she faces a lot of challenges that I, as a white man, [don’t] have to face. … Having sympathy and understanding for what she goes through made me wanna write songs.”
Thicke also wasn’t afraid to mix business and pleasure when he sat down to work on the album. For one song, “Beautifully Imperfect,” he sought the advice of his wife, actress Paula Patton. “I wrote it with my music partner, who plays guitar, and my wife actually threw in a few lines here and there. … I was at the house writing the song, and I had the chorus and some of the verse, but she was struggling with her business and the opportunities in her business because of the color of her skin.”
Working together was a natural fit for the couple, and with subject matter that hit so close to home, the song was born from a very organic place. “We just started talking about ’Don’t we wish that that those things would go away and we could live in a different world and a different society?’ and that’s where that song comes from,” he said.
Thicke didn’t feel the need to impress anyone when he was making Something Else. Why? Because Thicke feels pressure to be good no matter what. “I’ve always put so much pressure on myself, nobody could ever do that to me,” he said.
“I’m never happy with what I’m doing, and I can’t wait to get to the next one so I can do even better — even though some people say this is my best,” he added. “That’s the job of an artist — to leave the past behind and bear down onto the future to try to make something even better.”