One of my most anticipated albums arrives as Robin Thicke releases his eighth studio album, On Earth, and in Heaven. Thicke opens his latest with the melodic "Lucky Star." In numerous interviews, Thicke has mentioned the song was inspired by two people he lost. His late father, Alan Thicke, and one of his mentors Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell. Thicke composed the song with Nasri & James Gass, and hearing the lyrics brought up memories of one of my friends who passed away this past summer. For me, the song speaks to the healing process that comes with grief.
Latin vibes feel the album's second track, "Hola," but Thicke put his signature sound on the song. I could easily see the song being a hit with the right remix for Salsa fans. The Latin vibe music continues on "Lola Mia," where Thicke pays homage to his daughters with model April Love Geary.
"Gorgeous" follows and will take listeners back to the nineties when R&B had fire interludes that you wished were a longer song. Thicke then transitions into "The Thing You Do To Me," another melodic track, where the track could've quickly gone into the crass territory. Instead, Thicke croons over a sound that is reminiscent of seventies soul.
"Out Of My Mind" and "Beautiful" both find Thicke returning to the sound of his first two albums. After the strength of the previous songs, "Look Easy" comes off as somewhat filler. However, even when he's playing it safe, Thicke is still good as his voice is in pristine form, and he's singing with a confidence we haven't heard from him in years.
The album closes out with the initial singles that Thicke released in advance of the album. The funky "Take Me Higher" is up first before Thicke moves into the balladry. "Forever Mine" drips with emotion and is a must for your slow jam playlist. "That's What Love Can Do" is the album's finale and reminds us of the joys of love no matter what the facets are.
If you're expecting anything along the lines of Thicke's massive hit "Blurred Lines, then you're going to be upset. There isn't one song for here that is made for pop radio. Instead, On Earth, and in Heaven finds Robin Thicke back in the groove of making the music that made me a fan almost two decades ago.
Final Grade A –
Top Songs: "That's What Love Can Do," "Forever Mine," and "Lucky Star"
On Earth, and in Heaven is available on all streaming platforms. In On Earth, and in Heaven addition, physical copes are amiable for purchase at your favorite retailer