THICKE – “When I Get You Alone”
if there’s one name in rock that deserves to be delivered with caps lock on, it’s ANDREW W.K; about two car-lengths behind is THICKE. the emergence of this young singer confirms what many of us have long suspected, not to mention feared: alan thicke has been breeding again, and within the last twenty or so years.

like his old man, robin thicke is a practitioner of the songwriting craft, but whereas alan confined himself to the television theme song genre (diff’rent strokes, facts of life, wheel of fortune), robin has joined the growing ranks of pop/r&b artists. many people would try to conceal the fact that they’re the son of the guy who sang the theme to 1973’s ill-fated wizard of odds, but robin obviously revels in it. there is something unspeakably crapulent about the name THICKE in all capitals: perhaps it’s the monolithic excess it represents, or maybe because it calls to mind alan’s one-man off-broadway stage show, THICKE!, which was riddled with difficulties from day one. then again, maybe it’s just an american bias as it seems to be the very symbol of the canadians’ successful assimilation into our society, how they pass themselves off as one of us, conspire to steal our women, and monopolize our theme song industry.

the sins of the father, as they say, should not be revisited upon the son: robin has a song, and it’s not half bad at all. sure, kid rapper a+ beat him to the punch with the sample of “fifth of beethoven,” but robin uses it far more creatively and extensively. vocally, he falls somewhere in between justin timberlake and bobby brown; he places similarly on the freak scale, the lyrics making coy mention of putting one’s (preferably female) toys (e.g. a vibrator) away for the evening. what’s most disconcerting about the track, lineage notwithstanding, is the way the backing vocals and strings and synths create a wall of sound akin to michael jackson’s “thriller,” so it’s not so much “when i get you alone,” but “when i get you backed into a corner in this here dark alley.” anyone who’s seen the “thriller” video, and that means you, knows that that’s no way to get ola ray into bed –then again, michael jackson’s pops wasn’t the dad in growing pains.