Robin Thicke tops this week's new music

A still from Robin Thicke's latest video for Get Her Back.

A still from Robin Thicke's latest video for Get Her Back.

Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:53 PM ET

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Robin Thicke
Paula


That proverb about being careful what you wish for? Robbie should be feeling that one right now. The past year has been the best and worst of times for the half-Canuck crooner. And he has only himself to thank. After more than a decade of happily half-assing it on fame’s fringes — comfortably cushioned by his family fortune and connections — the lightweight popster apparently decided he wanted more. So he embraced the truism that sleazy does it by cutting an infectious single with rapey lyrics, cavorting with a bunch of topless women in the video for same, and willingly participating in the explicit, televised deflowering of Miley Cyrus’s good-girl image. Faster than you could say ‘pandering to the masses,’ he was TMZ famous. And faster than you could say ‘middle-age crazy,’ his wife Paula Patton took a hike. So now, like countless men before him, Thicke is apparently trying to make up for his year of PDD (Public Displays of D-baggery) with what he likely thinks is a giant PDA: Naming his eighth album for her. And, more to the point, filling said disc with a lengthy litany of plaintive pleas to come back home because he’s sorry he blew it and still madly crazy in love with you and all he wants to do is make it right with you because he’s pretty sure you were lovers in a past life so your love is forever, baby. Sadly, also like countless men before him, his relentless-bordering-on-aggressive approach comes off more like creepy-stalker ex than sincerely repentant romantic. Though on the plus side, the disc’s easily accessible (though sometimes incongruously upbeat) synthesis of soul, funk and R&B grooves — along with its warm, organic old-school vibe — go down far easier than his one-dimensional proclamations about being down on his knees to say please, baby, please. Will it work? Can this marriage be saved? Only they know for sure. But even if she does take him back, one thing is certain: He’s going to be singing “I know you want it” at every concert for the rest of his life. So blurring those lines from her memory is something he can only wish for.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)



NOW HERE THIS

Corb Lund
Counterfeit Blues


Some pilgrimages lead down memory lane. That’s the case for roots-rocker Lund and his Hurtin’ Albertans, who journeyed to the musical Mecca of Memphis — and the hallowed ground of Sun Studio — to bang out a passel of tunes from 2002’s Five Dollar Bill and 2005’s Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer. Double your pleasure with the accompanying DVD, which includes Memphis Sun, a 45-minute TV doc on the sessions, and three unaired bonus performances.

RATING: 4 (out of 5)

Sia
1000 Forms of Fear


Heavy hangs the head that wears the blond bob. Four years after the upbeat We Are Born — and a subsequent detour into depression and addiction over her phobia and fame — quirky Australian singer and superstar songwriter Sia Furler guardedly returns with a decidedly deeper, darker and more downbeat sixth album. Clap your hands. Just not too enthusiastically; you might scare her off again.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

Big Freedia
Just be Free

Release your wiggle. And everything else. New Orleans’ queen diva of sissy bounce — a.k.a. rapper Freddie Ross — has unleashed a fourth twerk-intensive barrage of unstoppably pneumatic beats and inclusive dance-party anthems. Free your booty and your mind will follow.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

The Buzzcocks
The Way


Never mind the poseurs — here’s the Buzzcocks. And while the U.K. icons have understandably tempered the frenzied attack of their youth in favour of Bob Mould-like melodicism and maturity, their first album in eight years still boasts enough serrated guitars and punk propulsion to satisfy the purists.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Clipping
Clppng


Rappers always want you to make some noise. These guys would rather do it themselves. L.A. trio Clipping’s debut full-length (after a 2013 mixtape) keeps you on your toes by splicing grim rapid-fire lyrics in with twitchy post-industrial beats and glitchy noisescapes to forge unsettling tales of urban paranoia and dystopia. The disc drags a hair in the middle, but even so, it’s unlike anything you’ve heard lately. And that’s something to make noise over.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Caustic Window
Caustic Window


Buried treasure of the week: A test pressing of a shelved 1994 album from Aphex Twin/Richard D. James’ Caustic Window alias recently resurfaced — and was promptly bought online for $46,000 by the creator of Minecraft. Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, you can stream these quietly pulsing, understatedly murky acid-house and techno tracks for free. Who’s the genius now?

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Seether
Isolate & Medicate


More like Flagellate & Lacerate. Detonate & Castigate. Annihilate & Suffocate. Dominate & Subjugate. Or the real way to sum up the sixth soundalike set of boilerplate post-grunge hatred from these aptly named South Africans: Stagnate and Nauseate.

RATING: 2 (out of 5)

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Live 2013

Membership has its privileges. Even for Petty fans. Folks who shell out to join his Highway Companions Club get this digital live compilation of recordings from New York’s Beacon Theatre, L.A.’s Fonda Theatre and Bonnaroo. The set list is light on hits and heavy on deep cuts like Love is a Long Road and cool covers like Little Feat’s Willin’ and The Monkees’ Steppin’ Stone.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

OLDIES OF THE WEEK


Bon Jovi
New Jersey: Super Deluxe Edition

Big hits, big hair, big dreams. This was Bon Jovi in 1988. Spurred by the runaway success of their 1986 breakthrough Slippery When Wet — and determined not to be one-hit wonders — pretty-boy frontman Jon Bon Jovi and his feather-maned bandmates set out to create the most ambitious album of their career: A two-disc opus titled Sons of Beaches, with artwork inspired by Sgt. Pepper. Fortunately (or not, depending on your level of love for the Jovi), saner heads prevailed. Sons of Beaches morphed into New Jersey. And thanks to a handful of hits including Bad Medicine, I’ll Be There For You and Lay Your Hands on Me, the sonically expansive, Springsteen-in-Spandex album became a blockbuster that cemented the band’s global status as arena-rock superstars. Proving that you can go home again (and again) New Jersey was reissued in 1998 and 2010 with some extra live tracks tossed into the mix. Now, for its slightly belated 25th anniversary, it gets the mandatory multi-disc makeover in a just-released Super Deluxe Edition. As always, the three-disc set begins with the remastered original album — recorded in Vancouver with producer Bruce Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock — plus a couple of B-sides and a cringe-worthy cover of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back in Town. The second CD is more rewarding, thanks to a baker’s dozen raw, rough-and-ready demos from the Sons of Beaches project, including several tracks that didn’t make the cut or went on to be recorded by other artists. Finally, there’s a DVD with the New Jersey tour doc Access All Areas: A Rock & Roll Odyssey — your standard MTV-style 90-minute globe-trotting whirlwind of backstages, tour buses, radio interviews and whatnot — and all the videos from the album. Dig out your animal-print leggings, backcomb your hair and rock out. You too, ladies.

RATING: 4 (out of 5)



NOW SEE HERE: MUSIC ON DVD

Peter Gabriel
Back to Front: Live in London/Live in Athens 1987


Trust Gabriel to make nostalgia feel new and improved. To mark the 25th anniversary of his solo commercial breakthrough So, the Genesis refugee reassembled the core players, recreated the album in its entirety — and reimagined the stage show with upgraded technology and, as usual, no shortage of striking visuals and artsy choreography. The result: This 135-minute live concert film, which comes packaged in a hardback book complete with a second theatrical version, assorted extras, the full concert on two CDs and a 24-bit download code. Big-time props. To further embiggen the nostalgia, couple it with Live in Athens 1987, a remarkably clear HD version of a two-hour set from the original tour, augmented a second disc of videos.

RATING: 3 and 3.5 (out of 5)

Rob Zombie
The Zombie Horror Picture Show

A.K.A. The Devil’s Music Video. Horror-rocker Zombie raises his usual brand of hellish sensory-overload sleaze on this 80-minute concert film, cramming in every gimmick possible — masks and makeup, bubbles and fire, hyperactive editing and low-grade footage, dancing robots and major boobage for the teenage boys. Fun for the whole family — especially the Manson Family.

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Elton John
The Million Dollar Piano

He definitely paid way too much. Then again, the folks who bought tickets to John’s latest Vegas residency probably didn’t get a much better deal. Nor did they get anything beyond a standard (albeit enjoyable) 110-minute assortment of hits and highlights from Elton’s decades-long career — played on a grand piano decorated with a silly and underwhelming wrap-around video screen.

RATING: 3 (out of 5)

IN THE PIPELINE

July 15

The Acid
Liminal
Anberlin
Lowborn
Bleachers
Strange Desire
John Hiatt
Terms of My Surrender
Loverboy
Unfinished Business
Audra McDonald
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Jason Mraz
YES!
Morrissey
World Peace Is None of Your Business
My Brightest Diamond
None More Than You
Pennywise
Yesterdays
Plastikman
Ex
Puss N Boots
No Fools, No Fun
Raffi
Love Bug
Rise Against
The Black Market
Trampled By Turtles
Wild Animals
“Weird Al” Yankovic
Mandatory Fun

Twitter: @Darryl_Sterdan
darryl.sterdan@sunmedia.ca


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