Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2013

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams

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Robin Thicke’s "Blurred Lines” was the controversial party hit of summer 2013.

Song: Blurred Lines
Artist: Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams
Album: Robin Thicke
Songwriter: Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, Clifford Harris Jr.
Producer: Pharrell
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Concept
A provocative sexually suggestive recording aimed at heating up a dance floor and raising hackles with its seductive energy.

Lyric
A spinoff of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” the words are filled with playful lasciviousness, though some may complain that they demean women by turning them into sex objects. The video that made the song a hit shows a naughty devilish Thicke and his buddies coming on to hot gyrating young women barely half their age. OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you But you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature Just let me liberate you Hey, hey, hey You don't need no papers Hey, hey, hey That man is not your maker And that's why I'm gon' take a good girl I know you want it I know you want it I know you want it You're a good girl Can't let it get past me You're far from plastic Talk about getting blasted I hate these blurred lines I know you want it I know you want it I know you want it But you're a good girl The way you grab me Must wanna get nasty Go ahead, get at me Everybody get up

Groove
An energetic 8th note rhythmic foundation with overlaid 16ths make this an extremely hot dance record.

Melody
Hooky and melodic at the same time. The sections are clear cut, well-contrasted, and memorable. The falsetto lines give the melody a wide range.

Harmony
The alternating between two chords, a I7 and a V7, underscores this track with a unique sound (even if it is very reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s hit).

Structure
Intro verse pre-chorus chorus verse2 pre-chorus chorus verse 3 bridge pre-chorus chorus outro Sig ABC ABC A D BC Tag

Signature
The bookend intro and outro are classic dance-pop material.

Production
The production is crisp and the feel is very contagious.

Performance
Both Thicke’s and Williams’ highly effective vocals are sassy and expressive.

Predicted Longevity
An exciting recording. Within its genre, Blurred Lines stands out, but it may not be broad enough in appeal or depth to make anyone’s best song of the year list. A signature recording that will eventually bring back memories of 2013. A Grammy contender next year to be sure. On the “Cat Scale” from 1 to 5, I give it a 4 1/2.

Album Cover: Robin Thicke

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