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Tag: the Breakdown (1-3 of 3)

The Breakdown: Robin Thicke's 'Paula' influences, by the numbers

Earlier this week, Robin Thicke released his seventh LP, Paula, just shy of a year after his last album, Blurred Lines. It’s been an eventful year for Thicke: “Blurred Lines” finally broke him with the mainstream American audience he had been courting relentlessly for a decade, his image has grown more salacious (helped out by his breakout single’s nudity-filled video and his on-stage freaking of Miley Cyrus at last year’s VMAs), and his wife of nearly nine years, Paula Patton, left him, apparently for reasons stemming from these developments.

As its title suggests, Paula is an album-length examination of their estrangement, as well as a pitch to convince Patton to reconcile. It’s the kind of flop-sweaty grand gesture that men have long been making when their partners finally get fed up with their nonsense, on an epic scale. A forgiving critic might call it “deeply personal,” but so far it’s mostly been called creepy and invasive, not to mention fundamentally flawed and misguided.

After the jump we’ll dig through this mess and figure out what it’s made from. READ FULL STORY

The Breakdown: Ed Sheeran's 'x' influences, by the numbers

This week’s biggest new release is British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s x. Sheeran’s songwriting work for Taylor Swift and One Direction and acoustic pop style have earned him a fan base that’s heavy on younger listeners, but x (which is apparently meant to be pronounced “multiply”) deals with more mature themes, like the alienation that comes with fame and life on the road, as well as the ways sexual and chemical diversions can get away from you. People seem to be digging his new grown-up persona–our Melissa Maerz gave the album a B.

For this installment of the Breakdown we’ll take x apart and figure out what it’s made of. READ FULL STORY

The Breakdown: Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' influences, by the numbers

Lana Del Rey’s 2012 debut, Born to Die, made her a weirdly controversial cult star. Last year’s one-two punch of “Young and Beautiful” and Cedric Gervais’s remix of the Born to Die track “Summertime Sadness” proved that she could hack it in the Top 40. Del Rey’s highly anticipated Ultraviolence, released this week, was supposed to prove that her popularity so far wasn’t just a fluke. So far it seems to be succeeding: Ultraviolence is a more coherent album than Born to Die; it also doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to prove how cool it is. In a review for this week’s EWKyle Anderson gives it an A.

For the debut installment of a new feature called The Breakdown, where we examine the inspirations behind the records that everyone’s talking about, we’ll take the album apart and see what makes it great.


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