Continuing a thorough public humiliation of the sort that would make for a catchy club anthem, Robin Thicke’s latest album, Paula—or as it’s soon to be known in some circles, “Exhibit A”—sold a mere 530 copies in its first week in the UK. While still enough to land at No. 200 on the British charts, presumably just behind Now That’s What I Call Tea Kettles!, it was a dismal debut that equals a mere 2 percent of what Blurred Lines sold in its first week there.
It followed an equally poor showing in America, where Paula sold just under 24,000 copies, barely squeaking into ninth place on the Billboard chart—a far cry from Blurred Lines’ No. 1 last year with 177,000 copies, and easily his worst showing since 2006’s The Evolution Of Robin Thicke, back when people were still making Growing Pains jokes. And it was accompanied by his selling just 550 copies in Canada, to very nice people who probably just felt sorry for that young man. And it comes after weeks of embarrassment for Thicke, which have included his recent Twitter Q&A disaster, an awkward BET Awards performance, an even more awkward video, and, of course, his writing and releasing of an album begging Paula Patton to take him back.
Still, to paraphrase what people used to say about the Velvet Underground, only 530 people may have bought Robin Thicke’s album, but all of them went on to make uncomfortable public pleas for reconciliation with their estranged wives.