Blown Away: Eulogies for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and NBC’s “The Sound of Music” TV Special

Posted December 6, 2013 by J Matthew Cobb in News

The critics have their way at Robin Thicke and Carrie Underwood

Seems like Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield has a saucy vendetta for “Blurred Lines,” the summer hit from R&B crooner Robin Thicke. In a just-published essay for the magazine, Sheffield rips a hole into Thicke’s faux-Marvin Gaye tune. The wounds are so deep that he dubbed it the worst song of the year (and any other year).

He writes:

Let me put it this way: Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey could pay their holiday respects to Lou Reed with a duet medley of “The Black Angel’s Death Song”/”O Little Town of Bethlehem” and it would still be a distant second.”

He went on to write that the song is “not just another terrible song. Its historic badness is an achievement that demands respect.” 

Cue the classic Florida Evans line: “Damn, damn, damn.”

Earlier this year HiFi went a little aggressive on Thicke’s song while trying to push Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” back at the top of the list as this year’s summer song. Rewind to that moment by clicking here.


After reading today’s dailys, it seems like the critics are also having a hard time swallowing NBC’s rehashing of the Disney classic The Sound of Music. Staged as a live TV staged presentation, the NBC special billed as The Sound of Music Live (which pulled in an astonishing 18.5 million views) drew heavy criticism across the board, even all the way to the writers of TIME magazine. Charlotte Alter wrote that it was “cringe-worthy.”

Why wasn’t she Julie Andrews? Is being Julie Andrews so much to ask for? No chic pixie cut either. Heidi braids.

Being a “jolly good fellow” instead of a holiday Grinch, Alter points out six things that went right for the special, which included the casting of Audra McDonald (Mother Superior) and Christian Borle as Uncle Max. But the hammering of Underwood’s ho-hum acting skills. Watching the reboot went so bad for the critic that she even said that Morgan Freeman would have been a better fit for the role, especially since he “once played God.”

TIME magazine rushed to defend Carrie Underwood, with Laura Stampler writing that it wasn’t entirely her fault.

But it looks like the world of critics just didn’t like it. Not one bit. From The Hollywood Reporter (“her acting leaves a hole where this live production’s heart should’ve been”) to the Associated Press (“Deer in headlights have emoted more”) to Variety (“the actual production too often felt as lifeless as those alpine backdrops”) to the New York Times (“It was a live performance of a legendary musical that felt muted and a little sad”).

It’s really hard to imagine country star Carrie Underwood being cast in the iconic role that Julie Andrews defined. The project may have been cursed from the very beginning, and it looks like Underwood is partly to blame.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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