Robin Thicke’s personal crusade to win back his estranged wife, actress Paula Patton, just got a bit more awkward. In the depressing new video for his slinky single “Get Her Back” (from his upcoming LP, Paula), the disheveled singer croons his love-lost plea directly into the camera, as uncomfortably personal text messages (presumably between the couple) flash on-screen.
There’s a magnetic quality to the clip’s visual appeal, but given the real-life context, the overall effect is slightly disturbing. Thicke appears both frantic and exhausted, sporting a bloodied nose and occasionally pointing a finger-gun to his temple. “I never should have raised my voice or made you feel so small,” he sings, addressing the romantic split over barely-there guitar chords and silky harmonies.
The text messages, meanwhile, allude to rumors of infidelity. “How could you do that to me?” one reads, while another notes, “I kept trying to warn you you were pushing me too far.” (Elsewhere: “You drink too much,” “You embarrassed me,” “I can’t make love to you anymore.”) In response to a Thicke message stating “I wrote a whole album for you,” the absent lover responds with a cold “I don’t care.”
Thicke and Patton separated back in February after almost nine years of marriage. A source told Us Magazine that “Robin does not want this divorce,” and the singer has been proving that fact in recent months. Back in May, Thicke performed “Get Her Back” at the Billboard Music Awards, introducing the song with a shout-out to Patton. “Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife for her love and support and for putting up with me for all of these years,” he said before the performance, which featured the singer belting down on his knees.
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Paula, his new studio album (and dedication to Patton), is out July 1st. Along with “Get Her Back,” the tracklist also features titles like “Too Little Too Late” and “Forever Love.”