THICKE A Beautiful World (Interscope) Rating: NN
It sounds like a bad punchline: the next big thing in the soul world is the son of Alan Thicke. Perhaps it would be easier to take Thicke seriously if he weren't prancing around like a hippy shaman on the cover of his debut record. By pop R&B standards, Beautiful World isn't all terrible. The guiding hand of executive producer and soul heavyweight Andre Harrell ensures that the tracks have a passable bounce to them. Aside from Thicke's own gnashing falsetto, though, the real problem is that, in true vanity project style, the songs are produced to within an inch of their lives. It takes an eyebrow-raising degree of arrogance to build a song around the hook from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. And that isn't even the most garish track on the disc.