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Album review: Robin Thicke's 'Sex Therapy: The Session'

December 14, 2009 |  9:18 pm

Robin_thicke_240__For the boys at least, increasingly absurdist boasts regarding one's prowess between the sheets defined R&B in 2009. Jeremih swears that his touch is the ideal birthday present. Trey Songz claims you'll believe he invented the act itself. Even 50 Cent used the prospect of his future child-support checks as a pickup line.

Until "Sex Therapy," his latest album, Robin Thicke hadn't really played that game. But as he puts it in the liner notes, "my guilty pleasures have been outweighing my good health." This is his baby-making album, and though Thicke's freak flag is PG-13, his new randiness adds zip to an always-perfect falsetto.

On the crackling soul jam "Mrs. Sexy," he's promising to "buy you a ring and make you Mrs. Sexy," presumably because his bachelorhood as Mr. Sexy was unfulfilling. "Make U Love Me" makes fine use of Neptunes-ish brittle synths and a ping-ponging bass line, and his moaning-Brigitte-Bardot sample on "Meiple" is so over the top it could make Serge Gainsbourg feel outdone.

Thicke fares less well competing with radio's harder fare: the club banger "Shakin' It 4 Daddy" is déclassé by his standards, and his Ne-Yo leaning disco number "Rollacoasta" is a touch decarbonated. But when he says "I'm like Bigfoot, the man your momma said don't exist," you may crack up, but you'll still get in the cab with him at the end of the night.

-- August Brown

Robin Thicke
"Sex Therapy: The Session"
(Star Trak/Interscope) 
Two and a half stars (Out of four)

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