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Robin Thicke has sex appeal
BY LACY MATSUMOTO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Musician Robin Thicke, here for a concert Saturday at Blaisdell Concert Hall during Pro Bowl weekend, makes a good example of the way sex sells. His lushly produced, falsetto-laced R&B and hits like “Sex Therapy” have made him a top-seeded artist. Fans have snapped up more than 3 million of his albums worldwide, and he’s earned recognition from BET, MTV, Urban Music and even the Teen Choice Awards.
His good looks (he often appears shirtless in music videos, including the recent “All Tied Up”) and taste in fashion don’t hurt, either.
SOUL SESSION VOL. III: ROBIN THICKE
When: 8-11 p.m. Saturday
Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall
Thicke’s release of a heartfelt tribute to Whitney Houston via his take on her “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” also proves that he can do downright sweetness.
Combine those racy music videos with his sexy, romantic appeal, lusty lyrics and sensual voice, and it adds up to a total heartthrob package.
What’s Thicke been up to? “I’ve been in the studio, in Hollywood working on my next album,” he said, calling from California. “I’ve been collaborating with Pharrell (WIlliams), Will.i.am, Cataracs and some others.
“I never plan it out, I just write what I’m going through,” he said. “I have about 30 songs I’ve written.”
“I have no idea when the album will come out, probably summertime. But I have songs I’ve written; I just need to select which ones to work on.”
THICKE’S 2005 album “The Evolution of Robin Thicke” hit No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and eventually went double platinum. But he was working up to that milestone for years before that breakout, writing songs for other popular artists.
His most recent album, “Love After War,” was released in 2011. Last year he was a musical mentor on the ABC musical competition “Duets.”
Musical collaborations with artists including Pharrell Williams (N.E.R.D.), Busta Rhymes, India.Arie and John Legend have helped Thicke gain a reputation as more than just a pretty face.
In addition to singing, he plays the piano, saxophone and guitar.
With all this — good looks, musical talent and professional chops — why all the focus on the sex?
Well, it gets him noticed. But since sex is a topic rarely discussed openly, it also becomes an attractive target for art.
Music is a socially accepted way of admitting to sex — having it, thinking about it, liking it.
The typical conversation won’t start with “so we were having sex last night”; yet you won’t get judged so harshly for singing along to “Sexual Attention” at the top of your lungs.
Perhaps singing about the taboo is Thicke’s forte. Songs like “Suga Mama” and “Cocaine” address risque topics with an approachable sound.
“I get the risque topics from my life,” he said. “I’ve never sung or written a song that isn’t a personal experience. It’s a personal diary.”
If Thicke’s record sales are any proof, sex is on the mind of the consumer, too.
It’s the 21st century, and sexual freedom is still an issue in our society, from gay marriage rights to sex education; why not sing about it?
For his first appearance in Hawaii, we hope to fall in love with the suave man himself. And who knows, by the end of the night, perhaps there will be a lot more talk about sex.
“We’re going to do what we always do and bring people a night they will never forget,” Thicke said.