Fact: Robin is the first white artist in almost 20 years to top the U.S R&B charts. The last person to do it was George Michael in 1988.
Fact: He writes and produces his own songs.
Fact: He taught himself to play the piano at the age of 12.
In the words of Sade, Robin Thicke is one smooth operator, in fact to steal a term from Michael Jackson he is one hell of a “Smooth Criminal” because it has to be illegal to be that talented. Ok enough with the cheesy metaphors. Me and my city chicks went to see Mr. Thicke Live in Shepherds Bush Empire on Saturday Night, it was the best concert I’ve been to since Prince, and I’ve been to a few blinders.
The Empire was packed out, with both sexes waiting to listen to the sexiest voice in music period. People often dismiss Thicke as Justin Timberlake’s older brother from another mother but let’s not go there because JT aint got shiz on RT. Robin Thicke is more than a singer, he can dance, he produces, he’s an accomplished musician, a Grammy winning songwriter, and he has been in the industry for 14 years. What excites me about Robin’s music is his lyrical content, as honest as you can get, interesting singing style, those falsetto notes will be the death of me someday.
As a songwriter myself, I cannot stress the importance of original fresh lyrical content/style and he executes both with such ease and finesse that I don’t even get jealous of his songs, I just lose myself in them, sit back enjoy and spread the word of this great singer.
This is a man who signed up to a major record label at the age of 16, was able to play anything he heard on radio by the age of 12 and was writing songs for artists such as Usher, Michael Jackson, Pink, Marc Anthony, Brian McKnight, Brandy, Christina Aguilera and the list goes on. His early career as a solo artist started slowly, he released his first album “A Beautiful World” in 2003 and received little mainstream attention however Robin made a big impression on Nerd’s Pharrell Williams and earned some famous fans. 2005 saw the collaboration of himself and Pharrell with the smash hit “Wanna Love U Girl” which topped the charts. Soon after Robin signed to Pharrels’s label “Star Trek” in association with Interscope records, and the rest is History. Out came “The Evolution of Robin Thicker” an album so rich in value and depth that you could play it from start to finish.
The smash hit “Lost without U” which accompanied a video in which his beautiful African American wife, Actress Paula Patton appeared in. “What makes you special, what makes you different to John B, Justin Timberlake,”? A radio host once asked Thicke, he cheekily but bluntly replied with “I’ve been with a black woman for 10 years, and they haven’t, how bout that”?
Back to his only London show in his world tour, what amazed me was Robin’s natural dancing ability, the man can move! The set was simple, the live band played were awesome, his energetic style, his hybrid musical energy, he was a rock star in one song, then an r’n'b soul singer the next, a piano man the other and in the encore he had a swagger and movements of hip-hop artist. The songs he played were a mixture of new album material and the chart topping songs from his second album. As a long time admirer of Thicke’s style and music, I was desperate to hear classics, original material from his first album purely because those songs bring back memories of an eclectic, fresh discovery of a star in the making. Songs like “Cherry Blue Skies” and “I’m A Be Alright”, my personal favorite is “Beautiful World” an absolute classic.
The highlight for me was his soulful rendition of “Lost without U” which made every female audience member melt with lust. Robin’s stage presence was immense and this has nothing to do with his 6″2 frame, he connected with the crowd, he engaged the crowd, he spoke to us during performances and touched upon the presidential elections showing his support for Barrack Obama, and spoke of racism being the number one problem in the world. And to top the evening off, Robin almost slipped on a thong thrown at him from a female fan!
It was breathtaking to watch a true star on stage shining so bright that I was temporally blinded. I just wished he played my favorite track, ”Something Else”, a Michael Jackson esque feel good dance track! I wholeheartedly recommend Robin’Thicke’s latest album “Something Else” because it’s truly something else.
I salute you Mr. Thicke. Keep making great music. Something Else is a fantastic album and I strongly reccomend it.
(Robin Thicke is currently touring the US with Jennifer Hudson, hopefully he’ll arrive in the UK soon)