The problem with Robin Thicke’s Sex Therapy: The Experience isn’t that it openly aspires to be the soundtrack to a million conceptions – let he whose parents don’t keep an Keith Jarrett album on hand cast the first stone. No, the problem with Sex Therapy is that it aspires to literally nothing else; depending on the level of credulity you give to Robin’s loverman schtick, Sex Therapy is either an unrelenting, escalating pervy come-on or an hour-long exercise in fighting the urge to make Thicke of the Night jokes.
Sex Therapy tips its hand from the very outset of the album with a massive lift of Al Green’s “Mahogany” as the musical backdrop for a track called “Mrs. Sexy” – a revealing preview not just of the album’s candid sexual content, but of the artistic intimacy Thicke seems hell-bent on achieving. Even the title track – ostensibly Sex Therapy‘s “big single” – is spare and restrained by producer Polow da Don’s standards, leaving lots of empty space for Thicke to fill with “sensuous” (I guess) melisma. There’s no club banger on Sex Therapy – no “When I Get You Alone”, no “Shooter”, nothing to distract from the manifest destiny of Thicke’s libido apart from a few spectacularly shitty guest spots (headlined by Jay-Z’s verse on “Meiple” and its claims of “Champagne spilling out of my wee-wee”).
All of this is irrelevant, of course, if your girlfriend likes hearing Robin Thicke’s voice in the background while you do it; feel free to deem Sex Therapy the greatest album in the history of recorded music if this applies to you. Just realize that that’s the exact same attitude that sold a billion copies of C.M.B. back in the day.