The Sweetest Love
Label: The Neptunes
Robin Thicke's got his own take on the Motown revival that's been happening the past couple years. Other artists focus on the gauzy, pop-oriented sounds of the Detroit label's early years, but Thicke is all about its later vibe: He brews quiet storm a la Smokey, adds a few pinches of both Stevie's mellow gold and his fiercer funk and, especially, croons his (or maybe your) pants off in what might just be the smoothest, sexiest falsetto this side of Marvin. It's retro-trendy to be sure, but Something Else rarely feels gimmicky, thanks in large part to Thicke's detail-driven polish.