Wisely, Robinson sticks to what he does best—classic soul. But on tracks like “One Time,” the bass-driven rhythm updates his sound without overpowering that classic voice. “Love Bath” also features a heavier beat, but still retains that mid-tempo, laid-back sound. While the lyrics are sexy, they never cross the line into crassness. Similarly, “Satisfy You” addresses the relationship in general rather than the bedroom (the guitar work on this track is particularly beautiful as well). Modern R&B artists who rely on sexually explicit imagery could take a lesson from these lyrics—less is often more. Time Flies When You're Having Fun then concludes with a surprise bonus track that is definitely timely.
Robinson defies age on Time Flies When You're Having Fun, as he sounds just as good as he did in his Motown days. He shrewdly stays with his signature smooth sound, yet incorporates modern instrumental touches in order to reach younger audiences. However, his voice remains front-and-center, with these additions (as well as the guest singers) never overpowering him. In what is one of the best R&B albums of the year, Time Flies While You're Having Fun teaches others how to write ear-catching songs, and then how to communicate the lyrics's emotions. Like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Marvin Gaye, and other master song interpreters, Robinson shows that thinking about the words one is singing proves crucial in connecting a song to an audience.