EXO eclipse Thicke at MTV Asia

EXO eclipse Thicke at MTV Asia

MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia
Sunway Resort City, Selangor, Malaysia/Sunday

He might be the hottest star from the Western pop world right now, but Robin Thicke faced strong competition from 12-man K-pop boyband EXO when it came to fan appeal in this part of the world.

This was evident at the MTV World Stage Live In Malaysia gig which featured the two acts plus Los Angeles rap/electronic dance crew Far East Movement and Malaysian rapper Joe Flizzow.

EXO played a brief, 25-minute set and came on second after Flizzow, as opposed to Thicke, who played a closing, 40-minute set.

But the screams from the 15,000-strong crowd seemed louder and the fan reaction more enthusiastic for the Korean dozen, who put on a tightly choreographed song-and-dance routine in standardised blazer and tie combos.

Thicke's appeal rode mostly on his current mega-hit, Blurred Lines, the funk-pop jam that has been heating up the charts this season. It turned out to be the only song in his setlist that truly lit up his performance.

While the song, and the album it was named after, is Thicke's first to make him a household name, he has a wide solo discography spanning the last 10 years.

The older tunes that he showcased did not have the easy and catchy appeal of his current smash hit. Dreamworld, from 2008 album Something Else, is a piano ballad with a beautiful arrangement and melody, but it lacks punch.

Thicke's voice switches between falsetto and his own full voice, but his range is neither remarkable nor wide. His strength is in choosing the material, and the newer tracks from the last three albums that he chose to perform all have the bump and grind, club appeal exemplified by songs such as Shakin' It 4 Daddy from 2009 album Sex Therapy.

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