Earlier this year, the nation held its breath during an exchange on the Today show in which Smokey Robinson and Al Roker faced off over the title of Smokey’s latest album, Gasms. When pressed to give his interpretation of the name, Al declined: “It’s a family show and I need a job,” said America’s Weatherman, prompting Smokey to counter accusingly, “Oh, that’s where you went with it.”

See, to 83-year-old Smokey, there are all kinds of gasms. There are mind gasms, eargasms, and, of course, the type of gasms that can form intimate bonds among people, create human life itself, and lead us to make terrible choices when it’s closing time at the Applebee’s bar. As Smokey informed Al, “It’s about whatever you want it to be about, man.”

Sorry, Smokey, but we’re not buying it. Gasms is an album about fuckin’, pure and simple, and we refuse to accept any other watered-down ex post facto explanations. In fact, we feel so strongly that Smokey’s latest, uh, release is the mother load of sex jams, the crème de la crème of jeans-creamers, that we enlisted three pairs of horndoggers to take the album for a ride, if you will, retiring to their respective O-zone lairs and then reporting back to us. The results were anything but anticlimactic.

Interesting factoid about people under 25: They have no idea who Smokey Robinson is. Will this in some way limit the potency of Gasms at the moment of truth? Or is the power of Smokey all nature, no nurture? “We put it on like you asked and started having sex,” Sara reports. “Mattias finished during [looks at track listing] ‘I Wanna Know Your Body,’ I think. I got mine later, during ‘Roll Around.’” When reminded that “I Wanna Know” is only track 2, Mattias rises to his own defense: “It was distracting! I lost control. Next time I’m going all the way to ‘You Fill Me Up,’ just watch.” Thanks, but we don’t need to watch.

These two gentlemen were already well-versed in Smokey’s work. “I grew up with Motown playing in the house,” says Clark. “I never thought of fucking to it, though.” Bryce quickly jumps in with a major fact-check: “‘Being With You’ is on one of my playlists, babe. We’ve definitely already fucked to Smokey.” Okay, but octogenarian Smokey? That has a different flavor to it, as they reported later. “We started laughing during the first song and then turned it down so low we could barely hear it,” admits Bryce. “Does that count? Sorry. We had fun, though.”

Our oldest couple in the experiment—and, thus, the most experienced—decided to flip the script and start with the last track, “I Fit in There.” Well, Keith, did you? “I came of age at a time when we didn’t talk about stuff like that. Besides, fit in where?” Maybe Carol can clarify. “Oh, we haven’t done it that way since the 1980s.” Still, how was Gasms as a soundtrack to their marital merrymaking? “Smokey’s always done it for me,” gushes Carol. “This time was no different.” Well, here’s to you, Mr. Robinson.

Thanks for reading CREEM. This article originally appeared in our Fall 2023 issue. Explore the full mag in our archive, buy a copy here, and subscribe for more.




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