An Evening With Silk Sonic surpassed every expectation
Consisting of accomplished pop star and ten-time Grammy winner Bruno Mars and eccentric genre-bending talent and four-time Grammy winner Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic shows two artists coming together to present their new collaboration to the world. The idea behind the duo came up during Mars’ 24K Magic tour back in 2017, in which .Paak was the opening act, and the name Silk Sonic came from none other than funk legend Bootsy Collins after hearing the album. They announced the group in February 2021 and released their first single “Leave The Door Open” in the beginning of March, which reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Mars and .Paak evolved in different corners of the music industry, with the former being more in the pop field while the latter is merging elements of rap and neo-soul. They might be playing in two different ballparks, but when you look at both artists’ solo careers, you can easily notice that both of them draw a lot of inspiration from the ‘70s R&B/soul and funk scene. Albums such as 24K Magic by Mars or Ventura by .Paak are both great examples of these artists trying to adopt this sound and giving it their all to approach it in a modern fashion.
Silk Sonic also released two other singles prior to the album’s release, “Skate” and “Smokin Out The Window,” the former being released at the tail end of July and the latter having seen the light of day a week before the album’s release. Both singles received critical acclaim and “Smokin Out The Window” even cracked the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, entering at No. 8.
An Evening With Silk Sonic is finally out and despite expectations being incredibly high, it did not disappoint at all. This record achieved everything it wanted to, which was to deliver a fun and modern take on ‘70s R&B/soul and funk music. The inclusion of Bootsy Collins as a “host” and narrator of the album helps solidify the foundations of the record. Whether he is introducing the band on “Silk Sonic Intro” or praising the sexual prowess of a girl on “After Last Night,” his multiple minor appearances on the album add so much to the overall experience.
An Evening With Silk Sonic is smooth, sexy, and exudes an astonishing amount of confidence. This record makes you wanna put on your nicest outfit and go walk in a crowded street, making finger guns and winking at everybody. It is also filled with nostalgia, whether through the instrumentals, lyrics, or even vocal lines — making An Evening With Silk Sonic feel like it was recorded in another era.
Production wise, An Evening With Silk Sonic is amazing. Every sound is well thought out and makes sense. You can see that they paid attention to every little detail, giving this pristine and luxurious sound to the record. The fact that Anderson .Paak is drumming so precisely all throughout the entire thing adds so much to the organic aspect of the album. Whatever tune the duo hop on, whether it’s a funkier and more fast-paced track like “Fly As Me” or “777,” or a more R&B and soul cut where they sing their hearts out like on “Put On A Smile” or “Smokin Out The Window,” or even a hot and steamy love ballad like “Leave The Door Open” or “After Last Night,” every song is polished to near perfection.
Despite having two very distinct voices from one another, .Paak and Mars display an incredible amount of chemistry on the record. .Paak’s more raspy voice and his abilities as a rapper mixed with Mars’ angelic vocals capable of reaching extremely high notes mesh together unbelievably well. They often follow a formula on the record where .Paak will sing the verses and Mars will be in charge of the chorus, and it works like a charm. While .Paak is incredibly entertaining on the verses whether by rapping or by singing, it is Mars that undeniably steals the show on the chorus. The notes he is able to reach with his divine voice are mind-blowing. Tracks like “Put On A Smile” and “Smokin Out The Window” see the Hawaiian singer deliver some gut-wrenching performances that leave the listener breathless.
Overall, An Evening With Silk Sonic is a wonderful and well-executed attempt at the ‘70s R&B/soul and funk sound and it is truly a blast from the past. Everything these guys touch on this record turns into gold and this album can easily go toe-to-toe with some of the best work of the ‘70s in the genre, undoubtedly sounding like it came straight out of Motown Records.
Trial track : “Leave The Door Open”