Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars wield a mastery of music few others do. This is put on full display in their new, funky album, “An Evening With Silk Sonic.”
Hosted by music legend Bootsy Collins, this album is nine tracks (an intro and eight songs) of modern-throwback RnB, funk and soul fusion. One can hear the inspiration of legends such as Earth, Wind & Fire, The Whispers and The Jackson 5 among others throughout the project.
Silk Sonic released their first single, “Leave the Door Open,” on March 5 of this year. The two teased their fanbase by posting videos on their Instagram, claiming fans would never hear the full album. It wasn’t until eight months later that they released their masterpiece on Nov. 12.
A staple heard throughout any of its tracks is outstanding vocal harmonies. The duo runs through key changes with unbelievable ease. Every song on the album could very well be a headliner on most other projects.
One track that stands slightly above the rest is “After Last Night,” featuring Thundercat and Collins. Thundercat’s bouncy bass expertise is felt throughout the song, and Collins’ smooth vocals set the mood early.
“After Last Night” also serves as a perfect example of how .Paak and Mars show off their personalities in each track, adding a bit of fun and humor, as Collins leads off the song.
“Now, I don’t know what you did when you did what you did / But, you did it, girl,” Collins says.
What follows is the premier slow-jam of the album and possibly the year. This track exemplifies another theme constant in “An Evening With Silk Sonic,” which is storytelling.
.Paak and Mars harmonize as the silky duet tells a tale of a woman who has captured their hearts after just one night.
“Throw my phone out the window, there’s no player in me / Those days are through,” the duo sings.
They later go on to describe the mystery woman.
“Sweet, sticky, thick and pretty / You changed the game,” .Paak and Mars sing.
It all leads to a chorus that melts the hearts of humanity.
“After last night, I think I’m in love with you (I think I’m in love with you) / Woke up and I can’t get you out of my head (I’ve tried, I’ve tried, come on) / After last night, I don’t know what to do (Baby, you’ve got to tell me) / When I’m gon’ see you again,” Silk Sonic sings.
This song features one of the best key changes of the entire album in a vocal run, reminiscent of the aforementioned legends Earth, Wind & Fire. Silk Sonic subverts the listeners’ expectations before jumping from the home base of C minor to the next step in G minor. The way in which this tandem climbs the G minor scale is nothing short of marvelous. It is truly a performance you have to hear to believe.
Though an excellent singer, .Paak is a Grammy Award-winning rapper in his own right. He won best melodic rap for his performance in the 2020 song, “Lockdown.”
This talent shines in the album’s third song, “Fly As Me,” where .Paak boasts his advanced abilities of articulation. Fans of the previously-underground member of this duo were sure to be expecting a song like this to be on the album. But for those unfamiliar with .Paak, it could come as quite the surprise.
Silk Sonic released three singles before their album, each with top-tier music videos. In their third and final single, “Smokin Out The Window,” released one week prior to the album, the duo dons their signature suit-style, which debuted in their Grammy performance of “Leave the Door Open.”
One can only assume the two will be rocking the vintage silk suits for the entirety of their currently unannounced, but inevitable, upcoming tour.
“An Evening With Silk Sonic” is a testament to the creative human spirit and an absolute contender for album of the year.