Silk Sonic! The duo collaboration of pop superstar, Bruno Mars, and R&B/Neo-soul mastermind, Anderson .Paak easily makes up one of the more interesting mainstream acts of 2021. To end off a massively successful year of the duo, they drop their debut album, “An Evening with Silk Sonic”. This album was incredibly hyped up through singles like “Leave the Door Open”, which shocked the world by it’s incredible quality and the potential between the two’s chemistry. And after a long year of waiting, it’s finally here before us, the R&B savior of the year. As skeptical as I was throughout the time waiting for this album, I was proved time and time again that I would be wrong upon release date as singles including, “Skate” and “Smokin Out The Window” would be living proof that Silk Sonic isn’t just a one trick pony or one hit wonder, and that it genuinely has great potential.
Two words, unadulterated bliss. This relaxing, soulful experience is nothing short of pure happiness filling my veins. Whether that be it’s lovely, yet silly lyricism, bright synth-heavy production, or it’s stunning R&B-esque vocals, it’s all just a joy to listen to this album. Silk Sonic seems to knock it out of the park on every aspect we’ve come to love about their debut single. Before I delve more into the album, I want to get the singles out of the way first. All 3 of the singles, and this may be just due to time with the singles, are not all better than the album itself. An artist usually will put out some of the better material of the album out as a teaser for the album, but I feel to understand the album as an outsider, and maybe a doubter, you must know that the quality will hold up throughout the album no matter how good the first singles were, they weren’t outliers at all.
Mars and .Paak must know me best because I am an absolute lover of the jazzy/soul vibe and for them to extend it as far as they did, really makes me appreciate it. The real star of the show is easily the production of the album and that’s for many reasons. The attention to detail for everything is stellar, how everything is mixed and layered was masterful. Songs like “Skate” or “777” are perfect examples, listening into the background you hear elements of production that aren’t easily noticeable but their chef’s kiss. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling of bliss and blends so well within the lyricism and vocal performances. From the percussion to the brass instrumentation, everything was done correctly. Now everything isn’t perfect, as I won’t lie, there ARE albums that do sound like the Silk Sonic album, but this can also be used to the albums advantage as it benefits as an almost “nostalgic” nature due to it sounding reminiscent of some 80’s music. Silk Sonic got me feeling nostalgic for an era I never lived through.
What goes hand and hand with the production is obviously the vocals throughout the album. It feels like Bruno got more on this front than Anderson did, but each verse really was a treat for my ears. Both artists truly work so well together, it blows my mind. Specifically due to how different they sound from each other. Bruno has always had that clear-cut, mainstream pop voice that was easily recognizable and just an objectively good voice, but Anderson has a very unique singing tone that I’ve come to love off albums like “Malibu”, and that shows throughout the album. These blend together so well together, showing off how good the chemistry both artists have. I think one of my favorite displays of their chemistry is the final track, “Blast Off”, as both artists harmonize with each other and it’s true love.
The overarching theme of love is also benefiting from the vocals and production, due to its exuberant and lively nature. The element of soul is extremely vital for an album of this caliber, and this album is no short of that. I won’t dig into specific lyrics used within the project as that would simply take too long, but I will say that everything does compliment the lyrics and does fit with it all. The overall vibe of the album was seemingly perfected with this album. Another thing that this album did right was it’s length as well. Due to the album’s, “storyline”, being remotely the same throughout the project, it being anything over 12 tracks I believe would become obnoxious and things would just meld into each other into a prolonged experience that overstayed its welcome. But it’s 9 track length compliments it greatly as Silk Sonic believes they can hook you fast, and they clearly can. It didn’t NEED to be long, and it wasn’t, which I appreciate.
Although I’ve heavily praised this album, and to set the record straight I only have positive thoughts about this album. I believe I love the impact of the album more than the album itself. I believe this project sets a great precedent for the music industry. Other show-stoppers like Lorde and The Weeknd in the mainstream are really the only artists to impress me to this level (when looking at this specific area in music). I believe Silk Sonic is among some of the best of their game and contemporaries when compared to other competition like the Justin Bieber’s or the Kid Laroi’s that are out there. Simply due to this, ambition. Silk Sonic seemingly shows more ambition than some artists in mainstream media, which is something to appreciate. This is not to obviously dog on these artists, they have their niche and they clearly are a large pleaser to a massive audience, but I simply do want to praise Silk Sonic for reaching out of their bag and bringing both a new audience to the table and bringing an old era back to music and reintroducing it to the pre-existing audiences. I believe these two set a great standard for music to come, and I hope others will soon follow suit, maybe note exactly, but have their own “Silk Sonic” moment.
Time to wrap things up, this small evening with Silk Sonic was a great one and one to be cherished forever. Filled with great moments that put a smile on my face the whole time. Emotions riddle through me the whole way, making me feel truly happy at the end of the day. The record is something I consider an album with no glaring flaws, but an album that isn’t the best (yes I know this sounds incredibly confusing but bare with me now). It simply just makes me happy, and that’s something we all really need as of now. My love for this album is skyhigh and I really do hope the duo continue to work with each other after this. After all, it would be unwise to do the contrary as for Anderson Paak, he’s at the peak of his career, and for Bruno, it may not be his peak but he’s now being more highly sought after critically. So with that, I really do hope they keep working together.
KEEP GETTIN’ THAT BAG ANDERSON!
HIGHLIGHTS: Leave The Door Open, Fly As Me, Smokin Out The Window, Skate, Blast Off
LOWLIGHTS: Silk Sonic Intro (Great intro, just the only real lowlight to the record in my opinion)