As the world’s bravest artists revive synth, rock and disco, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak took on the daunting task of reviving funk and soul and making it mainstream again. Three smash-hit singles later, the world waits in anticipation for the debut album which single-handedly united the “music isn’t how it used to be” and “I was born in the wrong generation” crowds. This record is simplistic in its approach, an homage/revival of a classic genre. That being said, ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ is more than meets the eye. This record is just as much a love letter to the seventies as it is a compelling experiment in a world where genre-led music seems to be fading out. To have an album be so unapologetically in love with a single genre yet have it produce three of the catchiest, most memorable singles of 2021. This is Silk Sonic’s greatest power.
The true goal of ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ is purely to have fun. It isn’t really an album that is concerned with telling a story as much as it is trying to connect to the listener and evoke genuine happiness. Unlike most cases, this is a record where the singles are arguably more important than the record itself. While the album is a blast and easily the most fun you’ll have listening to a record all year, it doesn’t carry that same experience as listening to a single song with the accompanying visuals and relistening to catch all the details. With their debut album, it honestly feels like Silk Sonic found a gold mine of musical inspiration and reworked it to fit the melody of eight tracks. The album doesn’t suffer from having a singular sound but after a while, it does start to lose its spark. The second leg of the album features some tracks that don’t feature that same charisma featured in the singles. The seventh track ‘777‘ feels like a reject from Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ and features what is easily the least engaging melody on the entire album. The closing track ‘Blast Off’ is oddly not as grand or as fun to listen to as something like ‘Leave The Door Open’. While the melody is definitely catchy, it does leave you wanting a bit more considering how strong the record opens.
The radio can be quite divisive to many people, some people don’t mind it and other people genuinely cannot stand the repetitive, dull and uninspired music they play on it. I fall in the latter, I don’t see how it’s worth listening to mediocrity only to get a great song every twelve tracks. This past summer, I had to listen to the radio constantly because of my job and let me tell you, whenever ‘Leave The Door Open’ or ‘Skate‘ came on, it was sadly, the highlight of my day. I normally don’t really care for radio popularity or stuff like that but seeing how popular Silk Sonic got genuinely made me happy. To be able to relive an era of music in the present and have it be as successful as it is is insane. I wouldn’t compare Silk Sonic to artists like The Weeknd, Dua Lipa or Miley Cyrus because, with their music, there was always a modern touch to it, those eras had one foot in the past and one in the present. Silk Sonic, on the other hand, was purely seventies. It doesn’t sound like anything that is on the radio at the moment. Obviously, that fact alone doesn’t make it good, it’s the fact that Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak actually understand this genre and what goes into making a record like this. This is a record made for making memories, for getting groovy, letting the music take over and just enjoying it.
‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ has an intense amount of charisma and energy. Bruno Mars powers this record with his insane vocal range. Anderson .Paak lends his endearing wit and charm to this record, giving it a playful personality with tons of genuinely hilarious one-liners. ‘Smokin’ out the Window’ is easily the funniest track showcasing both Mars’ vocals and .Paak’s iconic delivery. It’s really evident how much they wanted this record to be perfect with a great number of details and ad-libs that elevate tracks to an entirely new level. When you put on a track like ‘Leave The Door Open’, it is guaranteed that you will be singing the ad-libs just as religiously as the verses. As much as I’ve been raving about the singles, there were definitely some new standout tracks namely the highly enjoyable ‘Fly As Me’ and the oh so dramatic ‘Put On A Smile’ which you can’t help but groove to even if the lyrics are tinted with heartbreak. The short runtime of just 31 minutes makes this record an incredibly easy and fun listen. The replay value is truly concerning. It’s short and direct, it just wants to provide a great time and that it does. Every track is enjoyable, every track makes you dance and at some point, every track will be stuck in your head.
Overall, ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ proves to be a night worth remembering with nine playful, joyful and memorable tracks that are sure to make lift you up physically and emotionally. Even if the second half does start to show a slight lack in quality when comparing it to the strong first half, it is still one of the most enjoyable half-hours you will ever experience.
1. Leave The Door Open
2. Smokin’ Out The Window
4. Fly As Me
5. Put On A Smile
6. After Last Night
7. Blast Off
8. Silk Sonic Intro
‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ is now available to stream.