Review: Bruno Mars X Anderson. Paak = Silk Sonic – AN EVENING WITH SILK SONIC

8 months ago, we were graced with a single that completely changed the world! …okay, maybe not “change the world” but it got some attention. Silk Sonic, the R&B duo composed of singer/rapper/musician Anderson .Paak and fellow singer/songwriter/musician Bruno Mars, released the single “Leave the Door Open” which was a groovy, soulful jam that echoed a lot of classic ’70s R&B vibes. Eventually the song charted big on the Billboard Hot 100, landing on #1, and while this was Bruno’s 8th #1 single, this is Paak’s first #1. I, like many fans, wwas excited to see Paak finally garner that type of success.

So since we really loved that song, we wanted more and eventually got more. During Late July-Early August, we got the second single “Skate,” and that one was plenty good as well, delivering an upbeat sunny track that’s appropriate for the summer. We eventually got an announcement for the debut album alongside a release date… January 2022. Yeah, we had to wait a few more months for that…

…or so we thought. They later announced it was going to come out 2 months earlier, and now here we are: An Evening with Silk Sonic is finally here! The album clocks in at 9 tracks and runs 31 minutes, and it’s absolutely a smooth and sexy ride that leaves you wanting to smoke after a session.

This album is just oozing with so much soul, so much smoothness, and so much funk, that I just have to say it right now: this became one of my favorite albums of the year, and I’m glad I didn’t have to wait 2 more months.

This was amazing from start to finish with all its groovy and retro stylings. Hell, you’re starting off the album with an intro from soul/funk legend Bootsy Collins with all the flourishes in there. Oh and if you’re missing Paak rapping, you actually get that with “Fly As Me” where he does that soul/funk rapping a la James Brown. It is a witty and brag-laden jam about how lucky the woman is for being with such smooth guys like them, and it actually works in their favor with how fly they’re being on here.

Uh, okay, now Silk Sonic smooth like a mack
Float like a butterfly on every single track
And the only language that I speak, girl, is facts
So once I give this game to you, I can’t take it back

Next up is “After Last Night” , a track so smooth that Skippy’s Peanut Butter should name a flavor after them, featuring extra vocals from Bootsy Collins and Thundercat so you know this song is fire with the way their vocals go off on the track. Then we have what’s currently the third single, “Smokin’ Out the Window” and yes, it has that one set of lyrics that’s been getting spread through memes.

This bitch got me payin’ her rent, payin’ for trips
Diamonds on her neck, diamonds on her wrists
And here I am all alone (All alone)
I’m so cold, I’m so cold
You got me out here

The song is all about how the woman in their lives is mooching off either Bruno or Paak while getting nothing in return, as she belong to the streets with her messing around everywhere. You’ll notice in some of the songs they do got some wit and lines that sound like they would come from songs in that era. For example, there’s this part from “Skate” where Bruno say:

Got your hair in the wind and your skin glistenin’
I can smell your sweet perfume
Mmm, you smell better than a barbecue
Oh, superstar is what you are

Now try to tell me that doesn’t sound like something your drunk uncle would say in a barbecue while he’s cooking. Since I mentioned “Skate”, this song is still great, and if somehow skating rinks were to be brought back (or if they’re already back), this song would be perfect to play in there. “777” is for when you’re gambling your ass off and hopefully not losing, and while the songs equally showcase a lot of Bruno and Paak’s singing chops, this felt like a very Bruno-charged track but not too much for him to take over. For two of the best deep cuts on here, “Put on a Smile” goes for a different tone than the other tracks with them not wanting to be players anymore and settling with one woman they know and love. Then there’s the album finale with “Blast Off”, a mix of psychedelic R&B, funk and soft rock, and this song is clearly about being taken over by weed and other psychedelic drugs: a good way to end off the album as a whole.

Overall, this album is amazing, immediately becoming a top favorite of mine for the end of year list. It takes the style of 70s retro soul, funk & R&B and modernized it well without it being too dated or out of place. The humor is witty and sharp, the songwriting is nearly immaculate in what they’re doing, and both performers did what they did well, especially with Bruno as he’s been doing the whole retro pop thing a lot in the 2010s. While some of those songs might have aged not that well, it sounds great here, and with Anderson. Paak now getting a spotlight doing his thing… what more can I say about him that I haven’t already? Versatile, talented, skillful… name it!!

FINAL VERDICT: Buy It. An evening with Silk Sonic is an evening worth going for.

AN EVENING WITH SILK SONIC is on Aftermath Entertainment/Atlantic Records and is available on CD, cassette, vinyl, digital download and streaming services.

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