Sometimes, two people that would seemingly never be in the same circle come together to make something magical. I do not think anyone could have imagined the collaboration of Anderson,Paak, and Bruno Mars, but here we are. Honestly, one of the reasons for this is purely the level of stardom. Anderson has had(and been on) quite a few hits over the years, but Bruno Mars’ stardom is on another level. He is one of the biggest Pop stars of the last decade and will go down as one of the best of all time. Even though Anderson.Paak has mainly stuck to Hip Hop based music over the years and Bruno Mars has stayed in the Pop genre for the most part(although he has dabbled in Hip Hop as a featured artist a few times), they have both always had a love for old school funk music that permeates through their music. One reason that people love both of these artists individually is because of the 70s style Funk they constantly incorporate into their music; they have always had this quality in their respective sounds that stands out and attracts listeners who may not ordinarily be into the actual genre they are classified as making. It turns out that the partnership of Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak is extremely natural and ultimately awesome. They bring out the best in each other in every way. Both these artists understand what the other can do so well which makes it so easy to play off of each other. They also push each other to a higher level since they both want to be the best. Ultimately, Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak as Silk Sonic is a great match. With that being said, here is how I feel about Silk Sonic’s new project An Evening with Silk Sonic. Please let me know in the comments below if you agree with my opinion and ado comment what your favorite songs are from this record.
The record starts with the ‘Silk Sonic Intro,’ which features Bootsy Collins. This is a brief one-minute track that almost feels like the start of a stage production. Over a fast-paced and groovy instrumental, Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak set the energy for the record. They let the listeners know they are supposed to dance and have fun while listening to this; the point is to let loose and enjoy the moment. The record closes out with Bootsy Collins introducing the world to Silk Sonic, almost like he is the MC for the “show” I mentioned earlier. This is a super cool way to start the record as it feels like it includes the listener in a way normal records do not. Following this single, that took the world by storm when it was released earlier this year. ‘Leave The Door Open’ will be on pretty much any end-of-the-year list you read about the best music of 2021. Right from the outset of this track, the chemistry between these two artists is impeccable. As one takes the lead, the other sings the background vocals and ad-libs in a way that plays perfectly off the other. The harmonies on the chorus of this song are beautiful as well. Listening to Bruno, Anderson, and their background singers sing feels like being on a cloud. On this slow, smooth, and sultry joint(when it is performed live), Anderson.Paak plays the drums and Bruno Mars plays the piano. This just adds another level to the sophistication of the song and shows how talented they are. Overall, ‘Leave The Door Open’ is the perfect slow jam and it puts anyone in a good mood when they hear it. The next track, ‘Fly Like Me,’ dies into a completely different kind of Funk music. This track is faster-paced, and it has a more dirty and gritty Funk sound to it. This song has the kind of riff that makes you feel it in your bones as soon as you hear it. In the verses of this song, Anderson.Paak takes a bit of a Rick James approach to his delivery. He talks the lyrics, and his cadence almost has a “rap” feeling to it. As expected, Bruno Mars’ and Anderson.Paak’s vocals on the chorus are great. As funky as the instrumental for this song is, the singing takes that funkiness to another level. I love the confidence in the lyricism on ‘Fly As Me.’ Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak is telling the lady they want that she looks so good that she deserves someone that is cool and good looking as them. Everything about ‘Fly As Me’ oozes swagger and boldness in the best way.
We have now come to what is probably the grandest and sophisticated song in this record. ‘After Last Night,’ which features Bootsy Collins and Thundercat, is a smooth and slow jam with a very intricate and sexy instrumental. This song is extremely sensual and fun. I really enjoy how Bootsy Collins is incorporated into every section of this track. He delivers the intro for the track and then contributes to the verses, choruses, and outro section. As expected, the instrumental for this track has a crazy bassline. Thundercat’s bass guitar work is so great on this record that it is tough to focus on anything else. Another thing I love about this song is the guitar solo. It is so warm and fuzzy and it adds so much to the track. Vocally, the chemistry between Bootsy Collins, Anderson.Paak, and Bruno Mars is so great. Bruno and Anderson sound like they would have it right in during the time that Bootsy was popular with how great they sound with him in this song. Overall, ‘After Last Night’ is an example of a bunch of great Funk artists coming together to make a very cool song that shows off their talents so well. Following this, we get what is probably my favorite song of the year(or at least the second half of the year), ‘Smoking Out The Window.’ It was released as the third single in anticipation of this record. This song is Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak at their absolute peak. It is a smooth and soulful slow jam that is fun, cheeky, and so cool. The chemistry between these two is at its peak in this song. The way these two artists go back and forth between the verses and chorus and the way they add to each other’s sections with their harmonies and ad-libs is just so marvelous. The instrumental for this song brings out the best in both of these artists’ voices. Because of the melody and tone of the song, both artists are able to flex their vocal chops in a huge way. The best thing about this song may be the lyricism. On ‘Smoking Out The Window,’ Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak are singing about a girl who has moved into their house and has them paying for everything she does while she still sleeps around. They realize they are getting played by this woman, and they are now ready to move on. This song is so funny and smooth and just overall so great, and I truly enjoy it so much. Next, we get ‘Put On A Smile,’ which is another smooth and slow jam that reminds me a lot of the song that precedes it. The melody and overall sound of this track does sound pretty similar to ‘Smoking Out The Window.’ Because of this melody, the singing ability of Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak is once again highlighted hugely. I especially love how Bruno Mars’ voice sounds in the song. He shows why he is considered one of the best Pop vocalists of this generation in ‘Put On A Smile.’ This track is not the most memorable one on this album, but it does fit into the record super well and does sound so good.
This project has so many good songs on it that I feel like there are a couple of songs that are getting a bit slept on. ‘777’ is a song that falls into that category. I could see it becoming a hit sometime in the future after the dust settles around the rest of this record just because it is so fun. ‘777’ has another song with a dirty and grimy Funk song that has the kind of riff that makes you grit your teeth and wrinkle your nose. It has the kind of energy to hype up anyone for any situation. On this song, Anderson.Paak and Bruno Mars really show off their individual talents as vocalists. Anderson goes with a sing-rap flow on the verses that is full of a maximum level of swagger, and Bruno flexes his singing ability on pre-choruses and the bridge. On ‘777,’ Silk Sonic is singing about winning it all at the Craps table while gambling. This would be the perfect song to play right before going to make a big-money bet at the casino. Following this, we get the song ‘Shake,’ which was the second single released before An Evening With Silk Sonic. This is another song that I feel was a bit slept on when it came out. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Shake’ did perform well this year on streaming services. Because of how much people love ‘Leave The Door Open,’ though, I feel like ‘Shake’ does not get its flowers. This track has a different kind of Funk sound from anything else on this record. It reminds me a lot of Disco music; I feel like this song is inspired by Earth Wind and Fire. It is a fun and fast-paced song that just makes you want to move. ‘Shake’ is the kind of song to play when you want to get the dance floor cracking. An Evening With Silk Sonic closes out with ‘Blast Off.’ It is a track that has quickly become a fan favorite. This track has a very big and bold sound to it. The instrumental is very full and grand, and the vocal performances match it in a major way. If you love slow old-school R&B with excellent vocals(which it seems like a lot of people do), ‘Blast Off’ is a song for you. It is a great way to close out the album; it shows once again shows off how great Bruno and Anderson are at singing, and the overall sound and energy of the track feels like a finale.
Sometimes, the stars align and bring two creative forces together to make something that is unexpected and beautiful. Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak coming together to make Silk Sonic is one of those things. These two men have impeccable chemistry and such a passion for making Funky music that it is palpable; when watching them perform these songs, one can feel how much fun they are having. This just makes the listening experience so much better. An Evening With Silk Sonic is a masterpiece; it really does have something on it for every kind of music listener. The only “gripe” I have about it is that it isn’t longer. I just hope that this is not the only record this group makes together. Whether or not they do make more music together in the future, I know that I will be listening to An Evening With Silk Sonic consistently for a long time.