‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ Expertly Blends ’70s Style with Today’s Music


Bruno Mars amd Anderson .Paak as Silk Sonic performing “Leave the Door Open” at the 63rd Grammy Awards. (Courtesy Bruno Mars YouTube)

By India Bown, Arts Writer


R&B/soul artists Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak blend their smooth voices, amazing range and catchy songwriting in their new album “An Evening with Silk Sonic.” As Silk Sonic, the epic duo take a page from classic R&B, adding to their sounds from existing discography. 

Styles and Influences

Composed of nine tracks, “An Evening With Silk Sonic” is a blast from the past, dedicated to the ’70s in every way, even in its music videos, where the two are dressed head to toe in disco attire, showing their love for the art of funk. The soundtrack isn’t a carbon copy of the soulfulness of the ’70s, but takes great inspiration from the music of the time.

As a huge fan of the two musicians already, I had high hopes for this album and its combining of ’70s flair and the signature styles of .Paak and Mars. On first listen of the album, there are clear similarities from Mars’ previous work for “24k Magic,” reminding me of songs like “Finesse,” and “Versace on the Floor.” With a lot of background vocals and harmonization, Mars utilizes his sound with .Paak’s rap style and neo-soul influences featured on “Malibu.”

Blending sweet vocals, Silk Sonic’s album is a reflection of why the two got into music in the first place. By paying homage to their inspirations in early R&B and Motown music, the brilliant duo make their mark in the genre with upbeat bops modernized with explicit lyrics and mellow, nighttime blues pieces.

Listening Back

Starting with a bang, the “Silk Sonic Intro” gets you moving and clapping along with the beat. My favorites from the album — “Fly as Me,” “777,” “Skate” and “Smokin Out the Window” — all have that fun, dance element, but are elevated with lyrics that make you feel good. “I deserve to be with somebody as fly as me,” is not only catchy lyricism but an incredible get-ready, hype-yourself-up track. In all of its groovy glory, these are all songs I can throw on to “skate” my troubles away. 

Doing a full 180, the record has sultry bedroom music in the mix, with songs like “Put on a Smile,” “After Last Night” and “Leave The Door Open.” A collaboration with Thundercat and Bootsy Collins, “After Last Night” is all about that special someone that you just can’t get out of your mind. Lyrics, “After last night, I think I’m in love with you, woke up and I can’t get you out of my head,” illustrates those feelings of that initial spark.


I love that “An Evening with Silk Sonic” wasn’t a direct line to ’70s funk. I can listen to the classics if I want that pure magic of that period, so when it comes to this album, it’s more refreshing than anything else. It was a true palette cleanse and gave me more appreciation for current creators and the music being made today. 


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