Silk Sonic drops an ‘album of the summer,’ but just in time for the holidays

It’s hard to imagine two Grammy-winning artists developing this much chemistry as quickly as Silk Sonic members Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars. Originally formed as a passion project between the two friends, Silk Sonic blossomed when .Paak opened on part of Mars’ “24k Magic” tour in 2017.

Mars is one of the most commercially successful artists of the past ten years and has the awards to match, while his co-star .Paak, on the other hand, is an indie rap darling known more for his feature work with artists like Dr. Dre and Mac Miller. Mix in funk icon Bootsy Collins to host “An Evening with Silk Sonic” and D’Mile to help produce and the party starts.

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“An Evening with Silk Sonic” captures its hosts’ most entertaining qualities and shows them at their most charming. Mars is the perfect leading man and his charisma is only dialed up by .Paak’s chaotic energy.

.Paak was at his best throughout his solo projects “Oxnard” and “Malibu” when he had a feature to play off and Mars’ steady presence gives him a perfect partner. Every word on .Paak’s “Leave The Door Open” appearance is as unpredictable as the last and as raunchy as he wishes.

Not one to be outdone, Mars meets his running mate bar for bar. “777” is built to be part of the perfect soundtrack for the next movie set in Vegas. Few songs have ever made the Sin City sound as alluring.

The fun moments of the party might stick in your mind the quickest, but the slower and more intimate moments like “Put On A Smile” or the album’s closer “Blast Off” are equally well done.

Mars, channeling the crooning that worked for hits like “Grenade” and “Uptown Funk,” is a wonderful singer and .Paak is more than good enough to hang around.

Silk Sonic does an incredible job staying away from trappings that have bogged down similar throwback albums. Other efforts, such as Donald Glover’s under his stage name Childish Gambino, were stuck in their influences and couldn’t separate to create something new.

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Mars and .Paak, on the other hand, are perfect examples of how to lean into an homage while infusing your own styles.

Using Collins as a narrator is an excellent idea and every narration of his sticks in your mind. Instrumentally, every moment contains both classical influences but balances that with current R&B trends. Paak’s unique and excellent skills as a drummer and some of the featured artists like Thundercat’s prodigious base skills on “After Last Night,” help shape the excellent production.

Silk Sonic has the makings of music’s next great bromance. The vibe of “An Evening With Silk Sonic” has more in common with classic buddy comedies like “Superbad” than it does most haphazard collaboration albums and it’s a party that deserves to be thrown again.

Featured image taken from Instagram: @silksonic