Silk Sonic
An Evening with Silk Sonic


4.0
excellent

Review

by ghostalgeist USER (28 Reviews)
November 15th, 2021 | 21 replies


Release Date: 11/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Smooth like a newborn.

Albums with absolutely no filler are a treat, a more precious commodity than some may realize. There's a lot to be said for a sixteen-track record that shoots for the stars and experiments with a vast array of different structures and sounds - even if some of those experiments flop, at least they fall from grace as a result of ambition. It's better to reach for the sky and tumble than it is to huddle around mediocrity, after all. That being said, there's really nothing like a record that's all killer and no filler, a record that's short, sweet and hones in on quality over quantity, and that's exactly where An Evening with Silk Sonic stands, the first (and hopefully not the only) collaboration between Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak that sounded strange on paper but wound up slapping in execution. For the most part.

We got a glimpse into the solid, fluid chemistry and charisma shared between these two on the debut single, "Leave The Door Open", back in March, and you couldn't have picked a better teaser-trailer for this album if you tried. "Leave The Door Open" is a warm and suitably silky ballad, a clean, steady groove accentuating Mars and Paak's smooth, easy-gliding vocals perfectly. The hints of jazzy quiet-storm and the call-and-response vocal lines are buttery-smooth, adding a lot of class to this sinuous jam. It's good, and the rest of the thirty-minute record keeps the energy and flow coming at a non-stop pace. "Fly As Me" is full of sexy, swaggering 70's funk riffs ripped straight out of a blaxploitation cop-show classic. The combination of an old-timey stanky groove and the big multiplayer vocals emit a strong, irresistibly-fun Outkast beat. The speedy, sweaty funk-rock of "777" is jampacked with charisma, flow, vibrant horns, and a million-dollar funk beat laid down by an on-point Paak, and "Skate" is a pure blast of ice-rink disco: glossy synths, glamorous strings, chicken-scratch guitar lines and basslines full of momentum and snap. In classic Bruno Mars form, An Evening with Silk Sonic is "retro" and "vintage" without ever feeling derivative or gimmicky - the shameless confidence of Mars and the easygoing soul of Paak is a killer combination, and they sound like they're having so much fun with the material on the record that An Evening with Silk Sonic stop feeling "retro" and just feels right.

An Evening with Silk Sonic comes with a bit of a caveat, though. It's a steady, consistent carousel ride through plenty of classic RnB, funk, and soul touchstones... but it all starts to sound a bit same-y after a while. Case in point: "After Last Night" is a slice of breathy, ethereal, candlelit RnB, a babymaker of a song fortified by an impregnable, hypnotic soul groove and a classy Thundercat feature. It's very good... and pretty similar to album closer "Blast Off", a lustrous, nightlit ballad with sparkling synths, cashmere-smooth vocal harmonies, and luxurious electric pianos. These songs are very strong on their own, but if played side-by-side, they'd sound more like a 'Part 1' and a 'Part 2' than two separate, discrete tracks of their own. There are parts of the arena-sized 70's slow jam, "Put On A Smile", that sound awfully similar to "Leave The Door Open", and there's parts of that song that sound remarkably similar to the lounge-y, harmony-driven RnB of the mellow, phosphorescent "Smokin Out The Window". I suppose if you keep borrowing from the same tried-and-true template then you're guaranteed to get some tried-and-true results, but on an album as compact and concise as this, the eyebrow-raising similarities between each song stand out a lot more than if An Evening With Silk Sonic was longer and more experimental.

(Also, total waste of a Bootsy Collins feature. Didn't even bring him in to lay down some stanky basslines, he just spat a few lines - "narrated" a few lines - and then dipped. What were they thinking? Did he ask for too much money, or...?)

Even with the hints of monotony present within some of these songs, it's nigh-impossible to hate An Evening with Silk Sonic unless you hate the concept of having fun. An Evening with Silk Sonic is slick, saturated fun - it's unsubtle as hell, but it knows exactly where its strengths lie and it zeroes in on those strengths like a tracer missile. The chemistry betwixt Mars and Paak is so infectious that I can't help but long for more between these two in the future - and when a record leaves you wanting more, you know it's a keeper. An Evening with Silk Sonic is all glitz and glamour, the perfect fusion of vintage and contemporary, its' thirty-one minutes rife with simple, but effective, pleasures. I walked into this record knowing I would like it and walked out with a smile on my face - and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ghostalgeist
November 15th 2021


637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

RECOMMENDED TRACKS: Leave The Door Open, Fly As Me, Skate, Blast Off, Smokin Out The Window

nothin like an album you know for a fact you'll like no matter what

normaloctagon
November 15th 2021


8233 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice review man posd



i like a couple songs on this but overall i'm pretty disappointed with the album. just feels thin to me. gonna give it a few more spins before i rate

Digging: MF DOOM - Special Herbs 7,8

Purpl3Spartan
November 15th 2021


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rules

Digging: Geese - Projector

ghostalgeist
November 15th 2021


637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@octagon: i get you bro, it's not like the strongest, funkiest thing on the market

i think it's the fact that i knew exactly what i was getting into that makes the album click for me - i got exactly what i expected i would get. it's like an ice cream you know you'll dig

Beardog
November 15th 2021


4163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah record is very samey for me, but not bad at all

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
November 15th 2021


10286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^ yeah

cool rev man!

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
November 15th 2021


13138 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review! Was definitely not expecting the avg to be that high, I'll check this out soon

ArsMoriendi
November 15th 2021


35954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"(Also, total waste of a Bootsy Collins feature. Didn't even bring him in to lay down some stanky basslines, he just spat a few lines - "narrated" a few lines - and then dipped. What were they thinking? Did he ask for too much money, or...?)"



Pos'd. This doesn't do much for me in the ways of standing out or making any impact, but yeah it's difficult to hate, maybe even a 3/5



If it's average sunk to a comfortable 3.8 or something I'd prob shut up about it being overrated

Digging: Thinking FellersUnion Local 282 - Mother of All Saints

Mutantsnowstorm
November 15th 2021


509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I should just start tempering my expectations when I see Bootsy's name featured on a song, it seems like he only plays bass on his own songs now and ad-libs on features



Great review, great album, pos'd

ghostalgeist
November 15th 2021


637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for all the positive feedback yall, hot damn

IsildursBane44
November 15th 2021


705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Such a fun album. Smokin is contender for my favorite song of 2021 right now.

ghostalgeist
November 15th 2021


637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also @Ars in regards to your sound off: yeah this is fun but it ain't got shit on d'angelo, 100%

i was so excited to hear that man in RDR2 you have no idea

normaloctagon
November 15th 2021


8233 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah that's fair ghostalgeist, appreciate that perspective. i loved LTDO and thought i had a pretty good idea of what to expect, and it's definitely all there: funk and quiet storm homage, good production, good singing and instrumentation, but the product is some of the cheapest music i've heard this year. would jam in the whip with the windows down though yah



even the loose concept of this being an "evening with the band" at some club/lounge feels lazily executed to me. i'm surprised at the response this is getting, but i'm happy you guys like it

ReefaJones
November 15th 2021


2262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

smoking out the window might be soty

Ryus
November 15th 2021


26810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty good album but definitely nothing to get that excited about

Digging: Bladee - Royal Mix

Tundra
November 15th 2021


6868 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ass

Ryus
November 15th 2021


26810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is that irony

nash1311
November 15th 2021


3705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah ass excites me personally

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2021


9403 Comments


Could recognize .Paak vocals from a light year away.

Digging: Kold Front - Kold Front

ghostalgeist
November 16th 2021


637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

paak's so good



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