Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ is a time machine to the magical haze of 1970s soul music

<p>Silk Sonic released its album &quot;An Evening with Silk Sonic&quot; on Nov. 12, 2021.</p>

Silk Sonic released its album "An Evening with Silk Sonic" on Nov. 12, 2021.

The soulful superduo of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars makes retro cool again as their debut album “An Evening With Silk Sonic” is a charmingly lavish blast to the past. 

With a handful of individual accolades, the two maestros of style come together as Silk Sonic to revisit the pinnacle of soul as it began in the 1960s and took off in the 1970s. 

The pair dives headfirst into a renaissance of disco as the album is coated in flourishes from the analog era of syncopated bass lines and velvety vocals. Silk Sonic transports listeners back to when Motown ran the lush business of funk and soul.

“An Evening With Silk Sonic” boasts a suave confidence under the guidance of funk elder Bootsy Collins. The 70-year-old bassist of Parliament-Funkadelic blesses the nine-tracked album with his smooth bouts of narration and expertise. 

The first track of the album tells listeners to get down and loud as infectious drum grooves encourage people to party. The vintage noise makes “Silk Sonic Intro” feel like an opening of the old television program Soul Train, where stylized music and dance performances popularized funk rhythms. 

“Leave The Door Open” invites a mysterious woman to kick back with the superduo for a night of luxurious romance. When it was released as a single in March, its smooth and mellow cadences planted the seeds of Silk Sonic’s trajectory toward stardom. 

The following tracks flow in and out of funk and soul seamlessly. “Fly As Me” possesses the debonair dexterity of being a man who works hard for his money and knows his worth. The playful chemistry of .Paak and Mars shines at this point in the album as they boast their extravagance and wealth through energetic vocals and assertive vamps. 

“After Last Night” slows things down with a dreamy and sensual story about falling in love. Features from the modern-day bass master Thundercat and Bootsy Collins add an element of maturity over the track’s charming falsettos.

Silk Sonic also touches on elements of heartbreak and despair. “Smokin Out The Window” is the ultimate diss track about a woman who takes advantage of her partner’s generosity. Mischievous humor bounces between .Paak and Mars so easily over the groovy rhythms. 

The following track “Put On A Smile” is complete with melancholic harmonies as Silk Sonic talks about having to hide its sadness after a breakup. 

The duo then comes back to the upbeat energy of funk through the rock-influenced track “777.” .Paak and Mars are immensely sharp in their lyricism as they perfectly describe the high-handed confidence one feels when they are hitting the numbers in Vegas. 

Pristine blasts of percussion take listeners back to the time of transistor radios and roller discos on the following track “Skate.” 

Overall, Silk Sonic is brilliant in its ability to step into a long-gone era of music. 

The album closes in a breathtaking finale with the track “Blast Off.” Silk Sonic uses the blissful elements of psychedelia to describe a journey to outer space. The soft closing with uplifting key changes and ambient strings will leave listeners wanting even more. 

.Paak and Mars found a home in the passions of soul music as their voices possess a subtle raspiness holding volumes of emotion in every note. 

“An Evening With Silk Sonic” transcends both the past and present with intuitive chemistry, a modernized flare on retro beats and pure finesse.

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