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An Evening With Silk Sonic Album Review

by Yve Anmore 6 months ago in vintage · updated 6 months ago
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An album that changes how you think about music.

An Evening With Silk Sonic Album Review
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

If the quote in the picture is real, then I am now officially a transcendent being.

Have you ever had a transcendent experience while listening to music? I’m sure you have. But have you ever felt like someone had dived into your very psyche and created music that spoke to parts of you that you never knew existed? That was my experience of listening to An Evening with Silk Sonic by Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, A.K.A Silk Sonic.

The much-anticipated album released on November 12th, 2021, is the most incredible mix of nostalgia, artistry, wit, emotion and musical excellence.

From the lead single Leave The Door Open that immediately transports you to Smoothville within the first few bars, and then proceeds to make you smile and swoon from then on, this album is pure gold.

Wit and humour are a big part of this album, but it isn’t at all one dimensional. In between the humour typified by lyrics on tracks such as Smoking Out The Window, a tongue in cheek track, where Anderson Paak -cigarette in hand, spouts the giggle-inducing words

“I hope you get what you need, but I also hope your trifling ass is walking around barefoot in these streets.”

And Bruno Mars muses on how he found himself hooked up with a gold-digger who's

“Got her badass kids running round my whole crib like its Chuck E Cheese.”

Still, even then, the track has a complex and impressive bassline, serene vocal harmonies, a hooky flute-y musical refrain, and drum licks that make you pay full attention.

Then there’s the funk. And I mean The F.U.N.K! of tracks like Fly As Me and 777. If you’ve ever heard the likes of James Brown, Rick James or the Funkadelics then you know their music combines swag, with syncopated rhythms, intricate bass lines and vocal and drum hooks that would make your grandpa shake what his mama gave him.

Silk Sonic has taken all of those elements and injected modern-day rap, with its distinctive vernacular and sensibilities and matched if not at times, excelled the musicianship of these musical titans.

As each track on the album revealed itself my facial expressions became ludicrously fluid. Those facial expressions moved from slack-jawed amazement to beaming smile, to deep contentment, to gratitude and back again.

The album doesn’t forget the romantics out there either. Put On A Smile with its sublime vocal harmonies and tear-inducing emoting makes you swoon and puts you completely in your feelings. I see this as the go-to track for thuggy men who want to express their emotions to their woman without seeming too weak.

If the swag-tastic Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, can pour their heart, soul and immense talent into this track as they do, then who is Mr Thug to try and hold back his feelings?

On After Last Night even though it has the humorous voiceover of Bootsy Collins (bass player extraordinaire who’s played with everyone from James Brown to Snoop Dog,) It still gives you the romance factor in full effect.

My only criticism of this track is that having Bootsy's voiceover throughout, kind of takes away from its richness and emotiveness. It becomes distracting and is definitely a case of less Bootsy, is more.

After Last Night also has counter-rhythms of highly technical drum licks (played by Anderson Paak) and dramatic guitar riffs in the breakdown, that doesn't seem like they should work on a ballad. Yet they not only work, they’re also one of those transcendent moments I was speaking of earlier.

Skate is a great track. The verses have an infusion of soulful rhythms with both the vocal and percussion. It's definitely a feel-good vibe. However, the chorus feels just a little too safe, a little too predictable, compared to the rest of the album.

Its position on the album makes it work. It makes more sense as the penultimate track, acting as an amuse-bouche, bringing a crisp, clear energy that cleans the musical palate, than as a stand-alone single.

I honestly did not think I could take any more by the time I got to the final track on the album the uber-cosmic Blast Off. This one completely sent me.

It's audacious and bold in its composition and yet still feels so familiar, nostalgic and memory-inducing. It gives notes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Teena Marie, The Brothers Johnson, and Minnie Riperton, but then takes you to its own unique musicverse.

This is effortlessly demonstrated by its repeated refrain that brings the track to its stratospheric climax:

“Blasting off, straight to some good vibrations. Can we take it higher? Oh yeah!”

This track and the entire album took me to places I did not want or need, to leave. I want to live in a world where music feels like this, whatever the genre.

My evening with Silk Sonic is likely to stretch into a day, a week, nay, a lifetime; as I revisit this instant classic of an album again and again.

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If you enjoyed this review and would like me to do some more reviews then leave a tip if you feel moved to.

vintage

About the author

Yve Anmore

Yve Anmore is an author, poet, songwriter, podcaster, and spiritual life coach. Find her book First Awakenings a collection of innovative and healing short stories and inspiring wisdom. Available now for immediate download on Kindle.

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