The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Students agree: Silk Sonic’s debut should be Album of the Year

Anderson Paak (left) and Bruno Mars (right) in a promo for ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’.

Cordaveon Carter 

Over this past weekend, Silk Sonic, after months of teasing us, released one of the most highly anticipated albums this year, ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’. 

After giving us the hit singles “Leave The Door Open”, “Skate” and “Smokin Out the Window”, Silk Sonic, made up of musicians Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, left us wanting and craving more. It was an unlikely pairing, but it was one that the world never knew it needed. 

The album delivered in every category. The only complaint I have about this album is the length, since it should have been way longer than nine songs. This is by far my personal favorite album of the year, and honestly my pick to win the Grammy’s Album of the Year.

‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’ incorporates the sound of old school R&B, a sound that defined generations like the 70s and 80s. I listened to the album with one of my friends, and we both said Silk Sonic made cookout music for our generation to enjoy when we get older. 

Silk Sonic took inspiration from the 70s and 80s and put a modern spin on it. Fellow musicians Bootsy Collins and Thundercat helped them with the production, which helped make a more modern soulful sound throughout. 

That sound makes this album unique and special. It taps into something that has not been heard in a long time. Sil Sonic’s music can appeal to everyone from your grandma to your little cousin, and that statement alone should say a lot. 

Diving deep into the album, it opened with “Silk Sonic Intro”, a groovy prelude meant to set the tone for the rest of the track list. They also introduce Collins as the host for this album, which he excels at. 

This led into their single “Leave the Door Open”, which still hits every time I listen to it. When I heard that song for the first time in March, I knew this album was going to be the best album of the year. The melodies and the instrumentation, especially the groovy bass, and the catchy hook are simply incredible. This song is simply soothing to the soul, with Mars and Paak’s vocals equally powerful and smooth.

Next was “Fly as Me”, which really showcases the 70s groove Silk Sonic pulled from. This song is very empowering, and has a very funky and catchy hook. Paak really takes the lead this time around, showcasing his flow backed by their amazing band. Mars continued to elevate the vocals once the chorus came around, too. 

Up next was “After Last Night”, which was a slower, more romantic 80s R&B song with a modern twist. This song moved my soul, and is definitely one of my personal favorites. The combination of Thundercat and Collins on the track really elevated the song beyond Silk Sonic’s already amazing talent. I feel as if this was the best song on the entire album honestly. 

I feel as if this album then got split up into different sections. The first section was all about being heartbroken, while the second section was all about being lovestruck. “Smokin Out the Window” leads into this section, which is a 70s styled ode to a girl who was just using him. Again, the vocal dynamics of Paak and Mars gave the song exactly the power it needed.

Then leads to “Put on A Smile”, which is like an 80s styled song mixed with inspiration from the 60s to tell a modern heartbreak story. The lyrics of this song hit differently if you’ve experienced heartbreak personally, which is why I liked it so much. It was a great song to bring the mood of the album down to a sadder, hopeless romantic mood. 

If my timeline for the album is right, Silk Sonic tries to move on from their heartbreak with “777”, a funky song referencing gambling and Las Vegas. This song begins with a groovy electric guitar, adding 70s rock and roll into its R&B. Again, I must give the band and the production credit for helping the song reach its full potential.

This song was followed by “Skate”, which, to me personally, is the worst song on the album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. The groove, probably inspired by 70s disco, is still there, and the vocals are still fantastic. But I don’t think this song is on the same level as the others.

To close out this short but sweet album is “Blast Off”, which achieves a more romantic two step sound while still keeping that 70s sound. This song also featured an incredible electric guitar solo with great harmonization and key changes from the band. An excellent song to lead us out with.

This is such an amazingly and beautifully crafted album. It’s a gift from the music gods, and I thank God for this release. It has literally made my whole year, so thank you Bootsy Collins for pairing Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak together at all. I hope they make more music and don’t end up a one-time thing.

My final rating would have been a 10/10, but I must take .5 off for only having nine tracks. With that being said, the final rating is still a 9.5/10, so ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’ is still an album of the year. A must listen! 

Koby Moore 

Earlier this March, we got a single from an unlikely duo named Silk Sonic, titled “Leave the Door Open”. It caught the world by storm, and everyone wanted more. Now that group, which features superstars Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, have finally released their first album, titled ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’.

‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’ has nine tracks, only clocking in at 31 minutes. That time goes by pretty quickly as well, which helps a lot on repeat listens. I think Silk Sonic did this because this is their first album together, so they didn’t want to give the people too much too quickly. Though I do wish there were more songs, I think that was the best thing they could do. 

This album had three singles — “Leave the Door Open”, “Skate”, and “Smokin Out the Window” — which left six tracks to look forward to. I heard all three singles from Silk Sonic before the album’s release, and all of them were phenomenal, especially “Leave the Door Open” which pretty much kickstarted this whole thing. “Skate” was my least favorite single, but it was still pretty good. However, my favorite single was “Smokin out the Window”, which perfectly blended a heartbreaking story with hilarious lyrics.

The only features on this album were Bootsy Collins (who initially gave Mars and Paak the name “Silk Sonic”) and Thundercat, who are both on the same song. The album was produced mostly by Mars and D’Mile, with some assistance from a writer-production team known as The Stereotypes.

I enjoyed every song on this album, but my standouts (excluding the singles) were “After Last Night” with Thundercat and Bootsy Collins, “Put on a Smile” and “Blast Off”. 

“After Last Night” was exactly what I wanted it to be, especially with Thundercat rocking the heavy bass line on it. His smooth background vocals added a lot to the song, although I would’ve loved to hear a full verse from him. 

“Put On a Smile” might’ve been the best song on the album, because, like “Smokin Out the Window”, it’s one of those heartbreaking songs you can listen to over and over again. “Put On a Smile” also showcased Paak’s exceptional drumming skills, while Mars’s strong vocal projection just made it an all-around great song. It might even be a Song of the Year contender. 

“Blast Off” was an excellent way to end the album, though it took two or three listens for it to grow on me. The ending of “Blast Off” is so euphoric with all of its harmonies and key switches. It really makes you feel like you’re going into the galaxy.

My least favorite songs on the album are “777” and “Skate”, mostly because they felt like “whatever” tracks. They probably could have been replaced with other songs they are otherwise keeping in the vault for now, but I still think they have a chance to grow on people.

I love this album, and it completely lived up to my expectations. The first time I heard “Leave The Door Open”, I was interested in seeing where Mars and Paak would go, and now I know exactly where they’re heading: into greatness.

This album provides a world that has funk, R&B, soul and blues, and manages to bring it all into the present day. It’s amazing. I feel like, years from now, I’ll be playing this album for my kids and they’ll feel like I did when my parents would play old school tracks while cleaning. 

I give this album a 9 out of 10. This is an easy contender for Album of the Year, which should be no surprise to anyone. I know that, if the album is eligible, it’s going to be nominated for a lot of Grammys next year. It already has plenty of replay value, and I highly recommend that everyone listen to ‘An Evening with Silk Sonic’.

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