R&B duo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak start on a high note



Anderson .Paak performs in Oslo, Norway in 2016. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Charlie Raynor

After conquering almost every sector of modern pop and R&B music, Bruno Mars enlisted longtime friend and tourmate Anderson .Paak for their newest project — ”An Evening with Silk Sonic.” The result? A beautiful, ‘70s-inspired album with multiple hits.

“Silk Sonic Intro,” the short, one-minute long introduction, sets the tone for the rest of the album with its groovy, upbeat build-up and slow fade into the album’s Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper, “Leave the Door Open.”

Though the song speaks for itself, with four Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song, “Leave The Door Open” is a captivating fan-favorite. This is the first song on the album in which Bruno Mars showcases his vocals, with a charming, slow chorus and background vocals.

As for one of my personal favorites, “Fly As Me,” showcases an incredibly simple bassline that still manages to stay in your head for hours. However, opinions on this track are mixed.

Senior Will McHale of Middletown called “Fly As Me” his least favorite track, saying, “it is an okay song, but it just doesn’t hold up against the rest of this great album.”

I, however, would save that critique for “After Last Night.” Though Grammy award-winning singer and guitarist Thundercat did not disappoint on bass, the song still stands out as boring and unoriginal.

Silk Sonic made up for this blunder with track three, “Smokin Out The Window.” Anderson .Paak’s pre-chorus gives this track the catchy flow that, no doubt, the song will be known for, leaving the listener reminiscent of Nina Simone’s Motown hit, “Feeling Good.” If there is a single song to listen to off of this album, “Smokin Out The Window” is it.

If “Smokin Out The Window” leaves you wanting to dance, “Put On A Smile” is the album’s heart-wrencher. Bruno Mars’s heartache can be felt the duration of the track, singing about pretending that everything is okay.

“There is so much soul in the track and they sing with so much emotion,” McHale said, deeming the song his favorite track.

Though it closes the album, the title “Blast Off” creates a sense of false hope with vocals that feel generic and mundane in comparison to the rest of the album.

When I heard Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak were collaborating on an album, my expectations were high. They blew me away with their new-age Motown and ‘70s feel. From my standpoint, this album is an 8.3 out of 10, and I hope to hear more of what Silk Sonic has to offer in the future.