‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ calls back to 70’s soul with a contemporary twist

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak collaborate as “Silk Sonic” to redefine their images with a combination of humor, talent and finesse.


Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 28, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Bruno Mars accepts Album Of The Year for 24K Magic during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden.

Jami Martin-Trainor, Arts Reporter

With the release of his new album, An Evening With Silk Sonic, Bruno Mars is no longer the same romantic he was once known as. Mars has partnered up with Anderson Paak to create Silk Sonic, redefining who he is as an artist regarding both lyricism and sound.

The album was released by Aftermath Entertainment, known for representing many prestigious artists including Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Dr. Dre, and Atlantic Records. Inspired by “old-school” music, Mars and Paak call upon ‘70s soul to create rich and moving tracks that still maintain a contemporary feel.

There is a great deal of variety in An Evening With Silk Sonic. Jumping from smoother ballads like “Put on a Smile” to the high-energy, bold pieces like “777,” Mars and Paak composed a diverse repertoire of music.

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Some of it works, and honestly, some of it does not. Fans online have criticized that “Fly As Me” sounds like it belongs in an Old Navy commercial, and that evaluation is not inaccurate. The lyrics and the music don’t quite align when the verbal hints at sexual themes contrast a backtrack that doesn’t seem to match.

However, that single piece is not representative of the entire album. “Smoking Out The Window” has gathered popularity online, which makes sense considering how bright and cheeky the piece is. The pre-chorus is bold and a bit vulgar, but catchy, nonetheless.

“This b— got me paying her rent, paying for trips.

Diamonds on her neck, diamonds on her wrist,

And here I am all alone”

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The lyrics throughout the whole song were creative and inventive, if not shocking coming from Mars who was previously known to write with more affection and warmth. Mars and Paak crafted a fun and humorous piece that built excitement around the new album before its release.

“Leave the Door Open” acts perfectly as the first full song after the introduction, relying on catchy repetition to pull in the audience and keep them listening. Mars and Paak let their vocals shine during the chorus with beautiful harmonies and rich notes hit by both artists. This piece was also released as a single months before the album came out, topping charts and giving Silk Sonic a name.

An Evening With Silk Sonic is a fun, masterful work that calls back to past generations of music, but doesn’t shy away from modern references and sounds. While not every piece works for the general theme that Mars and Paak attempted, most are able to portray that classic ‘70s soul energy. The album is genuinely fun to listen to, which is a bit of what everyone needs during this time of year.

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