Silk Sonic Brings Feel-Good Funk to the Forefront


Silk Sonic, the new superduo composed of modern pop maestro Bruno Mars and California rapper Anderson. Paak, certainly lives up to its name on its debut album An Evening with Silk Sonic. Offering nine smooth, groovy R&B and pop tunes, the album is an enjoyable modern spin on the soul and funk of the 1960s and ‘70s. .Paak and Mars’s vocals perfectly complement one another during the infectious choruses, and it is clear that the pair is  a match made in musical heaven.

The collaboration first came about during the European leg of Mars’s 24K Magic World Tour, in which .Paak served as a supporting act. The two quickly bonded over their appreciation of each other’s music and artistry, so they decided to spontaneously record together. “I was opening for the 24K Magic Tour,” .Paak says in an interview with Rolling Stone, “and a week in, we were in the studio.” With the help of ‘70s funk legend Bootsy Collins’, who serves as the “special guest host” on An Evening, the project became more formal and was given the name Silk Sonic. The duo finalized recording for their debut album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, in 2020 and 2021 before releasing its lead single, “Leave the Door Open,” on March 15.

Silk Sonic hoped to make an upbeat album that could help bring back the optimism that many have lost during these past few years. By infusing the album with this hopeful spirit, Mars and .Paak hoped to create a sense of unity. “A good song can bring people together,” Mars comments to Rolling Stone, “so that was our mindset for the whole album. If it makes us feel good, and resonates with us, that’s gonna be infectious and make other people feel good — and that’s our jobs as entertainers.”

Upon listening to the album, this positive energy can be felt as soon as the album starts. The “Silk Sonic Intro” is short but sweet, and with the singers’ declaration of their mission to “lock this groove in tight,” the listener is clearly in for a treat. The first few tracks of the album prove this. The second track and lead single, a sultry soul jam which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, is followed up by the braggadocious “Fly As Me.” The latter song contains a catchy bass line and outstanding outro that makes it an early highlight of the record.

After the funky fun of “Fly As Me,” the album’s pace slows down with “After Last Night.” This song features Thundercat, known for his work with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, on backing vocals and bass. After this comes “Smokin Out the Window,” a captivating cut in which Mars and .Paak lament their struggles with a lover who drains the narrator of his money. The song’s hard-hitting chorus and chemistry between the singers’ voices provide all the qualities of a future hit. By becoming popular on TikTok and charting No. 8 on the Hot 100 as of November 16, it has paid off on this potential already.

Following the catchiness of “Smokin Out the Window,” Mars and .Paak deliver a beautiful ballad with “Put on a Smile” before moving onto “777,” a boasting cut about Las Vegas. The penultimate track and second single “Skate” pits .Paak’s verses and Mars’s soulful vocals over groovy guitars and silky strings.

The final track on the record, “Blast Off,” is arguably its highlight, inviting the listener to “tiptoe to a magical place” in a sweet and psychedelic chorus. By the time the outro comes around and Collins’s closing narration kicks in, the listener will feel more than magical. The sonic sound is sure to invigorate anyone who presses play. An Evening with Silk Sonic provides nine tracks of pop-funk perfection. In working on An Evening with Silk Sonic, Mars and .Paak created one of the year’s best pop projects so far.