COLUMN: Why “An Evening With Silk Sonic” is Album of the Year
As the end of the year approaches, an age-old question arises from music lovers around the world, what is the album of the year?
“An Evening With Silk Sonic” by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, known together as Sonic Silk, undoubtedly deserves the 2021 title.
The album launch began in February, following the announcement of their collaborative album. Soon after, the dynamic duo released “Leave the Door Open”, a hugely successful single that topped the charts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Immediately after hearing this song and watching the Musical clip, I had the feeling that the project would have that taste of the 60s and 70s that old and new music fanatics would be infatuated with.
The next two singles, âSkateâ and âSmokin Out the Windowâ both initially landed in the top 15 of the previously mentioned charts, respectively.
My previous thoughts after the release of “Leave the Door Open” were reassured when these two hits flooded my Spotify recommended songs. âSkateboardâ has that upbeat dance hall vibe that anyone can dance to and âSmokin Out the Windowâ will make you feel like you’ve just been screwed and needed a cigarette even though you’re single and that you don’t smoke.
When these three singles came out, I was very excited to hear how the rest of the songs would sound. I’ve been a Bruno Mars fan since the “Unorthodox Jukebox” era and I was a huge fan of his sound on his “24K Magic” record and I knew “An Evening With Silk Sonic” would be similar.
However, I knew âAn Evening With Silk Sonicâ would be more intriguing since he collaborated on the project with one of my new favorites in the hybrid hip hop genre, Anderson .Paak.
I started listening to .Paak about two years ago when he released “Ventura”. After falling in love with this album, hearing that he and Mars would collaborate and listen to the singles, I knew something special was on the horizon.
After a lot of waiting after the three singles, they finally released the nine-song classic last week, and it didn’t disappoint.
The album features a plethora of vibes, from the sweet and sultry sound of “After Last Night”, starring modern bassist Thundercat and legendary multi-genre musician Bootsy Collins, who is also the narrator of the LP, to the funky upbeat ” Fly as Me â, that makes you feel like a million bucks.
My favorite is “Put On A Smile”, a sad, slow-paced love song that is very different from most of the other songs on the album. The song is about the need to have loved ones despite being “playasIt’s also the only song written only by Mars and .Paak on the album and it features the signature .Paak drum style.
My only complaint is that it only lasts 30 minutes, which is really too short. The album launch started very early in the year, and after a lot of waiting, only nine songs and 30 minutes to show, it’s very disappointing.
Although the duo of Mars and .Paak are relatively new, they are no strangers to making great music on their own. They have both received countless accolades for their work, and they even combine for a ridiculous 30 Grammys, the music industry‘s most distinguished award. These honors show their respect in the world of music.
Growing up in Detroit, I listened to an unhealthy amount of Motown, and “An Evening With Silk Sonic” took me back to the days when my family and I listened to Stevie Wonder with his wonderful funk and R&B sound. Speaking to Rolling stonePaak even said they were influenced by Motown legends like Wonder and the late Aretha Franklin.
Please feel free to call me one old head, I just like good music.
Detroit has also exposed me to a range of diverse musical tastes. I enjoyed everything from “Bloxk Party” by Detroit rapper Sada Baby to “Rolling in the Deep” by English singer superstar Adele.
There isn’t a lot of music that I haven’t listened to, and after hearing “An Evening With Silk Sonic” I couldn’t think of a better album released in 2021 so far.
Even though it’s only been a few days since the album was released, I firmly believe that “An Evening With Silk Sonic” will be the best musical work to be released this year.
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This is not a blow to the music that came out this year, as I think countless albums that deserve immense praise have come out like “Call Me If You Get Lost” by Tyler, the creator, “Montero” by Lil Nas X and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift to name a few.
The perfect mix of modernity and nostalgia as well as the impeccable use of instruments and vocals lead me to believe that no album will surpass this one this year. Mars’ voice combined with .Paak’s talent on drums blend together for a delicious sound that all music fans, regardless of genre, can enjoy and play on repeat.
It’s also a good look when the top dancer on TikTok approves one of your singles.
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