Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak team up for one of the best albums of the year
Alex Rigotti
14:53 12th November 2021

Longtime fans of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak were pleasantly surprised when the duo announced their collaboration as Silk Sonic. Eight months later, Mars and .Paak have delivered An Evening With Silk Sonic, a thirty-one minute odyssey into the highs and lows of love. It might only be nine tracks long—practically sacrilege in the streaming age—but An Evening is a supremely enjoyable album that will leave listeners begging for more. 

As the single ‘Leave The Door Open’ hinted, An Evening contains some seriously sexy slow jams. ‘After Last Night’ sees the two men renounce their player lifestyle after a particularly satisfying encounter ("Normally I don’t stutter, but you d-d-d-d-d-do it to me", Bootsy Collins hilariously narrates). It’s glitzy, glamorous, and totally lovestruck. Don’t be fooled, though: there’s also plenty of high-energy fun on tracks such as ‘777’, a tale of indulgent debauchery underpinned by a funky guitar riff, or ‘Fly As Me’, where the duo go in search of a woman who’s able to keep up with them. 

Mars and .Paak also write some hilarious lyrics that prove why they’re today’s songwriting beasts, balancing charm and wit with ease. ‘Smoking Out The Window’ has some utterly hilarious lines that people have certainly taken notice of. Bruno’s describes his displeasure at his lovers’ kids running around "like it’s Chuck-E-Cheese", whilst .Paak announces: "Not to be dramatic, but I wanna die". These musicians fully embrace their inner playfulness, but they do so with devastating sincerity. Placing this song after their declaration of love on ‘After Last Night’ especially heightens the emotions in the song more than it did as a single, demonstrating some effective track-list structuring. 

Let’s also not forget the incredible musical performances from the duo, particularly on ‘Put On A Smile’. Bruno’s vocal control is something most singers would dream of; he can croon, belt, and scream all in one song. He reaches into his falsetto register with a high G, and does some masterful runs as well. Props to Anderson .Paak for keeping up; .Paak’s smooth, buttery tone is more than enough to match Mars’ energy. ‘Put On A Smile’ also features some great drumming from .Paak, too, proving that these multi-instrumentalists truly are at the top of their game right now.  

These are two musicians deep into their careers who know exactly what their lane is, and how best to show it. An Evening is a truly successful collaborative effort between Mars and .Paak, underscoring not only their talent but also genuine friendship and compatibility. It might have been a rocky, arduous singles roll-out, but it was all completely worth it. 

An Evening with Silk Sonic.

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Photo: Press