“An evening with Silk Sonic” – L’Invaincu
The Undefeated asked our authors to choose the most important albums from a crazy year. Find the rest of their selections here.
Anyone in Washington will tell you this undeniable truth. The Donnie Simpson Show starring Donnie Simpson and Tony Perkins is a perfect radio show. These are just two middle aged black guys making daddy jokes and laughing at each other while playing some great music. Last month, the two were discussing the hysteria surrounding Anderson’s joint venture. Paak and Bruno Mars, An evening with Silk Sonic. Seemingly out of nowhere, Perkins gave his review of the album.
“It’s a sonic orgasm.”
Simpson and I, as we drove to pick up my dog from daycare, burst out laughing. The point is, however, that Perkins was not out of place in his sentiment. The wait for the common project has been one of the most fascinating and sometimes frustrating storylines of the year. First of all, the excitement generated by the single “Leave the door open”, Which is likely to dominate the Grammys next month. Then came the several-month wait for updates, followed by reports of a 2022 release ahead of the possible pre-Thanksgiving drop.
Right now, all kinds of reviews on the project exist. That it’s a journey through time with a new age touch. This One night combined the pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop sensibilities of the two artists who teamed up for 15 Grammys. That the intergalactic storytelling of the immortal Bootsy Collins was the perfect touch. And, for some, that the album, even entertaining in spurts, was too sanitized.
The album is not perfect. But that does not mean that there is no ransom from the king for reasons that work in his favor. It is a descendant of dew-eyed cultural timestamps such as Studio 54 and Soul Train with the advantage of social media for bidding. Go back, but still appropriate for the time being. The brevity, without a doubt, is One nightthe best quality. At nine songs and a shade over 30 minutes, filler tracks don’t exist. Some float more perfectly than others – think “Skateboard” and the overly cheesy, but still adorable, “Fly As Me”. Both are quality records that fit into the flow of the album.
The chemistry between Mars and Anderson .Paak is simply phenomenal. The duo initially pitched the idea of working together in 2017 when they filled arenas on the 24K Magic World Tour. They don’t just sound like two talented artists making music together. Looks like they really like being together. Their timing and their ability to give the other space to occupy themselves is sublime. Look no further than the sequence that begins with “Leave the Door Open” aforementioned in “Fly As Me”, “After Last Night” and “Smokin ‘Out The Window”. There is an element of surprise when Anderson .Paak follows Mars or vice versa which keeps the listener honest and on the edge of their seat.
For a project that has somehow met his massive expectations, it’s “After Last Night” that stands out. Every aspect of the song is a better match for the outfit Collins decides to wear on a given day – the introduction of which on the song is the perfect hallucinogenic appetizer. I don’t know what you did when you did what you did, Collins waxes, but you made it girl, sets the stage for arguably the sexiest record of 2021. Silk Sonic starts from there. You put it on me like I’ve never felt it before, they sing, Soft, sticky, thick and pretty / You’ve been a game-changer.
Certainly, just reading the lyrics does not do the experience justice. But that’s part of the album’s shtick. You live with that. And you create memories for it, like letting it roll in the background at your Christmas and New Years parties. (Just a suggestion.) If a disc has the ability to make you blush in two steps and send a risky text “hey big head” after intentionally liking their last five Instagram posts at a time after 12 brunch mimosas, he’s doing something right. It’s “After Last Night” in a nutshell. Records like this and “Blast Off” were confirmations of the excitement that had started eight months earlier.
So, is this the “sonic orgasm” described by Perkins? May be. Maybe not. But you will leave satisfied.
Truth be told, it’s hard to imagine Silk Sonic doing a follow-up project. Everything about the album gives the impression that it is a unique chord with planets in alignment. It is called An evening with Silk Sonic, but the truth is, he’ll be around for a lot longer than that. If you’re like me, you’ve already chosen your outfit for the residency concert in Las Vegas 20 years from now.