After teasing about half of their record, audiences were raving with anticipation for the full release of Silk Sonic’s debut work. Blending the styles of Bruno Mars, Anderson.Paak, and the band has already reprised the beloved R&B meets Soul sound. It will be interesting to see how that is emphasized throughout the make.
I will say, from the jump, that if you are looking for a set of songs that will stick in your head after the very-first listen: this is the record for you. As I was listening to this EP for the first time, I found myself quoting several of the lyrical lines later in the day. It is like a switch goes off in your brain, and you have to sing at least one Silk Sonic melodic line. I don’t make the rules- that’s just how it goes.
The aspect of this record that I adore is the nostalgia factor engrained throughout each track. The music on the make is reminiscent of music I listened to when I was younger, but it does so with a modern flair- likely the exact intent Silk Sonic was striving for.
Throughout the album, Silk Sonic provides several musical moments that I have to emphasize. Often times, they introduce or accent the melodic line by having the instrumentals quote the line. This allows for the listener to experience the melodic content through several channels- maybe this is why the music is easily stuck in our heads??? Additionally, the instrumentalists take a Funk and Combo approach to orchestration to allow for the lyrical lines to shine, but also, the instrumentalists also have their moments to sink into their own fore-fronted material. The use of dissonance in this record is incredible. The artist often leans into the dissonance of the track to bring forth the perfect musical resolution. All of this occurs so seamlessly and quickly. If you aren’t listening for it- you may not catch it.
The varying approaches to vocal styles brings contrast and light to the make. “Fly As Me” shines with a traditional Rap style that feels almost lost in today’s approach to Rap. Now, this is not to shade today’s approach, but it is nice to hear a reprise of the original.
I know I’ve talked about the leading musical moments above, but another aspect I must talk about for this record is the use of instrumental background material. These interjections, harmonies, and countermelodies take the Silk Sonic experience to the top. Everything that is happening on the album meshes well together, but these moments act as the glue to make it all make sense. With these backgrounds, we are able to experience the parts that the artist wants accented, feel the retained groovy, and appreciate a mixture of instrumental flair. What more could you need?
I believe there is something on this record for everyone, and will be an album people will be talking about for a long while.
I am giving this EP a 4 out of 5 stars.
*”An Evening With Silk Sonic” was released on November 12th, 2021 through Aftermath Entertainment and Atlantic Recording Corporation.