We are almost the end of the first quarter of 2021 and this is our first blog post for the year. It is unclear as to whether this delay is a reflection of a lack of inspiration or just the result of the emotional fatigue from 2020 – a year characterized by trauma and loss attributed to the devastating Covid19 pandemic. Despite the fact that we are still very much in turbulent times, there appears to be a glimmer of hope for a future that is far more palatable. In the world of music, this flame of optimism has been kindled by Silk Sonic – a rather surprise collaboration between pop superstar Bruno Mars and drummer/rapper Anderson Paak.
The seeds for Silk Sonic were sown as far back as 2017 – when both Mars and Paak toured together for the European leg of Mars’ 24k Magic World Tour. The two artists jammed together and bounced ideas with no concrete goal. Sometimes, the best creative outputs emerge from endeavors such as these wherein the ideas organically come together. They also defiantly bucked the trend of recording remotely – something most artists making music in 2020 were compelled to do. The recording studio brought their collaborative gusto to life and paved the way for a soundscape that is reminiscent of the 70s while being forward looking.
“Leave the door open” – the intensely sexy downtempo lead single from the upcoming album “An Evening with Silk Sonic” marries the innocence and sonic craftsmanship of Motown era classics with the unbridled innuendo of modern R&B (with lyrics such as “Rose petals in the bathtub, girls lets jump in, It’s bubblin‘”). The lightweight nature of the song’s lyrics combined with unapologetic deviations from grammatical correctness (e.g. “Imma leave the door open”) can be forgiven in the context of the song’s harmonic richness boasting approximately thirty five chords. In a modern musical mainstream characterized by excessive repetition of mind-numbingly pedestrian melodies and harmonies, “Leave the door open” stands out like a luminescent gem for its musical ambitions – a by-product of two artists flexing their sonic muscles to bring out the best in each other. Hopefully, this inspires budding pop stars to aspire to higher levels of musical credibility.
While some of Bruno Mars’ music gets played on our 24/7 global online music radio broadcast, our enthusiasm for him as an artist has largely been quite muted but his growing propensity towards embracing the sounds of yesteryear (which he also did on “Versace on the floor” from his 24k Magic album) is undoubtedly fueling the intrigue and curiosity for what he is likely to do next. “An Evening with Silk Sonic” cannot arrive soon enough and “Leave the door open” is hands down the first great pop single of 2021. Here is a full-length clip of the song’s music video: