Silk Sonic, comprised of the illustrious Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, has arrived. Coming off of two Grammy-winning projects (24K Magic and Ventura, respectively), the two musicians have teamed up to form a duo that rests on a well-done pastiche of soulful 70s R&B.
The lead single from Silk Sonic’s debut full-length project, An Evening With Silk Sonic, sees Bruno and Anderson providing slight updates to the Philadelphia International Label sound, but the pair mostly stay true to the legendary foundation. What’s immediately striking about “Leave the Door Open” is the analog feel of the production. The robust drums and string arrangements feel particularly vibrant in a musical landscape dominated by programmed beats. “Leave the Door Open” is essentially a four-minute sonic invitation to meet Bruno and Anderson in their bedrooms because “they look too good to be alone.” Lyrically, the song feels distinctly Bruno Mars-esque. After all, the man who wrote “Grenade” is bound to have a dash of corniness in his songs, no matter how far he delves into the R&B sphere. Lines like “just shaved, smooth like a newborn” and “if you’re hungry, girl, I got filets” only work because the two stars have the charisma to pull them off. That charisma, coupled with the duo more than likely being in on the joke, makes the song that much more enjoyable.
The legacy of The Delfonics and The Chi-Lites shine throughout the track, particularly in those harmonies. Nevertheless, Bruno and Anderson add their own twists with key changes and a call-and-response format that doubles as ad-libs. Vocally, the pair sound excellent as they smartly toe the line between lust and flirtatiousness. Bruno has a tendency to strain his voice, but he makes the smart decision to leave the first half of the song relatively light and let the hook live in his falsetto. Above all, “Leave the Door Open” is so good because of the chemistry between the two vocalists. Bruno and Anderson are a match made in musical heaven, and from the look of the video, they match each other’s vibes well enough that the project will truly feel like a natural collaboration as opposed to a quick money grab.