Silk Sonic, a project bringing together the creative minds of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, is back with a new summer love song. “Skate” has the pair flexing their flirting capabilities in a more upbeat fashion compared to their monumental debut single “Leave the Door Open” that dropped earlier this year.
At the time of writing, “Leave the Door Open” has over 350 million views on Youtube and climbed to the top of Billboard Hot 100 songs charts twice. With such a stellar debut, any follow-up single from the recently-formed Silk Sonic would garner global attention. “Skate” however, holds its own thanks to its groove-filled production made for gliding through the summer heat.
.Paak’s drumming is tight and almost melodic, which comes as no surprise to fans of his past tracks like “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” and “King James”. The additional percussion comes in the form of opening tambourine rolls and conga drum runs performed by the multifaceted Mars. The electric guitar is bright and energetic, while the baseline is filled with complex but funky runs that don’t go unnoticed. All of this serves as a strong foundation for an outstanding orchestral section refreshing for a summer hit – complete with fast and clean strings, high-pitched staccato hits and captivating runs. The appealing chord changes from “Door” are back on “Skate,” though faster and less dramatic. Add in vocals, and the track becomes a medley of smooth and dynamic sounds fit for Silk Sonic’s talented frontmen.
Remarkably, each instrument is distinct, which is a credit to the group’s production team that also saw “Door” garner much deserved praise. Even with the added elements to fit the summer sounds, everything is clean and complex in ways that we should expect from two musicians at the top of their game.
.Paak and Mars have fun on this track, which is no surprise given their recent performances together at the Grammys, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and BET Awards. The chemistry between both superstars is clear with distinct vocals that complement each other better than most duos. With two singles out now, fans can see the patterns in how .Paak and Mars interact. .Paak dishes out fast rhymes and maintains his smooth quips, all while keeping time on drums, while Mars uses his brilliant vocals on the chorus for the track’s highs, but also flexes with fast verses of his own. Whether harmonizing or countering one another, they sound comfortable and stylish throughout.
While this single doesn’t hit the climactic height of their debut, it’s a steady summer tune that builds upon mid-1970s R&B roots to create something smooth and inviting. It’s fast and energetic, but bright instrumentation and suave singing from both Mars and .Paak make this song both a must for dance parties and relaxing summer days.
This single is a clear indication of where Silk Sonic is heading: worldwide success. Both artists have achieved superstardom on their own, with Mars winning several awards with every album he’s released and .Paak taking rap, R&B, and melodic rap Grammys year after year. Together, they have created a listening experience that harkens back to era-defining R&B and soul with a fresh layer of modern mixing and pop-like energy. Time will tell exactly where the duo will end up once their album “Evening with Silk Sonic” arrives, but for now these superstars are comfortably riding the buzz created by their recent releases. It’s safe to say that the rolling rinks have a classic on their hands, so grab a pair of skates (or stay in and kitchen-slide with slippery socks) and spend the evening with Silk Sonic’s summer jam.