It was also their first studio album since their debut to have a title beginning with a letter other than H. The title itself acknowledges the missing "H" by its wry reference to silent letters in the English language.
The album contains fast-paced disco songs, piano power-ballads, often sung by Gerry Beckley, and steady speed pop-rock songs.
The album was not a commercial success, reaching only number 110 on the Billboard album chart. It did produce three minor hit singles. "Only Game In Town" reached 107 on the Billboard singles chart; "All My Life" (number 48 on the Adult Contemporary chart was a big hit in Asia; and "All Around" hit number 45 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
In his Allmusic retrospective review, music critic Steven Thomas Erlewine noted the band's transition from "folky California soft rock" to adult contemporary. He wrote of the album: "The end result may be flawed, but in an enjoyable way. And compared to the records that preceded it and some of albums that followed it, Silent Letter certainly seems like a latter-day highlight for America."