Puth is one of those people older music fans hate, but the kids love: he shot to fame via YouTube. His debut album Nine Track Mind was poor: “whimpers like a sick kitten” as Q put it.
There’s no ailing kitties with this new album. It’s maybe not a mighty lion, but it’s certainly a cocky leopard.
Opener The Way I Am is a slick pop tune that sees Puth singing along to a cross between a paradiddle and a rip-off of Jacko’s Beat It, but the chorus is sublime and Puth’s voice as smooth as a kitten’s pitty-paw.
Some sections of the album are little more than pop/RnB by numbers but others are really good, such as the bass-driven groove of Attention. He sings about topics his fans can relate to, such as LA Girls, but we love Slow It Down, with its seventies funk/disco opening and beat and poor old Charlie singing about how he wants to take it slow as the girl rips off her clothes and heads for the Puth boudoir. It’s got a Jackson feel in the falsetto vocals but even Puth, who can bang out a classy chorus at will, must have called it a day and gone for a celebratory beer when he recorded this one. Overall, it’s not quite distinctive enough to be “we must play this song every day to function” material but it’s certainly worth playing on a daily basis.
Unexpectedly good and not a guilty pleasure in any way. We remember being amazed how good 2016’s 24K Magic from by Bruno Mars was; this is perhaps not to that level but it’s up there. For fans of slick pop, and even miserable old music snobs.
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