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Charlie Puth's latest offers raw, intense ballads | Arts & Entertainment

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In his new self-titled album, “CHARLIE,” singer-songwriter Charlie Puth acknowledges the hypocrisy of the human heart. Throughout his new collection of songs, Puth unpacks his experiences of finding out how he’s able to distance himself from some people while not others. A narrative of the helplessness of truly being in love, the album “CHARLIE” is a necessary album to add to any pop playlist as it places itself front and center in today’s modern pop music scene.

“That’s Hilarious,” Puth’s first track of his new 2022 studio album, serves to start his story with the times he was able to fully let go and never look back after being in a relationship. Singing, “You didn’t love when you had me but now you need me so badly, you can’t be serious; that’s hilarious,” Puth makes it clear that a few times in his life, there are some people he dated that he could never see himself ever being that close to again. Saying, “Thinkin’ I would still want you after the things you put me through, yeah, you’re delirious; that’s hilarious,” this song serves as the cornerstone song of Puth’s album in the realm of rejoicing after a breakup.

Other songs, too, share this sentiment. “Smells Like Me,” the third track, revels in revenge, Puth singing of how he wishes pain for his ex, similar to songs like “Hurts Like Hell,” by Madison Beer and “hot girl bummer” by blackbear. In the chorus, Puth sings, “I hope the memory’s killin’ you over there. Don’t even front, you know that you just can’t compare what it used to be; I hopе your jacket smells like mе.” In this song Puth holds nothing back, unrelenting and steadfast in his belief that the other person really does deserve it; he doesn’t miss them at all but rather hopes they miss him.

Later on in the album, Puth’s song “I Don’t Think I Like Her” takes his resentment towards past relationships to an even higher level, generalizing all “girls” and singing, “I don’t think that I like her anymore, girls are all the same, all they wanna do is break my heart…they just wanna see me fall apart.” Here, Puth has seen a pattern of how he’s been treated, so close now to not believing in love because he thinks that his future lovers will treat him just the same as his exes.

“No More Drama” seems to tag-along with this theme. While “I Don’t Think I Like Her” borderlines pessimism, “No More Drama” takes the same feeling of being burned too many times in relationships and flips this feeling on its edge, Puth seesing his escape from past failed relationships as a way out from what could’ve been much more painful if he’d stayed. He sings, “Took a year before I recognized that our love had already died. Baby, I was down bad, I was down bad, now I’m healing.” By this point in the album, “No More Drama” being the final song off the album, Puth sees that he’s not worried about what was, but rather is glad it’s in the past.

On the other hand, another half of Puth’s album describes the physical ache of being in love or wishing you still were. Songs like “Charlie Be Quiet!” about guarding the heart but knowing you’ve already fallen in love, “There’s a First Time for Everything” where you fall unexpectedly and suddenly, “Marks On My Neck” where things escalate before you realize it—these songs depict how time seems to warp when you’re in love; in these songs, Puth has already fallen in deep before he can fully comprehend it, not wanting to get out of the spell he’s under.

Some songs even show times when Puth refuses to let go, not because he’s in love, but rather he feels tied to this person in some way. “Light Switch” and “Left and Right”—“Light Switch” depicting the comfortability of going back to the same person even though you know they’re bad for you and “Left and Right” where you can feel the memories haunting you— describe feelings of quiet remorse that Puth can’t seem to shake because a part of him regrets something he did. Whereas, in the songs “Tears On My Piano,” “Loser” and “When You’re Sad I’m Sad,” Puth doesn’t have regret in the sense that he wasn’t true to himself, but rather that he misses an actual relationship all together.

Overall, Puth’s new album “CHARLIE” gives audiences a glimpse into his mind and a glimpse into his philosophy on love. Serving as a collection of banger pop hits upon a first listen, after a few more streams listeners will start to pick up on how Puth is conveying through his album the multifaceted qualities of human relationships, and how, in any relationship, it’s impossible to come out completely unscathed.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.