Charlie Puth’s album Charlie turned me on like a “Light Switch” as his lyrics bounced in my head “Left and Right”



The cover image to Charlie Puth’s 2022 album release: Charlie

Charlie Puth is a genius. 

Ever since the release of “One Call Away” in 2016 when I initially fell in love with the artist’s music, Puth has had an outpouring of remarkable melodies and intriguing interviews showing off his perfect pitch to every fan. Due to his abilities, his voice can almost sound autotuned with its flawless talent. 

Fortunate enough to have access to Puth’s expertise, his iconic falsetto voice is seemingly on repeat as it pulses through my car. With the release of his newest album, Charlie, it’s no surprise that I instantly fell back into the groove of his artistic storytelling.

Every lyric is based on something that actually happened in Puth’s life, which adds depth and emotion to his sound; however, to avoid an overwhelming amount of gushing over these absolute bops, I have omitted several tracks from this list. 

That being said, “There’s a First Time for Everything,” “Smells Like Me,” “Loser,” “Marks on My Neck,” “Tears on My Piano,” and “I Don’t Think That I Like Her” are also praiseworthy masterpieces. 

“That’s Hilarious”

Right off the bat, this is my favorite song from the album. In the initial weeks after its release, a day didn’t go by where Puth’s voice didn’t collide with mine as we belted “That’s Hilarious” together. Excitement courses through me from merely hearing the opening chords. 

Through Puth’s catchy and passionate lyrics, he expresses the pain of being used and underappreciated, only for that person to have the audacity to ask for more after a failed relationship. While I may not be able to relate to this sentiment in a romantic sense, I certainly can relate to the impertinence of past friends. 

Overall, the song provides the perfect climax and depth to expel all anger and irritation; I know I always feel lighter after listening. 

Now you put the blame in reverse. Tryna make me feel guilty for everything you’ve done. You’re just another lesson I learned. Don’t give your heart to a girl who’s still got a broken one.”

— Charlie Puth

“Charlie Be Quiet!”

This next song explores the simple theme of falling in love but being too afraid to admit the extent of feelings in case everything fails. The deeper the listener goes into the song, the more Puth’s inner turmoil escalates between a growing infatuation and the fear of potential ruin. 

The first time through the chorus, Puth uses the lyrical technique of word painting to determine the dynamics of the music. As the feeling gets “stronger,” so does the melody, crescendoing until his emotions become “too loud,” in which there is an immediate decrescendo into his soft voice, telling himself to be quiet. 

Toward the end, when the background percussion fades away, Puth’s voice feels up-close, raw, and personal. His whisper tone is so pure that it feels as if he is sharing this secret with the listener alone. When Puth’s internal disputes express themselves in music like this, I happily oblige to play the role of the therapist and listen. 

“Light Switch”

This selection went viral on TikTok, and for a good reason. As a whole, the catchy refrain is perfect to dance along to as Puth describes attraction continuously being turned back on “like a light switch.” What’s unique about this song is that the artist included his fans in the process of writing this song, explaining his breakthrough of actually using the sound of a light switch to complete the background audio. 

It’s astounding to hear the results of talented minds like Puth’s; inspiration can come from nearly anything such as banging on a cup, playing around with different beats, or random phone calls, and “Light Switch” is an exemplary sample of this. 

“Left and Right”

Another car ride favorite, “Left and Right” hits the mark in all directions. Best listened to with headphones, this song is unique in filtering the audio only through the left or right speaker at a time in accordance with the lyrics. My sister and I always love singing our designated parts depending on which side of the car we’re sitting on. 

Where the lyrics lack depth, the tune makes up for its catchy and upbeat melody. Furthermore, Puth’s voice harmonizes perfectly with the featured artist, Jung Kook. I become completely immersed in their voices as the melody takes up every corner of my mind. 

“When You’re Sad I’m Sad”

The adagio opening piano notes instantly lull the listener into a slower tempo, allowing the audience to truly absorb the lyrics. While the title of this piece gives off the initial impression of feeling a deep connection to someone else, the words reveal a feeling of being trapped in a relationship that continuously lures one back in. 

“In the past, put you back there. I tried movin’ on, but you never budge. So I never get to give my love to someone who actually deserves it all.”

Puth told Apple Music that his lyrics express the struggles of being manipulated by love, falling back into the same patterns at every beck and call when a relationship is long over. With the complexity of the message combined with Puth’s rich tone and echoing effects throughout the piece, “When You’re Sad I’m Sad” is definitely worth a listen. 

“No More Drama”

Ending with a relieving joy, “No More Drama” is the perfect conclusion to the album. After all of the previous pandemonium, the final song acknowledges his past struggles and moves on to a brighter future. The message is simple and plain within the melody: “I got no more drama in my life, and it’s been amazing. I’m so glad I finally realized I’m better without you.”

In my personal life, I can certainly relate to cutting out friendships in order to step away from lies, betrayal, and constant disappointments. Charlie Puth, I am glad that you are finally healing. It’s evident that you do an exceptional job alone. 

This album is perfect for anyone who loves vibing in their car, room, or within the security of headphones. I strongly recommend listening to Charlie; with a stellar voice, special effects, and sincere lyrics, you can’t go wrong listening to these incredible works of art.