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The Anticipated Release of Charlie Puth’s 2nd Studio Album

{I wrote this as a test piece for a Spring 2018 Writing Internship with Study Breaks Magazine.}


Charlie performing on the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball ’17 Tour stage. [Photo Credit: Twitter]

Voicenotes marks a tremendous milestone for one of the biggest pop singers of 2017. Charlie Puth’s highly anticipated 2nd studio album is set to release on January 19, 2018. His fans (Puthinators) are thrilled that the record is right around the corner. Fans everywhere tell different stories about loving Charlie’s music. My best friend, a new fan, Heather McLemore recently fell in love with Puth’s catchy songs and heartfelt lyrics. Longtime fan, Tyler Falcoa finds inspiration from Puth as him, and his brother pursue their music career on YouTube while earlier this year, being finalists on Charlie’s episode of Best Cover Ever. Puthinators love everything about this pop singer.

Since the start of working on his album at the beginning of 2017, Charlie sends clues out to his fans or one-word answers to when the album might come out. All he replies with is “Soon” and a green heart emoji.  In an interview, while touring for the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, Charlie gives an update on how Voicenotes is going at that moment. “I’m working on it still. This is going to bum everyone out, it was supposed to come out in January, but I’m not done with it,” He says as he plays with a puppy backstage. “I want it to be perfect. It won’t be too much longer after that.”

I won’t hide the fact that I am beyond ready to hear the rest of Voicenotes. Until January, fans have hit singles “Attention” and “How Long” to hold them over, which brings no disappointments because every beat is perfect and sounds insane. The impeccable beats are no mistake because the producer has perfect pitch. Puth, a triple threat in his craft, not only holding the title singer-songwriter but also producer. He produces every track on his own from his home studio or recording studio and while on the road continues to record using his computer. He is always making music which turns into successful hits in a matter of weeks.

The inspiration behind the album title is my favorite part of all. Since the beginning of Puth’s career in 2015, he records vocals and sounds on an app, Voicenotes, on his iPhone to make rough versions of his songs. He puts those vocals or sounds he hears around him into his production process on his computer. He layers the vocals, sounds, and instruments to begin the making of each song. Throughout 2017, his interviews consist of him showing people how he makes his latest hits from his home or mobile studio.

His upcoming music is the hottest topic in every interview this year and for a good reason. Charlie makes hit records like a natural. Beautifully produced and crafted tunes flow out of him, which any listener can see from his lead singles. Plus, he cares about the final product and his fans’ thoughts. The central mystery behind his recent music from Voicenotes stems from what girl he sings about and the real story behind the relationship. His listeners speculate, but Puth never reveals the name of the female in his two lead singles. But, he shares that “How Long” is part two of the story that starts with “Attention.”

Puthinators aren’t just going crazy over the audio for the tunes, but the creativity Puth puts into the music videos. Even though the songs tell two parts of the same story, the visuals are very different. Take “Attention” for example; it follows Charlie’s side of the story as his ex-lover’s actions of cheating hurt him. In this music video, Puth strolls into a party alone and notices his ex in a crowd of people flaunting herself in a red dress. He fights the temptation to take her home, but in the end, she wins him over. This half of the story shows how cheating isn’t always the end for a couple, but another obstacle of wanting the person or letting them go. Fans see in this first storyline that Charlie and his female co-star are hot and heavy, but that soon changes in the second half of this story. “How Long,” tells Charlie’s reasons for cheating on his ex-lover, which stems from being drunk and her cheating behavior. But here’s the mystery, a female co-star isn’t noticeable until the video is almost over, and her face isn’t visible. I think this video symbolizes how alone cheating makes someone feel because Puth can be seen dancing around the empty streets and a hotel lobby of Los Angeles. Between the two videos, visuals and placement of people, the lyrics vary from darker to emotional scenes. I like the direction his creativity is going because it shows his fans more of his life and who he is, compared to love ballads that didn’t come from his experiences.

“He is becoming more honest, and more of a raw writer while still keeping it within the Pop genre for all listeners,” since his first album says Tyler. Nine Track Mind embodies hit tracks “One Call Away” and “Marvin Gaye,” where “He has all the songs that ‘kids in love’ can really appreciate,” Heather critiques about the earlier tunes. While lead Voicenotes singles, “connect better with the fans that are having some ‘trouble in paradise.’” His sound and message/meaning are changing, and no one is mad about it.

As a fan, myself, I am excited to hear the rest of what Charlie has up his sleeve for 2018. I expect this album to have a variety of different elements like a mix of his famous beat-boxing to his high notes. I believe he is gearing up to blow people away and I am ready to be a part of that crowd. I don’t say that lightly because like everyone else I am waiting patiently for new music. From listening to “Attention” for six months straight, I feel like the rest of Voicenotes is going to be amazing and a unique sound for his music.

Puth’s music represents hard work, talent, and someone who never stops dreaming. Tyler, Heather, and I agree that Charlie inspires new or struggling artists to keep going because success happens eventually. Tyler put it best when talking about how he and his brother, Ryan, look up to Charlie as they get their music out into the world. “We feel we are following the path that he started to pave for “do it yourself” artists everywhere.” Which I think Heather follows up with a slogan everyone should adopt, “Persevere like Puth!”  Charlie Puth’s career inspires artists to dream bigger and feel fantastic in their musical talents.

Charlie took to Twitter, on December 18th, to announce The Voicenotes Tour 2018 with Special Guest Hailee Steinfeld. With tour excitement dying down, there is always bound to be more news after it. “I am so excited to hear the third release, “If You Leave Me Now,” because it sounds like another heartbreak song, and we need more pop songs about heartache,” Heather says excitedly. The release marks the first collaboration on Voicenotes featuring the famous 90’s boyband, Boyz II Men. Tyler says his favorite part about the new songs is Puth’s “Jazzy/R&B style,” which makes the collaboration of an R&B band even better.

I think everyone loves the direction Puth’s music is going currently. Listeners can relate to the lyrics, hum the melodies, and dance to the beat. “Attention” and “How Long” seem darker than earlier songs, but they have a catchy rhythm behind their lyrics that give it the Pop genre vibe. If the rest of the songs follow in the footsteps of the lead singles, Voicenotes is sure to be a tracklist to remember for years and years.

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