Charlie Puth impresses fans with sophomore album Voicenotes

May 24, 2018 — by Muthu Palaniappan

Singer-songwriter Charlie Puth released his second album Voicenotes on May 11 — an effort that shows he is not afflicted with a sophomore slump.

There is a good balance of tempos and melodies on Voicenotes, and all the songs work together to create a meaningful and catchy album.

After launching his career in 2015 with the release of his hit single “See You Again,” Puth began to make a name for himself in the music industry. In 2016, his first album Nine Track Mind impressed fans, but Puth did not think it accurately represented his persona as an artist. Puth explained in an interview with Zach Sang that while “Nine Track Mind was more of a way for him to explore his voice, Voicenotes is a true representation of his talent.

In his new album, Puth explores a R&B sound infused with pop music. His tracks are self-produced and filled with layers of his recognizable vocals. The album also includes three artist features: Kehlani, Boyz II Men and James Taylor.

Over a year before Voicenotes was released, Puth released his first single off the album, “Attention,” an upbeat song that describes an unfaithful relationship in Puth’s past. The song has over 650 million streams on Spotify and is among Puth’s most successful songs.

The single gave fans a good idea of where Puth was headed with his second album. As expected, Voicenotes is filled with lively songs about emotional breakups and sporadic relationships based on the singer’s own experiences.

Puth also adds variety to the album with a more serious song, “Change” featuring James Taylor. The song was inspired by the March For Our Lives movement and debuted at the Los Angeles march in March. The slower-paced song includes lyrics like “Why can’t we just get along” and “We’ve got to make a change,” expressing Puth’s frustration with the lack of change taking place in the country amidst violence such as school shootings.   

Voicenotes is a great display of Puth’s unique sound. His high vocals and original melodies have fans singing along to every lyric. All 13 of the songs on the album are different in their own ways, yet still express Puth’s personality.

To me, Voicenotes is a better overall album than Nine Track Mind. Singles like “Slow It Down” and “Empty Cups” surround listeners with high energy, whereas singles like “Change” and “Patient” bring a calmer vibe to the album.

On the other hand, Nine Track Mind includes songs that all sound pretty similar. All of the songs were on the slower side, and Puth did not explore his vocal range fully on the tracks.

In just seven days after its release, the album had sold over 500,000 copies and its catchy singles fill listener’s summer playlists. Puth is going on an album tour in the fall with opener Hailee Steinfeld. Fans can expect an exciting show filled with both slow ballads and lively hits that will have the audience out of their seats. He will play at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View on Aug. 17.