Charlie Puth revitalizes classic R&B sound

Patrick Arnold, Arts & Entertainment editor

Charlie Puth was an overnight success in 2015 with the release of the number one hit on Billboard’s Top 100, “See You Again,” which featured his vocals. Since then, Puth has continued putting out music with a unique sound that is similar enough to current pop to be popular, yet has a nostalgic throwback vibe to the funk R&B of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Puth released a new album on May 11 titled Voicenotes with 13 songs, including the six singles which he released before the album debut. Just five days after the album release, it had already been labeled as a gold record, selling over half a million copies according to both the singer’s record label and the Recording Industry Association of America.

His take on R&B is both refreshing and unique in the day and age where electronic dance music has taken over. The best songs on the album are “How Long” and “Done For Me” featuring Kehlani. These two songs, along with “Attention,” were released as singles months before the album and have had time to increase in popularity.

There is also a feature on the album with Puth’s inspiration, ‘70s singer and songwriter James Taylor. Taylor is a Grammy winning singer and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The majority of the songs on the album bring the funky rhythms of the 70’s and 80’s with a drum beat overlapped with a synth pad chord progression, both instruments emphasizing the off beats of the rhythm.

There is also a very soulful, powerful choir echo in the background of most of the songs on the album. The title of the album comes from the fact that Puth records all his ideas for songs in the Voicenotes of his phone, then later goes back to them and creates a full song or melody out of them. Puth’s inspiration of this decade is singer, songwriter, producer and lead singer for OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder.

Puth writes all of his songs and lyrics and then produces the songs using his MIDI Keyboard according to Variety. Puth is very proud with the release of his latest album and is taking a break from writing, according to his Twitter account.