Charlie Puth delivers solid introduction to the world with Some Kind Of Love
Charlie Puth • Some Kind Of Love (EP) • Atlantic • Release Date: May 1, 2015
Few musicians have had a better year than Charlie Puth. Why? The pop/blue-eyed soul newcomer was the guest artist on one of the year’s biggest hits (“See You Again”) and finds himself building traction with his own hit, “Marvin Gaye” featuring another hot artist from 2015, Meghan Trainor. No, Puth may not be making those big figures quite yet, but the Berklee College of Music alum seems poised for success. That success isn’t merely financial, but also critically, considering the potential he showcases on four-song EP, Some Type Of Love.
“I Won’t Tell A Soul” kicks things off with Puth blessing us with his marvelous tenor pipes. Some of his best moments come when he ascends into his falsetto, which is top-rate to say the least. “I Won’t Tell A Soul” is a mix of breezy pop-soul balladry with the coolness of a Beach Boys record. Even cooler (particularly for classically minded musicians) is the fact that there’s a key change – a rarity in pop music these days. Fittingly, Puth’s vocal intensity grows with the said modulation, further showing off the lushness of his instrument.
“Marvin Gaye” is the main attraction of Some Kind Of Love, being the single that is propelling Puth’s stardom independent of “See You Again.” Paired with Meghan Trainor, the vocal chemistry and stylistic similarities between the two are almost scary. Is the song somewhat schmaltzy? Yes – “Let’s Marvin Gaye and ‘get it on’” – c’mon now! But even being corny, it’s infectious. It definitely sounds like a cut omitted from Trainor’s debut, Title. There’s a vintage pop sound, mixed with a dash of contemporary (drum programming).
Title track “Some Type Of Love” is no slouch; it continues to shape Puth’s breakthrough status and a pop artist who’s “got next.” “Some Type Of Love” sounds more overtly pop a la 2015 than “I Won’t Tell A Soul” or “Marvin Gaye.” It would seem if Puth is aiming for the most modern sound, this might be the type of record he opts for. Where does it rank compared to the other three tracks? Sort of hard to say, but ultimately, it gives Puth another sound moment if nothing more.
“Suffer” finds Puth flaunting his masterful falsetto like its nothing. Literally, those high notes just pop right out. Here, Puth sounds like a mix between Robin Thicke and Sam Smith, but with his own distinguishing characteristics. “Suffer” has some influence from James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s, Man’s World,” at least where the progression and six-eight meter are concerned. Arguably, the closer is most firmly planted in R&B given Puth’s vocal aerobics, tone, and vibe.
Overall, Some Kind Of Love ends up being a respectable introductory effort for Puth. Does he reinvent pop or R&B’s wheel? No, but establishes a suitable lane for himself and stays in it. Vocally, the 23-year old has a sweet tone, which clearly caught everybody’s ear on “See You Again.” Now, hopefully, it captures everybody’s ear when he drops a full-length debut album.
Favorite: “Marvin Gaye”