When I watched the Miss Universe pageant a couple of years ago – the controversial night when Steve Harvey announced the wrong contestant – one of the performers that evening was Charlie Puth. That was my first ‘exposure’ to this singer, and I remember distinctly that I thought he had style, wearing a summer Hawaiian shirt, and was cute in a odd-Jewish sort of way. He sang a song where he used Marvin Gaye as a verb, and was a hit with the young crowd. After, I knew he enjoyed some kind of success when his song was used in one of those Fast and Furious movies, the one wherein there is an emotional tribute to Paul Walker.
Cut to recently, when I heard his song ‘How Long?’ and I thought it was catchy and instantly LSS-worthy. And I started to pay attention, reading about tabloid headlines about a thing with Bella Thorne (she gets all the cute guys) and a cheating incident involving Tyler something or other – one of the Teen Wolf guys. That incident peppers a lot of his music in ‘Voicenotes.’ The Genius feature in Spotify states that ‘How Long’ is supposedly about Thorne, and ‘Attention’ about his supposed fling with Selena Gomez. Are we supposed to be invested in the shallow pursuits of this young man? never mind that, I think most of the songs in the album are catchy, fun, and perfect for breezy summer days. I like most ‘La Girls’ where he catches himself caught up in the vapid Los Angeles singles scene, and ‘Slow It Down,’ wherein he tries to (unsuccessfully) ignore the advances of a girl (you can practically feel the testosterone in that track) The songs here are insanely fine, if even I am a bit detached from them.
Recently, though, I read that Puth is secretly a homophobic Trump supporter. It makes sense, because I really liked his music. Now I don’t know if my enjoyment will be tainted by that information. Yikes.