Friday, April 17th, 2015

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – See You Again

We certainly will — you’re gonna be here a while.


Scott Mildenhall: Coming from a position of ignorance to all things fast and indeed furious, this is weirdly, moderately moving. The weirdness is partly down to a lack of personal resonance. There’s a sense of encroaching in listening to it, heightened by the knowledge that Puth is drawing on experience, but without it, it seems to have been grief-legitimising on a grand scale. There’s certainly a lot of fascinating, fanciful speculations about notions of masculinity, friendship and emotional expression in various cultures to be made off the back of it, ones that would be considerably more interesting that its sound.

Micha Cavaseno: Young Khalifa provides the great bro requiem Paul Walker deserves. Just er, get this other lame out of here.

Katherine St Asaph: Half-assed and spurious.

Alfred Soto: Paul Walker gets his own “I’ll Be Missin’ You,” and, judging by the box office response last weekend, billions thought he deserved it. The inclusion of a “The Voice” champ is shrewd: he’s the incarnation of those billions for whom Walker is a beloved figure. Aesthetically its merits are few, although “family’s what we got” is a sentiment I’d like to hear said aloud, this loudly.

Will Adams: Every Hot 100 chart topper reaches that peak through a host of factors. This time, the equation is: The Script Inspirational Track #4 + celebrity homage – sincerity + rapper singing + discount Sam Smith. I do not think I like this equation.

Elisabeth Sanders: Confused about why I can’t upload a voice memo of my violently sobbing into my fists as my review??

Mo Kim: Death holds power over narratives, even (especially) when celebrity is concerned. Paul Walker was the face of a franchise too fast and furious to be stopped until the night somebody drove a little too recklessly and there was no stunt double to buffer the crash, only bodies burnt beyond recognition, the separation between fiction and reality shattered for those watching. My Facebook feed didn’t so much blow up that night as it broke open, old middle school friends and online acquaintances bonding over disbelief and heartfelt nostalgia. Flash forward seventeen months, when Furious 7 is opening to the largest numbers in franchise history and its soundtrack’s lead single has quietly climbed to number one on the Billboard charts. The cynic in me wants to shake off “See You Again” as another shrewd business decision built on the grave of a good man: of course, it might be. Yet there’s no denying the power in how songs like this can bring people together, how the weight of Walker’s name is such that it doesn’t have to be said. The music itself fires on all cylinders, finding detail and feeling in the same piano-chorus/rap-verse structure we’ve already heard plenty of. The piano is tastefully understated; the percussion crackles with verve and electricity. The gang vocals, a trick too many songwriters have rendered devoid of meaning in the last few years, carry both pain and catharsis here. Wiz Khalifa’s lyrics sometimes tiptoe into the vague but ultimately reach towards a universal feeling of celebration. Charlie Puth embodies a sort of weary reliability, the unacknowledged strength in continuing to live for the people who have left us. All this for a man who meant the most to us in his absence: I want to believe that, like him, “See You Again” can grow to represent the story of something more.

Thomas Inskeep: I totally get why this is the #1 song in America: this hits the same button in people as Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” and Bone Thugs’ “The Crossroads” as an elegy for not just a specific person, but for anyone you’ve lost too soon. Unfortunately, Khalifa to my ears has always been an average rapper, and Puth has, in trying to write a song that can be an ode to anyone, succeeded in writing something incredibly generic. (He’s also got a falsetto all too similar to Adam Levine’s.) I don’t hate this song, and I might as well get used to it, because it’s just gonna get bigger and bigger over the next several months, but it’s not compelling.

Brad Shoup: It’s elemental: Puth’s helium leak, that recurring vocal wheeze, and Khalifa’s tasty melodic slush make this something devoutly to be napped to. I’m always thinking about the rest after completing one’s labor, and this captures the feeling — and provides the comfort — wonderfully.

Andy Hutchins: This is gauzy, forgettable, roll-the-credits fluff, and nothing else needs to be said about the song itself, but Wiz Khalifa’s turning his knack for paeans to fraternity into the sinecure that is “Fast and Furious soundtrack anchor” is worth note. His only top 40 singles (not features) from the last three years are this and the similarly nitrous-boosted “We Own It,” and I’ve still yet to hear either one on terrestrial radio, ever. Toretto Gang, I guess.

Reader average: [4.54] (11 votes)

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3 Responses to “Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – See You Again”

  1. standing in solidarity with Elizabeth

  2. Unless they paid $1 each, it’s probably not billions of fans, though.