Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez – We Don’t Talk Anymore

Charlena? Puthmez? Goputh?


Taylor Alatorre: For a self-made YouTube star, Puth too often sounds like someone who’s been dragged into a singing career against his will. His mushy warbling renders “shame” as “shtrame” and no one stops to correct him, presumably in the rush to get the album to market while “Marvin Gaye” was still gracing the airwaves. Gomez is no vocal powerhouse either, but she avoids any forced errors and is adept at reading the room (which happens to be Puth’s closet in this case). 

Katie Gill: When will Charlie Puth learn how to do a decent falsetto?  Seriously, why is his high range the thing he got famous for, because it’s so weak and so breathy, and nowhere is that more apparent than this song. Selena sings like she’s sleeping through the song as well, making this perhaps the most lethargic break-up duet in music history. The song’s only plus is that it’s infinitely better than Puth’s other “duet with a current female music star” — boring beats bad.

Patrick St. Michel: Charlie Puth probably can’t sound sexy, cursed to forever sound like a nasally teen on the verge of tears trying to unhook a bra off a mannequin. This might be best-case scenario for him, one where his vocals can slide along to the music rather than anchor them, with a little bit of help from Selena Gomez. Very alright background music.

A.J. Cohn: For a moment this song, with its quietly shimmering production and pretty fluttering vocal lines, nearly overcame my antipathy to Puth. But the way that Puth and Gomez’s sweet, anodyne, and sexless, voices intermingle, wholly lacking the feel of actual heartbroken former lovers, ruins it for me — thereby saving me from that other horrible possibility.

Scott Mildenhall: Charlie Puth is young Cliff Richard: a hip young gunslinger with gelled hair as his only signifier of anything edgier than a spoon. If there’s one difference between the two men, it’s that it took Cliff two whole decades to reach this song title. When he did though, what a powerhouse! Full of bittersweet verve and a falsetto-flanked guitar solo, it’s the sound of a man going through the wringer in a captivating way. Puth doesn’t sound like he wants to be captivating. He sounds like he wants to be Ed Sheeran. But tough luck mate: you’re Cliff. Just not as good.

Alfred Soto: The fascination of mismatched dreadful voices, and because it’s not a Cliff Richard cover the damage is contained to one neighborhood.

Cassy Gress: They’re not the first, but I remember reading somewhere that when songwriting, the Beatles tried to avoid words like “just” when they could (“I just wanted to call you” etc), on the basis that they were filler words. This is one of the filler-iest, most half-assed songs I’ve heard in a while. “I just heard you found the one you’ve been looking / You’ve been looking for.” There is an audible stop between “looking” and “you’ve”, and it makes it sound like the first phrase is supposed to be a complete sentence. “Every now and then I think you might want me to come show up at your door.” Why is the word “come” even in there, other than to fill in a syllable? For that matter, is it supposed to be cute that Charlie and Selena both think the other one has moved on and are moping about it? I’d put moping in quotes, because I don’t hear it in either of their voices, but I’ve quoted enough terrible things here. But then, Charlie doesn’t have time to emote; he’s too busy trying to figure out where his natural vocal break is (just listen to him honking at 0:35, on “why I can’t move on” — shit, I did it again).

Brad Shoup: Look at Charlie, trying to float “if he’s giving it to you just right” by us. Gomez’s portion is rueful yet kind, Puth’s is a fact-finding mission masked as conciliation. There are some very lovely touches: those prairie-dogging vocal hooks, the softly insistent picking. No one’s being loud; Puth doesn’t really let any whines loose. The lament is more of a final gasp.

Reader average: [5.83] (6 votes)

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6 Responses to “Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez – We Don’t Talk Anymore”

  1. wow, much colder reception than i expected. great set of blurbs regardless, and this is (embarrassingly and fittingly) his highest score on that side of the ft.

  2. also, definitely puthmez

  3. I’m hoping this site can expand into being a full-time purveyor of celebrity couple names (and yeah I know they’re not dating but I saw an article speculating it so I jumped the gun on that)

  4. #TeamChalena

  5. my score may have been artificially deflated by the fact that the lyrics site I happened to use for this used a VERY punchable puth image, which didn’t scroll away when the rest of the page did

  6. “cursed to forever sound like a nasally teen on the verge of tears trying to unhook a bra off a mannequin”

    That is pretty much exactly what I found compelling in “Marvin Gaye”