Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani – Done For Me

Andy’s certainly done…


Andy Hutchins: After the monstrous success of “See You Again,” Charlie Puth could really have written whatever he wanted and gotten a label to put it out, right? That makes him leaning into Worst Boyfriend Ever-wave on every one of his singles even more lamentable: He could’ve not sung “Let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on” breaths before praising his lover’s subtlety; could’ve not pined after a lover whose “love was a game”; could’ve not made “You just want attention” the bedrock of a hook; could’ve not written a cheater’s anthem that spends an entire verse with him in charge before a lame swerve to imply he is the actual cad; could’ve not penned this haughty, demanding garbage. Kehlani rejects this dipshit whose partner having friends makes him uncomfortable with concrete actions, and he’s all “I die for you, baby”? This is poisonous, privileged nonsense — the sort that comes from a white boy who sings “Why can’t we just get along?” in a protest anthem — and I implore the world: Don’t date him.

Katherine St Asaph: Charlie Puth plays the ex-boyfriend equivalent of the Sinclair contract exit clause. Kehlani plays Kimbra’s rebuttal in “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which at least is preferable to Camila’s acquiescing in “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” in that it shows half a spine.

Will Adams: The lite-rock chords are fine, and it’s nice for the woman in question to have a voice that’s actually hers. But this is the third consecutive single in which Puth has seethed at a girl who just wants attention and has asked how long she’s been duplicitous, so I feel like turning the question back on him: what have you done for us lately?

Alfred Soto: Puth’s gonna keep charging up the pop hill deploying that blank falsetto like a bayonet. He’s not imitating Justin Timberlake imitating Michael Jackson anymore — he’s imitating Nick Jonas imitating Justin Timberlake imitating Michael Jackson.

Nortey Dowuona: Loose, gooey faux-funk synths and dry, Play-Doh drums bounce as Kehlani soars to a comfortable cruising altitude above the wreckage of Charlie’s Exploding Man ego.

Micha Cavaseno: The fact that the first thing I think of when this song’s intro kicks in is Sakamoto & N’dour’s “Diabaram” is possibly the most frightening fake out one might receive. The eventual crest downward into malicious synth-funk only makes this all the more confounding, given Puth’s sort of cruel edges have always been more benign and embedded in his meek sort of schtick. Naturally, having Kehlani, someone whose best material works to reflect upon regret, is a perfect fit into the demanding gluttony present before her.  On one hand, is this just incredibly late Weeknd pastiche frothing with toxic narcissism? Yes. But in some strange assumption that this isn’t transgressive but actually noble, it’s managed to reveal more about the “loverman” Puth comically aspires to be that we should take issue with than on much more overtly scummy records.

Julian Axelrod: Between the delicate synth throb and the chorus’s self-righteous strut, this comes so close to being a bop. But Kehlani actively hurts the song by being the best part of it. Maybe I’m biased, but her indignation seems way more justified than Puth’s pouty sadboy act — so much so that I’d rather hear the story from her perspective. And while this is the most I’ve ever liked a Charlie Puth song, I can’t help but think how much better it would be without him.

Reader average: [7.25] (4 votes)

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