Friday, August 30th, 2019

Charlie Puth – I Warned Myself

Some of us would have appreciated the heads-up too, Charles…


Kylo Nocom: All Charlie Puth had to do to make a scary song was remove the funk from a Voicenotes cut. What we get is more of his tired infidelity paranoia and a sound clip of him choking. Huh.

Alex Clifton: I really hate admitting that Charlie Puth can make good music because I’m going to die mad about that one cursed song, but this is addictive. The harmonies are the closest I’ve heard to FutureSex/Lovesounds in a decade and I immediately had to replay this. There’s some melodic retread here reminiscent of “Attention” (which I also liked, tbh) and the entire music video is Puth giving his best Nick Jonas ~sexy~ impression which I don’t buy visually but dammit, this is very nice and slinky. I just wish he’d stop giving his albums lame titles like Voicenotes because that’s the kind of stuff that betrays the fact that he’s a very good songwriter.

Katherine St Asaph: Like a science experiment where you submerge a Billie Eilish song into acid, and it breaks down into its component parts of FutureSex/LoveSounds, “Heartless,” and somehow “Look What You Made Me Do” (that first “I” is really close). Dissolved away are such things as vocal fortitude and song structure. Docked a point because the gruesome thought occurred to me that the “hands around my throat” sound effect is there because someone involved read Twitter memes about people finding it hot.

Alfred Soto: His worried, furtive keyboard patches and the welcome intimacy of his arrangements suggest a kinship with Billie Eilish, albeit with larger royalty statements and an interest in hitting on anything that moves so he can lament getting turned down. Knocked down a notch for the choking sound, which is at least unexpected.

Kayla Beardslee: Puth loves his filthy bass lines and lyrics about cartoonishly devilish women. This song is clearly following in the footsteps of “Attention,” but the magic of “Attention” was that its minimal production gradually built up into something more layered and explosive. That doesn’t happen here: “I Warned Myself” competently fits together its harmonies and slinky synths, but it feels too flat, too unchanging, to create any impactful moments.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: As the bass line and chorus percussion pulsate like a hypnotic metronome, a love-wounded Charlie Puth sings barely above a whisper, like he’s letting you in on a sexy, dangerous secret that isn’t his to tell. Not all warnings need be heeded. 

Michael Hong: Charlie Puth stands out in the pop landscape for his attention to background detail and ability to make each chorus slightly different from the last, as with the introduction of drums on the second verse, fresh harmonies, and buried ad-libs across “I Warned Myself.” But the question remains: should Charlie Puth gagging be the most interesting part of any track?

Joshua Lu: Charlie Puth has mentioned that he, like many artists I’m sure, cringes when he listens to his old music, and I’m sure he means his offensively Caucasian college stuff as much as he does his milquetoast debut album. I wouldn’t be surprised if, five years from now, Puth cringes when he listens to “I Warned Myself” — I can tell he’s trying to follow the path that “Attention” carved out, with affected vindication made unsettling by his falsetto. But it’s too labored to be enjoyable and too edgy to be taken seriously (best exemplified by that cartoonish choke in the second verse). Worst of all, it’s tying to force its way into a dark-pop niche that Billie Eilish has already conquered.

Maxwell Cavaseno: … Like yeah man, I’m not even mad at the Groove Theory interpolation. It’s just that this song is massively half-baked by Puth standards (which is a standard, skeptics may doubt). It also indulges everything about Puth that should be avoided: his frail falsetto and exceptionally ridiculous persona that can’t project the sort of darkness and intensity he thinks this song commands. He went for Weeknd, he ended up closer to trailer music for a Killing Eve Season Finale. Drastic misstep.

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4 Responses to “Charlie Puth – I Warned Myself”

  1. Killing Eve doesn’t deserve to be dragged through the sludge of this song; if anything, this is what the soundtrack for what Netflix tags as “Dark” and “Drama,” but ends up being an all-too-soapy (and over-publicized) TV14+ eye-roller.

  2. To Be Fair I said the trailer. The show itself is above that sort of thing but advertising campaigns…

  3. Very much noted; my Stan status for Sandra Oh really just shone through there.

  4. just wanted to say that as mid as this may be, charlie’s real crime of the week was denying he said “i’m hungies” in a buzzfeed video, which is somehow more embarrassing than just owning up to that meme

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