What’s interesting about Charlie Puth is that while many artists don’t even write their own songs, not only does he write them, but he also produces and/or co-produces most (if not all) of them. With “Attention”, he is the sole producer. It’s not an attribute you hear a lot of these days. Did I mention that he’s 25 years old?
My latest summer jam song is written and produced by Charlie Puth.
Charlie’s initial exposure was through viral videos on YouTube. He is best known for his song “See You Again”, which he wrote, co-produced and performed with Wiz Khalifa.
He then went on to co-write “Marvin Gaye” with Julie Frost, Jacob Luttrell and Nick Seeley, and had Megan Trainor on the vocals. It was his debut single.
Another song of his that is an all-time favorite is “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which was my summer song last year. Again, which Puth produced on his own. Impressive.
Which is why when his songs come on the radio, I pay attention. It took a matter of seconds for my ears to perk up when this one came on, and for me to ask, “Who is this?”
If I was to figure out one emotion behind Charlie Puth’s new summer jam song “Attention”, I’d say it’s realization, or a grasping of reality, and then, upon that realization, disappointment. This is appealing to me, as he’s able to express 2 different emotions simultaneously.
“You just want attention, you don’t want my heart”
It’s realizing that everything this girl is doing is for attention only and not because of any feelings she may have about the singer. And then, of course, it’s a disappointment in the fact: “You’re not coming home with me tonight”.
It’s a “calling out”, if you will, of the girl and her intentions. It’s like, “I see you, and I know the game you’re playing.”
It works because as a subject matter, it’s universal. I’m sure we’ve all experienced being involved with someone who only likes the attention, and not so much the person giving it.
And maybe we’ve been on the other side of that. Liking the attention, but not caring about the person giving it.
It’s a tricky relationship to be involved in. I think Charlie Puth does a great job of expressing his realization, disappointment, and confusion.
“What are you doing? What are you doing to me?”
And again, it’s just an awesome beat, and has a bassline that makes me want to dance.
Some songwriters have a hard time expressing emotions in a universal way. They make it too personal, which makes it hard for the listener to connect. It doesn’t necessarily have to use metaphors, but it does have to use language that makes the listener say, “I’ve been there too.” Dana Carmel
I’ll be obsessed with a song when I love it the first time I hear it, and this was the case with “Attention”. When I heard it, I immediately loved Puth’s voice. It’s smooth, vulnerable, and has a really warm and milky tone.
I savored how the song builds slowly. The first verse is just vocals and guitar picking, then for the pre-chorus, he adds the synth sounds and warm tones, and the bass is playing whole notes. The killer bass doesn’t kick in until the first chorus.
The second verse keeps the energy going and the pre-chorus that we heard before now has all the warm tones, the funky bass, and stellar background vocals that make it a dance worthy, upbeat track.
This makes my #summer jam list because quite frankly, it makes me want to dance. That’s the #1 thing I’m looking for in the summer jam series. I realize a lot of pop music is dismissed as surface, shallow, no-substance. I might agree with that about some songs, but I happen to believe there are a lot of gems hidden in the pop music category. I also happen to believe there is a time and place for music that just makes you want to dance and have a good time.
If you are one of those people who dismiss pop music as such, I’d hate for you to overlook this gem. Listen to the bass line, listen to the feeling in his voice. Get into his shoes and try to think about or even remember what he must be going through. Let the song take over your body and emotions. This song, compared to other summer songs, has more soul.
If you want to hear more from Charlie Puth, I highly recommend “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” Less of a summer jam, because it doesn’t make me want to dance exactly, BUT it was playing in heavy rotation last summer, as I could totally relate to the words he was saying. I was going through very similar situations.
That my friends, is my #summerjam series, featuring Charlie Puth. I’d love to know what you hear when you hear this song. If you like this article, please share it with your friends and weigh in with your feedback. What’s the summer jam that you’re listening to?