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Album Review: Charlie Puth - Nine Track Mind

By Jonathan Fuchs, Copy Editor

[Atlantic; 2016]

Rating: 1/5

Key Tracks: “Dangerously”

If one were to combine watered-down versions of Justin Bieber’s Purpose and Meghan Trainor’s Title in a blender and water it down even more until it slowly drowned to death, the end result would probably still be better than Nine Track Mind, the debut record from YouTube star-turned pop singer Charlie Puth. Probably one of the most boring records you’ll ever hear, it transcends the idea of lazy, cash-grabbing pop music through completely uncreative lyrics and tired instrumentation that will make any music lover cringe.

The album immediately derails in the first track “One Call Away” with the chorus “I’m only one call away / I’ll be there to save the day / Superman got nothing on me / I’m only one call away,” which is so unbelievably corny you’ll want to punch something. The first half of the album attempts to sound similar to artists like Meghan Trainor (who appears on the track “Marvin Gaye”) but miserably fails and becomes totally unlistenable (as if Trainor’s music is even that interesting in itself).

The rest of the album goes in the same direction with songs that will keep the listener asleep instead of on-edge. The embarrassing lyrics are filled with corny similes that sound like a middle school girl’s diary. Not a single word on this record is memorable and they immediately leave the listener’s attention span. A good example of this is the track “Left Right Left,” with the lyrics “I said times are changing, tell me how can I keep up / Every time that I turn around there’s a wall / But I’m climbing daily, until I see the top / And I get up right after every fall” that numb the listener’s brain with its High School Musical level of cheesiness.

The only track that’s worth acknowledging is “Dangerously,” which has a somewhat pleasant chorus. For the most part, the vocals on the album are really good and the production is solid, but none of it makes these 12 extremely poorly made love songs worth actually listening to. These positive elements actually just make the listener want to listen to a better record that also has those good elements and then some.

This album is the perfect stereotype of bland white people who wear Vineyard Vines and call Greek life a “lifestyle.” It’s ironic that this album is called Nine Track Mind, as it goes in a completely unoriginal direction and stays there for its entire runtime. This can easily be considered the most generic record of all of 2016, which is crazy to say since it’s only February.

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