Charlie Puth ‘River’ Song Review

I feel like I’ve heard this track already before… Maybe because it follows a progression that has been used a hundred million times before? Just a thought I guess… But anyways yes, yes Charlie Puth has released his full album and I have to review at least a couple songs eh. If you haven’t read my past few reviews on this artist, then you won’t know how much I’ve disliked him in the past. I always find his drama-heavy approach to songwriting really quite bland. Sure it probably sounds great in a musical, but I hate musicals, do you see where the problem comes from? Yeah well I didn’t actually mind ‘Dangerously’ that much, but it seemed to bomb in comparison to prior tracks. I think that’s a little bit of a shame since the one time he produces a good track, not as many people take notice. But the days are still young and it has plenty of time to become over saturated and over played, so needn’t you worry.

This track in particular is kind of a let down. Yes, I’m genuinely calling a Charlie Puth track a let down. It just builds and builds and builds to absolutely nothing, making me feel like I’ve just wasted three minutes. When the progressions started and we got past that first chorus, I thought ‘wow, I hope this thing has a big pay off’, and well… It didn’t… In fact it didn’t even have a pay off, it just ended. Poor songwriting decisions and terrible arrangement has let this one down despite it having a good amount potential.

Production wise the song is a little dry. The roads-style keyboard is great when it’s backed up by other instrumentation; to me it can never truly carry a song. The harmonies were mixed pretty well but Charlie’s vocals sounded really weird to me? Not in a terrible ‘oh these sound awful’ sort of way, but just really weird. They sounded like they were over gated and over pitch corrected leaving his voice a bit jolty; it’s difficult to put into understandable terms okay! It genuinely sounded like someone has put a chorus effect over his voice… Not a fan.

Musicality is where this thing kind of falls down for me… It’s just a little too boring and safe. Like I said, the progressions build and build, but there is no climax and there is no climactic pay off. Also, those vocal harmonies from the gang vocals are cheesy as heck; really musical-like, not a fan at all. I mean they were okay the first time round, but three times started to get on my nerves a little bit. The song isn’t very catchy either, I never found myself sinking into the melody. The weirdest of notes were wailed out; to me he picked the wrong notes to really belt out and it took me out of the song. It left the melody feeling a little disjointed and confused.

Lyrically this whole ‘River’ theme brushed way over my head. I know it was meant to come across super seriously and philosophically, but to me it just sounded a little plain. It’s more of a well put phrase than an entire song theme.

All in all then I don’t really recommend a listen for this one. If you’re a Puth fan then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and it’s probably decent fan service, but for someone like me, I just wasn’t buying it.

4/10 – Please…Someone…Use…A….Bridge…Today…

 

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