Spin - "Puth lives and dies by his falsetto abilities..."
Recording information: Alantic Studios, Los Angeles, CA; MXM Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sound Studio's, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Studio Redroom, Goteborg, Sweden; The Rib Cage, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Piper Ferguson.
The title suggests our singer/songwriter can't be confined to any one lane -- that his mind moves so fast, it doesn't run on one track but nine. Nevertheless, Charlie Puth excels at two modes on his 2016 debut: balladeer and song-and-dance man. If the latter doesn't surface as often as the former, it nevertheless rules the roost on Nine Track Mind because in the bottom of his heart, Puth is a music theater kid chomping at the bit to put on a snazzy show. He may keep things a little subdued -- his schtick is that he's sensitive, feeling everything a little bit too deeply, even the death of Paul Walker, as he did on the Fast and Furious hit "See You Again," where he tackled the weepier elements Wiz Khalifa dared not touch. That's the single that put Puth on the charts and he followed it by pairing with Meghan Trainor on "Marvin Gaye." Another highlight on Nine Track Mind is another duet, "We Don't Talk Anymore," where he's paired with Selena Gomez. Elsewhere, Puth trades on his sensitivity, sweetly singing slow songs and even making the snappier songs feel like murmured whispers. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine