Charlie Puth’s voice is the physical embodiment of sex, and I’ll never get tired of listening to him, so it doesn’t even bother me that he has so many singles out right now that he’s basically taking over the radio.
In “The Way I Am,” we get the traditional Puth staccato beat, but with an added twist: as opposed to other tracks like “Attention,” where the beat serves as a driving force in the background and opens the sound up, in “The Way I Am,” the rhythm matches Puth’s voice beat for beat, which creates a cool synced up call-and-answer feel.
What makes this tune stand out, though, is the message. Puth starts:
Maybe Imma get a little anxious
Maybe Imma get a little shy
Cuz everybody’s trying to be famous
And I’m just trying to find a place to hide
The track progresses to: “you could either hate me or love me / but that’s just the way I am,”which is probably the most important lesson any single human being can learn. Puth discussing this in conjunction with his fame, which is unrelatable, but the fact that he feels like he needs to “find a place to hide” at all is familiar to, if not every human, definitely every teenage girl. At 26, Puth looks like he’s 14 and sounds like he’s the most seductive human you’ll ever meet, so I can only assume the majority of his fan base is teenage girls, and I’m glad to have a pop star looking out for our youth.
This doesn’t play as a track with a message; the content isn’t the first thing you notice, but that’s only a testament to Puth’s skill as a songwriter and musician. No one wants to listen to their mom give them a lesson through song. Much like Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself,” this song sneaks up on you, and that’s what makes it so great.
UPDATE: Apparently Jubal Flagg, from the Seattle radio show Brooke and Jubal in the Morning has been receiving death threats (perceivably from Puth’s teenage fan base) for this 2016 interview with Puth: enjoy.