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Change (Charlie Puth song)

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"Change" is a song recorded by American singer Charlie Puth, featuring guest vocals from American singer-songwriter James Taylor. Written by Ross Golan and its producers Puth and Johan Carlsson, it debuted during Puth's performance at March for Our Lives, and was released commercially for digital download on March 26, 2018, as a single from his second studio album, Voicenotes (2018).[1]

Background[edit source | edit]

Puth first revealed the song in an interview with Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show. "This song is called 'Change' and I'm actually gonna play it, they're doing March for Our Lives this Saturday downtown. I know nobody knows this song and James won't be there with me but I'm just gonna be on my piano. That's the right song [to play at the right moment] and I think people will understand when they hear it." Talking about how he got in touch with Taylor, Puth said that his friend Miles Beard set the collaboration up.

He stated on Twitter that the song is "dedicated to all of the Parkland students, any lives lost to senseless gun violence, and the world", alongside single cover, which features a dark blue backdrop.[2] "It wasn't written for [March for Our Lives] specifically. I wrote it a year prior. I don't really know why I wrote it, but now I know why. It just happened to catch up a year late," Puth told Women's Wear Daily.[3] He also opened up about the song during an Instagram live chat, saying: "It's about everybody, as humans we all help each other and that song came about through collaboration. This is the most important song I ever wrote."[4]

Taylor admired Puth in a statement, saying: "Mr. Puth and I spent an excellent afternoon at Conway Studios in Hollywood this past January. It was a delight to work with such a gifted fellow musician and I'm so excited to finally see the release of the finished piece." Puth added: "Recording with James Taylor was a dream come true. He's the reason why I write music and it was an absolute honour to work with him."[5][6]

Composition[edit source | edit]

Described as a "smooth, acoustic-guitar driven tune",[7] the folk pop and soft rock song consists of "light pop melodies" and "a loose, stripped-back guitar arrangement".[4][8] Abby Jones of Billboard noted that "the soft, folksy ambience of the track is reminiscent of Taylor's signature sound, made famous in the '70s — however, the lyrics are very much 2018".[9] As the song ends, it "evolves into this homage to 1990s rock and R&B, with heavy bass and rhythmic drums". Lyrically, the song urges people to change their attitudes in order to eliminate division and hatred.[5]

Critical reception[edit source | edit]

Scott Sterling of CBS Radio opined the two artists' "distinctive voices meshing beautifully over the warm track", writing that it is "far more reflective of classic James Taylor than anything on the current pop charts, and benefits mightily from the simple arrangement".[7] Adreon Patterson of Paste complimented Taylor's ability to "create the ethereal mood the song evokes" with his "light baritone vocals", calling the song "a forgotten Taylor track from his '70s heyday".[5]

Live performances[edit source | edit]

On March 24, 2018, Puth premiered the song during his performance at March for Our Lives in Los Angeles. "There's such a theme of change happening," he introduced the song before performing it alone on the keyboard. "This song...you don't know it and it's totally fine. It just feels like the right song to perform right now."[10][11] The live recording was later released as the official video, interspersed with footage from the event.[12]

Charts[edit source | edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 14

Release history[edit source | edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various March 26, 2018 Digital download Atlantic

References[edit source | edit]

  1. Merrill, Philip (March 26, 2018). ""Change" Came Today From Charlie Puth And James Taylor". Grammy Awards. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  2. Sheridan, Wade (March 26, 2018). "Charlie Puth dedicates new song 'Change' to Parkland students". United Press International. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  3. Scharf, Lindzi (March 26, 2018). "Five Minutes With Charlie Puth". WWD. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wass, Mike (March 26, 2018). "Charlie Puth & James Taylor Call For "Change" On New Single". Idolator. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Patterson, Adreon (March 28, 2018). "James Taylor and Charlie Puth Team Up for March for Our Lives Tribute Song, "Change"". Paste. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  6. Longmire, Becca (March 28, 2018). "Charlie Puth Unveils Music Video For New Track 'Change', Dedicates Song To Parkland Shooting Victims". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sterling, Scott (March 26, 2018). "Charlie Puth Recruits James Taylor For New Single 'Change'". CBS Radio. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  8. DeVille, Chris (March 29, 2018). "Lil Dicky Is Making A Career Out Of Being Charismatic And Problematic In Equal Measure". Stereogum. Retrieved April 3, 2018. It’s hard to hate on a soft-rock ballad constructed so expertly and presented with such casual grace that James Taylor himself sounds right at home.
  9. Jones, Abby (March 26, 2018). "Charlie Puth & James Taylor Call for Acceptance With New Single 'Change': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  10. Brandle, Lars (March 28, 2018). "Watch Charlie Puth Address the March For Our Lives in 'Change' Music Video". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  11. Reuter, Annie (March 28, 2018). "Charlie Puth Drops Video Of 'Change' From March For Our Lives Performance". CBS Radio. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  12. Hosken, Patrick (March 28, 2018). "Charlie Puth Brings A Hopeful Message To March For Our Lives In New Live Video". MTV News. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  13. "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 14, 6 april 2018". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved April 6, 2018.

External links[edit source | edit]

Template:Charlie Puth Template:James Taylor