“Left and Right” by Charlie Puth & Jung Kook

“Left and Right” came out almost a year ago, on 24 June 2022, as the third single from Charlie Puth’s LP “Charlie”, a project which proceeded to break the top 10 of the Billboard 200, UK Albums Chart and Canadian Albums Chart. 

The two vocalists have never collaborated on record before, though it has been pointed out that the two performed on stage together, in 2018, at an event called the Genie Music Awards, in which Charlie and Junk performed Puth’s 2016 track “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (which Jungkook had covered in the past).

The teasing of “Left and Right” dates back to February 2022, via TikTok, when it was, at the time, a Charlie Puth solo effort. And this track is not to be confused with Charlie’s 2016 track, “Left Right Left”.

The Team behind “Left and Right”

Charlie Puth produced and co-wrote “Left and Right”, with its other writer being Jacob Kasher. The song is a product of Atlantic Records, the label behind Charlie, in conjunction with BigHit Music, whom Jungkook is signed to. 

Meanwhile, the director of the track’s music video is Drew Kirsch. And they used the opportunity of the clip to advertise a financial services business known as Chime, which is marketed towards Gen Zers. 

Left and Right

The Performance of the Song

For readers who may not know, Jungkook is a member of the Bangtan Boys, aka BTS, i.e. the biggest music phenomenon of the late 2010s. So as expected this song did exceptionally well in Asia, where for instance it proved to be a chart topper in India, Vietnam and the Philippines. 

And overall it impressively charted in over 30 countries, eventually going platinum in Canada and gold in Puth’s homeland of the United States. 

The music video also performed particularly well upon release, surpassing 10 million YouTube views in less than 24 hours, as is the norm when dealing with BTS.

The Lyrics of “Left and Right”

As explained by Puth, the “left and right” mentioned in the title is a reference to the two hemispheres of the brain. So in keeping that in consideration, the chorus further buttresses the idea that the vocalist cannot get over the addressee, i.e. memories of her constantly being in his thoughts. And said addressee would be his ex, and as such this is a song of heartbreak.

So we find the other usual ruminations that tend to be present in such tracks, such as the singer implying he misses the sex, or him making a fruitless effort to drink away the pain associated with his sweetheart’s absence. 

Indeed, there really isn’t anything clever about these lyrics, except once again the title. But even as far as its utilization in the chorus goes, the listener would be hard-pressed to come to the conclusion that it refers to halves of the brain, though the thesis sentiment of the vocalist missing the addressee comes across quite clearly.

“Memories follow me left and right
I can feel you over here, I can feel you over here
You take up every corner of my mind
(Whatcha gon’ do now?)”

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