Shawn Mendes: Shawn Mendes

Posted July 23, 2018 by in Pop



3.5/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , , , , , ,
Genre: Pop, pop-rock
Producer: Teddy Geiger, Shawn Mendes, Louis Bell, Ian Kirkpatrick, Joel Little, Nate Mercereau, Zach Skelton, Ryan Tedder
Label: Island
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 44:08
Release Date: 25 May 2018
Spin This: "Youth," "In My Blood," "Lost in Japan"


Mendes tries on various styles. Although he isn't a master of them, he's growing, experimenting. Khalid duet on "Youth" really intoxicating


Some tracks cut off way too soon at three minutes, especially a very good one ("Mutual"). Nothing on board kicks ass like "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back"

On third record, pop heartthrob proves he’s more than just his last hit and the genre he’s usually locked in

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

On third record, pop heartthrob proves he’s more than just his last hit and the genre he’s usually locked in

shawnmendes-00Just a year ago, Illuminate gave Canadian heartthrob Shawn Mendes an unshakable hit with the jolting “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” With its subliminal country-pop riffs and singer-songwriter polish, some were eager to prematurely label Mendes a Nashvillian boy wonder. On his latest, a self-titled effort, Mendes seems to be breaking convention. Instead of following things up with the same, he plays with the colors of the wind, jumping from style to style. He takes on Justin Timberlake R&B with “Lost in Japan,” plays with stringy AC on “Perfectly Wrong” and goes for groovy Babyface-ish R&B on “Where Were You in the Morning.” That manifestation of soul hits a glowing crescendo when he pairs up with the gutsy baritone of Khalid for a moving duet on “Youth.” With the opener of “In My Blood,” Mendes powers up with Kings of Leon ferocity, pumped with arena rock guitar waves into its midflight chorus. He forces a vocal performance that aches with desperation and tension: “Sometimes I feel like giving up, no medicine is strong enough.” He sounds like he’s inspired by Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar” on “Nervous,” a song that finds him channeling a Robin Thicke falsetto.

Thanks to his songwriting and co-producing partnership with Teddy Geiger, Mendes avoids the use of gender pronouns for the most part, with “Why” and “Queen” being the only thumbs sticking out. But in today’s terms, being called a queen (especially a drama queen) can be used universally. He also goes for “baby” a lot when its time to rush towards terms of affection. It’s not an obvious quip, but a sneaky move to point out as he moves forward.

Those hungry for more leaner stuff or acoustic episodes can breathe a sight of relief. He leans on singer-songwriter pop with Julia Michaels on “Like to Be You” and continues with the John Mayer caliber on tender ballads like “Why” and “Fallin’ All in You.”

The disc is cute and bubbly, melodic at best. He lyrically hits all the right notes, singing of young love, brokenheartedness (“Youth”) and even double-minded confusion (“You’re beautiful and ugly, the way you put yourself above me,” he sings on “Queen”), but nothing here gives off the hooky draws of “Holdin’ You Back.” And even when he hits a good groove, particularly on the Maroon 5 bait of “Mutual,” he cuts it off at two minutes and a quarter, not taking the moment seriously enough. Still, Shawn Mendes is a satisfying record, exposing a confident young artist that’s grasping for transcendent pop.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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