Review: ‘Shawn Mendes’ showcases various genres

Young artist shows new side in self-titled album

Courtesy of Island.

Courtesy of Island.

After beginning his career as an artist by posting covers on YouTube and the now-discontinued app, Vine, self-taught musician Shawn Mendes had his first hit at the age of 16 with “Stitches,” which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. After releasing his second album, “Illuminate,” he recreated live versions of his hits in late 2016 and 2017. Almost a year later, the pop icon released two singles providing fans an inside look into his third album, “Shawn Mendes.” The self-titled album was released on Friday, May 25 after five singles from the album were released.

The album is written by Shawn Mendes with some help from his colleagues and the artists featured in songs. Mendes had several inspirations while creating this album and decided early on to not stick to one specific genre. He has the talent to wake up one morning and create a rock song then create a R&B song the next morning.

The lead single “In My Blood” was the toughest song for Mendes to release. The song is incredibly personal to him because he talks about his panic attacks; in the lyrics “Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can’t. It isn’t in my blood,” he declares he won’t stop fighting against his anxiety. The rhythm of the song resembles that of former One Direction member Harry Styles’ single “Sign of the Times.” The way he yells in the chorus shows how emotional the song makes him. Creating a track about an important topic such as anxiety shows how much he’s matured because he is able to tackle serious issues. People listening believe he is calling out for help, but the single is about how people can get through their anxiety and the demons inside their minds that create the anxiousness.

Mendes had a dream he was lost in a country and decided to create “Lost In Japan” based on that dream. “Lost In Japan” was the second single to be released only a day behind the lead single. The song displays his high vocals to a jazzy toon and is singable for both men and women. Although the usage of high vocals was a pleasant surprise, he could have used a different range for some of the tracks.

There is an undeniable romantic theme in “Shawn Mendes,” however, one of his singles is the opposite. The devastation of the bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert in 2017 led to a collaboration featuring Khalid called “Youth.” With all the bombings and shootings happening around the world, Mendes wanted to create a song with his input on the awful events happening throughout the world. The word “youth” doesn’t mean age, but represents the purity and joy in everyone, young and old. The two artists blend their voices together in the single, making it more of a duet than a feature.

Nervous” sounds similar to Selena Gomez’sBad Liar” with the tempo of the overall song. Track seven, “Particular Taste,” also resembles a song from Gomez, “Hands to Myself.” The lyrics “She’s got particular taste,” and “Can’t keep my hands to myself,” say each syllable of the words and have the same pattern. The shortest song in the album, “Because I Had You,” is another song that sounds like another artist because it has the same rhythm of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”

Track ten, “Queen,” is the best song on the album. With the lyrics “You think you’re too cool. Making beautiful look ugly the way you put yourself above me,” Mendes portrays the popular saying “An ugly personality destroys a pretty face.”

“Shawn Mendes” breaks the unsaid rules of the music industry with contrasting genres. With R&B, jazz, rock and pop songs, the self-titled album reaches out to a vast audience. Mendes will be traveling to festivals all throughout the world to introduce his talents to a diverse group of people. He will be going on a world wide tour during the summer of 2019. The topics in his album show a deeper side of the young artist, which surprised his fans. With Mendes’ talents, “Shawn Mendes: The Album” will be one to remember.