‘Shawn Mendes’ collaborations enhance album’s style

Evolution of his signature sound surprises audiences

Fair Use by Island Records.

Fair Use by Island Records.

Maddie Lund

Rating: ⅘ Stars

Shawn Mendes’ new self-titled album, “Shawn Mendes” is everything young fans need today.

At just 19 years-old, Mendes already has three albums under his belt, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Mendes’ sophomore album, “Illuminate,” released in September 2016, generated much needed hype, showing fans his mellow and youthful soul. However, his self-titled album shows a different side of his character, more cultured and rebellious.

This new album not only reinforces Mendes’ ability to rock acoustic pop, but also showcases his willingness to take risks and venture into more ambitious genres of music.

The album’s opens with “In My Blood,” revealing Mendes’ rock roots, with a Kings of Leon vibe. Since its release, the song has shot up Billboard’s Hot 100 and will most likely continue to do so into the summer.

Similar to his past albums, Mendes talks about love and heartbreak, but does so in a way that’s less in your face and more subtle.

On “Where Were You In The Morning” a sexy, funk-based track, Mendez hints at one-night stands and mysterious love, demonstrating his willingness to explore different genres.

“Lost in Japan” starts off with stunning, bluesy piano chords and only gets better from there. This songs maintains a head-bobbing electronic beat, paired with a funky bass guitar.

Mendes’ collaborations with other well-known artists Khalid and Julia Michaels only add to the depth of the album. On “Youth,” a duet with 2017’s breakout artist Khalid, both singers unite to make a statement supporting gun control. While this song may seem disjointed from the album as a whole, its rallying chorus brings together the generational and youthful spirit the album is trying to portray, and is a deeply powerful record.

On “Like To Be You,” featuring Julia Michaels, Mendez perfectly explores a more soulful vibe, and Michaels’ raspy and captivating voice makes the song even better.

However, just because Mendes has begun moving to more contemporary rock and even more of a synthe and jazzy sound, doesn’t mean he’ll no longer write good old-fashioned acoustic guitar songs. Old habits die hard on “When You’re ready” and “Fallin’ All In You,” bringing out Mendes’ former style and reminding many fans, including myself, of why they loved him in the first place.

This new album is sure to rock the socks off any listener and is a pleasure to listen to. I know I enjoyed my time listening.

“Shawn Mendes” can be downloaded, streamed and purchased on multiple music platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and many others.


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