Shawn Mendes, now 19 years old, has proved to the world yet again he’s a force to be reckoned with in both the music world and in general. His third album, self titled “Shawn Mendes,” followed suit with the previous two and reached number one on the billboard charts in no time. Although the root of Mendes’ music, his heart and guitar, are still prevalent in the 14 track record — there’s a definite show of a teen transitioning into an adult.
Mendes could have very well played it safe with this third album and kept to his boyish, romantic charm with heartthrobbing ballads to capture his fans hearts yet again, but he chose not to. That’s not to say the album lacks those foundations, but there’s much more to his songs this time around. It’s clear he’s experimented with different sounds and genres while still staying true to his heart. His first single of the album is “In My Blood,” a song that will make listeners think he’s talking to them because of how soft and honest it is. His next single “Lost in Japan” was a mere taste of the (successful) experimenting Mendes has done with his third album.
Mendes is growing up and experiencing life not only in his last teenage year but in the spotlight of the entire pop world. The honest, almost R&B, smooth sound of “Where Were You in the Morning” and “Mutual” hints to an unfulfilled love that you’d write such relatable songs about. There’s an obvious source of growth in terms of the genre with tracks like “Queen” and “Particular Taste” which tease and try the spunk of pop. There’s also a sense of understanding and maturity in tracks like “Because I Had You” and “Like to Be You,” a duet with Julia Micheals. The only other collaboration on the album, “Youth” is with another genius up and comer in the music industry, Khalid. This track may seem out of place in comparison with the rest of the album, but there’s much more to it than the wicked combined vocals of Mendes and Khalid. As much as Mendes is maturing, his fans are as well. In a time when gun violence and bombings are more prevalent than ever, “Youth” is a response to these events which make children grow up much faster than they should.
Mendes hasn’t lost his niche for romantic ballads. “Perfectly Wrong,” and “Fallin’ All in You” are proof of that, but even songs like those show the maturation the artist who crafted them has gone through.
With all this growing up, it’s a turbulent time for the Mendes Army (as his fans call themselves). There’s always an unspoken worry when a star starts to grow — they aren’t who their fans thought they were. Suddenly their idol will change and it won’t be the same. With Mendes, this album is a testament to his character and a promise he’s still the same guy. This album, much like him, is honest, true and not afraid to face things like anxiety, unrequited love, compromise and devastation. His heart very much continues to be on his sleeve, which is perhaps why he’s not only a talented musician, but a role model as well. Mendes’ latest work has only proved his strength as an artist and individual and while the world will be watching to see what he has in store next — it’s safe to say it will be captivating.
‘Shawn Mendes’ the album has 5 stars in my book.