Of all the routes the boy pop-stars have taken in today's current stratosphere, Shawn Mendes has owned the sensual side of it all. Shawn Mendes recollects on love in Shawn Mendes, his eponymous new record that is all about relationships.
There isn't much different from what you'd expect from Mendes on this record, but he certainly keeps things fresh as best he can. Opening track 'In My Blood' was the lead single, and the powerful ballad about facing his own insecurities still rings powerfully now. Uncertainty is played with quite a bit in the album, including on 'Like To Be You' with Julia Michaels which sees both sides of a relationship wanting to get closer but not quite knowing how to. Often times, however, Mendes is much more upfront about his desires in Shawn Mendes, including on the atmospheric, groovy 'Lost In Japan' and the funky 'Nervous.'
Shawn Mendes has a sad side to it, however, and that really makes it memorable. The honesty really kicks in with 'In My Blood,' but it's at 'Where Were You In The Morning?' where a sense of betrayal and dread starts kicking in. While this song is more about being hurt by someone else, Mendes sings a lot about the pain of seeing someone he loved and wants to be together with again with someone else as well, particularly in 'Because I Had You' (which is pretty much just 'Love Yourself' by Justin Bieber and has Ed Sheeran written all over it), and its a hard listen to anyone who's been through that. The somber piano track 'Perfectly Wrong' is just as desperate for love at the wrong time, but fun and funky tracks like 'Queen' and 'Youth' with Khalid help keep the mood from being overly upset.
Shawn Mendes recollects on love in Shawn Mendes, offering up a lot of heartbreak and desire with this eponymous record. While much of the record doesn't show a huge change for him, Mendes does show that he isn't afraid to be a bit more vulnerable with his music. It's that vulnerability that makes this record fall just above the rest of the cut of the perhaps insensitive pop music that he often gets lumped with.
Favorite Tracks: In My Blood, Because I Had You, Perfectly Wrong
Least Favorite Track: Fallin' All In You
Rating: 78 / 100
Stream or buy Shawn Mendes on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: