Not long after Shawn Mendes toured the world with Illuminate, he hopped back to the studio to create his third studio album, self-titling it as Shawn Mendes’.
The opener In My Blood is where he talks about anxiety vulnerably. Taking inspiration from Kings Of Leon, there is a smooth transition from the acoustic verse to a soft-arena sound as the song progresses. Another lead single Lost In Japan showcases R&B heavy beats as Mendes illustrates his desire to visit his lover in Japan. In Where Were You In The Morning, Mendes mimics John Mayer’s style as he asks why the girl left him and begs her to stay after a one-night stand.
The Canadian native gets Julia Michaels to co-write Nervous, a flirtatious song about how his heart skips a beat when he is around his crush. Like To Be You, a ‘chatty’ duet is where the duo apologise to each other after a fight. It gives a happy vibe as they try to reconcile with each other, despite the sad meaning behind.
The two pop-ballads Falling All In You and Because I Had You are co-written by Ed Sheeran, where he describes love, with his signature soft beats and muted guitar.
Mendes discusses another kind of heartbreak with Khalid in Youth. Given the statement of the song, it is true that this piece feels disconnected with the album, but how the two youths use their platform to remind listeners to stay true to themselves makes the song powerful enough to stand on its own.
Overall, Shawn Mendes breaks the mould of a teen heartthrob in this album and manages to make funk (Particular Taste) and rock songs in his style, proving us how much he has grown as an artist through exploring diverse music genres ambitiously.