Shawn Mendes album review: Singer has moved beyond cliched relationship woes and into something more personal

Pop singer manages to catch a sincerity that his peers have less luck with on this third record

Ilana Kaplan
Thursday 24 May 2018 15:44
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Download this: Youth, Like To Be You, In My Blood, When You Are Ready

On Shawn Mendes’ self-titled third album, the pop singer opts for anthemic choruses and vulnerability.

There’s a specific sincerity the pop singer brings to catchy pop tracks that his pop peers don’t necessarily deliver on when they make the same attempt. With his latest effort, the 19-year-old singer moves beyond stereotypical relationship woes and goes for something more personal.

His impressive collective of collaborators - John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Julia Michaels and Khalid - all help foster Mendes’ music into a more mature space.

For Mendes, some of this comes down to introducing the record; he aptly chose opener “In My Blood” as one of the two first singles - a serious track where he tackles the push and pull of dealing with anxiety. But naturally, Mendes’ strongest work is seen on power ballads “Like To Be You” - with Julia Michaels, on the wistful, acoustic-driven “Because I Had You” and the brooding “Why.”

Mendes may have yet to approach the legal drinking age, but his latest project shows he’s lived a few lifetimes since his 2015 debut.

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