His Best Yet: Stream Shawn Mendes’ Expansive Self-Titled LP In Full
It has arrived! Shawn Mendes spreads his wings on his self-titled, third LP. The 19-year-old unveiled his latest collection today (May 25), and it offers an opportunity for the youthful hitmaker to enter a more mature territory. His first release since 2016’s Illuminate, the album abounds with potential hits and provides multiple opportunities to dominate the charts in the coming months.
Comprised of 14 tracks, the multitude of official singles and buzz tracks we have already heard allude to the LP’s eclectic tastes. Lead single “In My Blood” is a sweeping serving of arena rock in the style of Kings Of Leon. Boasting an empowering message, the anthem is sitting within the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. With a bit of a push it could easily become the crooner’s latest top 10 hit.
The follow-up buzz track “Lost In Japan” sees Shawn channel Justin Timberlake over a sexy production. “Do you got plans tonight? I’m a couple hundred miles from Japan, and I was thinking I could fly to your hotel tonight. Cause I can’t get you off my mind,” he flirtatiously offers on the atmospheric chorus.
Things travel in a different direction on the Khalid-assisted “Youth.” Written in response to the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London last year, the soulful cut responds to the horrors with a message of unity and love. “Pain, but I won’t let it turn into hate. No, I won’t let it change me,” they declare. After an evocative performance at the Billboard Music Awards, the resistance anthem could easily storm the charts as a second single.
“Where Were You In The Morning” is one of his most mature offerings to date. On it, he finds himself alone in bed the morning after an evening with a partner. Battling heartache, he wonders where things went wrong. “You said that you were staying over, but then I woke up to the cold air,” he laments on one particularly poignant line. “Nervous” emerged this week as the final buzz track, and it illuminates another side of the artist as he loses himself in the initial rush of young love.
Although the material we have heard thus far is impressively strong, the remaining tracks keep pace. A clear standout is the anticipated Julia Michaels collaboration on “Like To Be You.” The acoustic instrumentation highlights the pair’s evocative voices as they attempt to get in one another’s heads. “I don’t know what it’s like to be you. I don’t know what it’s like, but I’m dying to. If I could put myself in your shoes, then I’d know what it’s like to be you,” they harmonize on the chorus. The earnest cut brings out the best in both artists and makes for a compelling duet.
“Particular Taste” finds an easy groove. Another electro-kissed moment that could easily find love on radio, it sees the hitmaker lusting after a potential fling. “She’s got particular taste, yeah. She’s so obsessed with the chase,” he announces. Meanwhile, he finds himself “obsessed” with her unique sensibilities. In comparison, the striking strings and beat on “Mutual” make for a different sort of jive. Here, Shawn is frustrated by the lack of communication. “I want you close to me. I want you close, I want you closer. But when you’re here with me it’s hard to tell just what you’re after.”
His frustrations carry over to “Queen.” Another guitar-driven offering, this one builds to a sing-along chorus. “You treat me like I got nothing on you. Making beautiful look ugly, you ain’t the ruler of no country. Who made you the queen,” he ponders. Heartbreak is the theme of the album’s standout ballads “Why” and “Perfectly Wrong.” The former is about his reluctance to make the first move in a relationship, while the latter could easily act as a sequel. The more beguiling, his voice resonates with pain over the sparse production. “You’re perfectly wrong for me. That’s why it’s so hard to leave,” he realizes.
Although hits like “Stitches” and “Treat You Better” have given Shawn a monopoly on earworm-worthy mid-tempos, the remainder of the album falls closer to acoustic pop. “When You’re Ready” brings things to a close with a besotted hit. “Baby, tell me when you’re ready. I’m waiting,” he sings to a potential lover. It’s another earnest anthem that speaks to his sensibilities and impressive taste.
With plans to embark on a world tour next year, it seems clear that the hitmaker will dominate radio in the months to come. Effortlessly hopping across genres, Shawn Mendes provides multiple avenues for potential hits. Exploring more mature territory and handling the subject matter with ease, the eclectic project is one of the best we have heard so far this year. Give the project a listen below and pick your favorite song!
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