Shawn Mendes did not disappoint with his latest album


There’s a certain attachment you feel to an artist when you see them perform live. Your music taste is always evolving, but you can always go back to that artist you saw performing all of your favorite songs in person. This rings true for Shawn Mendes, one of my favorite artists that I saw in concert a few years back. My taste in music has been constantly changing since, but when he recently released his third album, I felt my heart flutter the same way it did when I first saw him perform.

Shawn Mendes, his self-titled third album, is very different from his previous albums. The Canadian singer-songwriter started his music career with mellow, acoustic beats in Handwritten. He then moved on to a more upbeat, guitar-heavy sound in his second album, Illuminate. With jazzy piano runs and soulful electric guitar, Mendes showcases his versatile and stunning vocals in his third album.

As an avid fan, I’ve been following Mendes on most of his social media platforms. In the months leading up to his album, he posted numerous teasers about an upcoming album. Once the date was official, he released snippets of singles from the album that kept me anxiously waiting like a kid in line for a rollercoaster. Once it was finally released, I immediately put my earbuds in and was immersed in his familiar, comforting voice.

“In My Blood” kicks off the 14-song album with a sound I can only describe as the feeling of being on top of the world. The verses leading up to the chorus get increasingly intense; the pounding bass gets heavier and faster until Mendes rips through the sound with his raw and fervent voice. The strong vocals and instrumentation remind me so strongly of reaching the top of the mountain, taking the final step of the hike to reach the view, or placing your foot on the last foothold of the climb.

A few upbeat and catchy songs into the album, Mendes partners with Julia Michaels in “Like to Be You.” Although their voices are completely different and seem like they would clash together, their harmonies make for an impressive duet. They trade off the melodies seamlessly and harmonize perfectly when the time is right. This wasn’t my favorite collaboration on the album because the next one was with Khalid, another one of my favorite artists.

“Youth” was one of my favorites on the album. Khalid and Shawn Mendes were an unexpected pair, but their smooth, mellow voices made for an excellent song. Their harmonized humming at the start already gave me actual chills, and it only got better from there. Khalid kicked off the vocals with his smooth, rich sound. Mendes and Khalid traded verses with their equally smooth voices until the chorus came. Their harmonizations were absolutely stunning.

The album takes a more somber turn with “Why,” a slower and heavier song. With solemn piano chords and slow taps on the snare, Mendes did not shy away from staying true to his roots with this acoustic and slower song. Although this one wasn’t my absolute favorite, it was still extraordinary because I love anything Mendes sings.

“Because I Had You” went back to Mendes’ soulful guitar sound. This song showcased the range of his voice; the higher octaves in the chorus stood out above his lower notes. The steady guitar riffs provided a lively beat throughout the song.

The next couple of songs have the same vibrant sound to them until the finale of the album, “When You’re Ready.” In his final song of the album, Mendes produced clever lyrics and catchy beats. The mellow and light vibe of it wraps up the album perfectly.

Shawn Mendes thoroughly impressed me. Mendes continues to blow me away with his talent, and he showcased everything he can do in his third album. The funky jazz tunes are perfect for when you feel on top of the world, and the more somber ones make for excellent background tunes for a day of homework. Mendes’ versatile voice is ideal for any mood, and I definitely will be having his album on repeat for weeks to come.