Shawn Freaking Mendes
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, first of all thank you, second, you probably know I love this kid to death. I've been meeting him a lot in London recently and am LOVING and LIVING (and picking it up) for his new music. His third studio album, Shawn Mendes: The Album was just released and I cannot stop listening. I obviously already had the five (yes, five) singles and two acoustic versions (yeah seven whole songs before the album even dropped) on repeat but now I just have the album on a loop all day, every day.
I've been a fan of Shawn for a while, but he didn't become an obsession until pretty recently. I followed him on vine (back in the day) and remember being excited when he dropped is EP but between then and now, I wouldn't call myself a superfan by any stretch, which I now regret deeply (lol but really). I had friends who were super into him and although I listened to some of his music here and there, I never got super into it until I heart In My Blood and Lost in Japan. After that there was no turning back. I was wicked obsessed with both songs, two very different songs compared to each other and the records Shawn has put out in the past and I honestly couldn't get enough.
About a month after the first two songs were released, it was a super nice day in London and I was just walking down the river (as you do) when I saw about 50 girls in a full sprint going around the corner. Obviously anyone would be curious and in the middle of a swarm of teenage girls, this tall kid with fluffy hair was telling everyone to get in a line so he could take pictures with everyone without leaving anyone out (like honestly he's literally the sweetest). I wasn't about to pass up this opportunity to take a picture with Shawn Mendes (duh) so I hopped in line with the rest of the fans and got my little selfie with him (peep the ig). Actually, come to think of it, I think this was the day the obsession hit the hardest. I've never seen someone as big of a celebrity as him take so much time with each fan and make sure everyone got a hug, picture, autograph, whatever they wanted. After that, I've seen him a few more times and somehow got into a taping of a British live music show, Sounds Like Friday Night, where Shawn performed his two new songs.
I am not joking when I say he is one of the nicest people I've ever met. And he literally meets every fan, like wherever he is. As long as he has the time, he will go through and take pictures with every person there waiting for him. One time there was a couple hundred people waiting outside to meet him in London and I'm not lying when I say he met every. single. one.
But back to the album, its freaking amazing. Not one song is like the other. In My Blood reminds me of a rock anthem but is poetically talking about his anxiety, Lost in Japan and Nervous are catchy little songs about hooking up but sound n o t h i n g alike but are literal bops. And Youth. OMG I can't believe I almost didn't talk about the freaking song of the generation.
Youth was written by Shawn and Khalid shortly after the Manchester Arena Attack and the London Bridge Attack in 2017 but can also be interpreted about gun violence and school shootings in the US as well. I'm not lying when I had tears in my eyes listening to this song for the first time. I knew the gist of what it was about before hearing it and totally assumed it was going to be a sad song, but its actually quite the opposite. It starts off with Khalid and Shawn both talking about the heartbreak and devastation over an acoustic guitar but quickly turns into an anthemic chorus repeating "You can't take my youth away, this soul of mine will never break." Check out a clip from their moving performance at the BBMAs last week with help from the Parkland School Choir paying tribute to the horrific events that took place at their school just a few months ago.
Another one of my favorites is definitely Particular Taste which I definitely attribute to the amazing combination of Shawn and Ryan Tedder. Ryan Tedder is one of my favorite songwriters and when I found out he wrote a song for Shawn and it was on this record I was so excited and it was the first song I listened to when the album dropped. Usually when I really like an artist, I like to listen to the album from start to finish the way the track-listing was intended because I think there is some craftsmanship in that but because I had already heard five of the fourteen songs from single releases, I didn't really care.
There's definitely a lot R&B vibes (which I LOVE), he sings in falsetto, and hits so many notes I honestly had no idea he could hit. I was just continuously blown away by each song. A few of the songs make me reminiscent of Justin Timberlake's first couple solo albums, with the falsettos, more soulful sound and insane beats. Honestly every song is a straight up bop. He even experiments a bit with some reggae in Mutual. The album shows a new side of Shawn lyrically and musically that I'm just obsessed. I only wish the album was longer.
If you do nothing else, please listen to this record and jump on the Shawn Freaking Mendes train like the rest of us.