Shawn Mendes reveals his delicate and true self in his recent album.
On his fourth studio album, Wonder, Shawn Mendes reveals a more delicate side of his life and music, while focusing on his emotions, life experiences, and girlfriend, Camila Cabello.
Mendes starts the album with a slow “Intro,” in which piano dominates, just like deep cuts such as “24 Hours” and “Look Up At The Stars.” This gives a nice break from louder instruments like drums and bass, which can often overpower in more upbeat songs. Overall, this album consists of a perfect balance between slow and fast-paced songs.
Wonder is different from Mendes’ three previous albums, perhaps, because the 22-year-old wanted to be more truthful, which led to him also being delicate. This was not only done by writing and singing about personal topics but also by making gentle beats.
Even the more uptempo songs, like “305” and “Piece Of You,” are delicate because of the lyrics, and some slower parts, like guitar solos. Also, on “Piece Of You,” Mendes sings “I get reckless, I’m obsessive / I’m pathetic and possessive / You’re so sure it makes me insecure,” sharing this darker side of him with the world, and showing that just like everyone, he has flaws and insecurities.
On “Song For No One,” Mendes sings with vulnerability, as only guitar accompanies his vocals. This adds a lot of sensitivity to the album. However, it seems like the song is, indeed, for someone in particular, as he sings “Told you that I really love you / You did not reciprocate those feelings.”
Mendes’ only collaboration was with Justin Bieber, in “Monster.” The two artists have a similar career story, both having started in their teens. They share their similar experiences in “Monster,” such as the downside of becoming famous at a young age. For example, how they weren’t allowed to make mistakes, or how they would feel guilty if they did (“But what if I, what if I trip? / What if I, what if I fall? / Then am I the monster?”).
On “Wonder,” Mendes not only questions if he is being honest with himself (“I wonder if I’m being real / Do I speak my truth or do I filter how I feel?”), but also ingeniously mentions the stereotype that men shouldn’t cry, bringing up the double standard about men crying (“I wonder, when I cry into my hands / I’m conditioned to feel like it makes me less of a man”).
Overall, Wonder feels so delicate and personal, that it’s almost as if Mendes just wrote his thoughts in a journal and made them into songs as he tried to bring down this barrier between his famous-self and his true-self.
Trial Track: “Look Up At The Stars”