Shawn Mendes releases new album


Josiah Van Dien

Shawn Mendes released two documentaries and a studio album within a two-week time span, directly following two years of quiet time.

After getting lost in Japan with months of inactivity, Shawn Mendes returns strong, releasing two Netflix films all leading up to his new album, ”Wonder”. 

Since he gained fame on Vine seven years ago, Shawn Mendes continues to shower in success by releasing several hits on charts and arena tours.

”Shawn Mendes In Wonder” documents Mendes’ journey through the writing process of ”Wonder.” The film takes viewers behind the scenes with Mendes throughout his past tour in 2019. Mendes opens up on his performance anxiety, takes viewers through an emotional homecoming, and offers a sneak peak into the album’s discography to fans before it came out a couple weeks later.

Shortly following, Mendes announced a second Netflix film, this time a live concert recording from his first headlining stadium show to sell out in his hometown.

As expected by performances throughout his last headlining world tour, he incorporates falsetto notes generously throughout Wonder. 

”I was expecting a lot more vibrant sounds because of Wonder. There was a lot more going on in the album than just his vocals,” Ashanti M. Mendez, 12, said.

The album’s drastic dynamics are a result of the placement of big choruses that are hushed swiftly to a pindrop. 

”I expected something different than what he normally does, something alternative,” Cecy Zubia, 12, said.

While Wonder showcases more dreamy, soft ballads such as ”Dream” and the euphoric ”Wonder,” it also stays true to Mendes’ nature of yearning for love. 

”I thought this album would have more sad songs, but it has more love songs since he’s currently with Camila Cabello,” Mendez said.

Of course, the addition of a girlfriend since fans last heard any of Mendes’ work has an inevitable effect on the messages.

”Everything is about you. They’ve always been about you, like every song I ever wrote,” Mendes said to Cabello in his Wonder documentary.

The album has evident influence from Cabello’s and Mendes’ relationship, from ”305” after her Miami area code and ”Always Been You.” 

However the album also contains the melancholy ”Song For No One” and ”Look Up At The Stars,” a triumphant piece dedicated to his fans to offer some contrast from the constant hopeless romantic lush songs in its tracklist.

Mendes collaborated with fellow Canadian Justin Bieber on their song ”Monster,” which steers away from any romantic lyrics and focuses on the troubles of fame. However, the singular collaboration has received criticism from listeners.

”I have never been a Justin fan, and it didn’t fit the alternative theme the rest of the album had. For me, ”Monster” was just a miss,” Zubia said.

Regardless of any hiccups, Shawn Mendes has been able to exceed the expectations of adoring and impatient fans. 

”The album was so dreamy. It definitely delivered,” Zubia said.