To those of us who use a wide range of social media, Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes will be a familiar name. Now, however, with second album ‘Illuminate’, out tomorrow, 23 September, Mendes has put his days as a Vine star well and truly behind him.
The deluxe version of the album features 15 tracks focusing on Mendes’ sweet, boy-next-door vocals, accompanied by electric and acoustic guitar, piano, and polyrhythms.
Currently on tour (next stop The GRAMMY Museum, LA, on 27 September, before heading out to The Philippines and Australia), Mendes has teased his fans with four tracks so far; ‘Three Empty Words’, ‘Ruin’, ‘Treat You Better’, and ‘Mercy’. The video for the latter was only released yesterday, and has already cracked the 1 million views mark.
Perhaps our favourite is ‘Patience’: it’s a nice blend of reggae and tropical styles and would possibly have benefited as a summer single release. The lyrics are light and fresh, and like most of the songs on the album is a love song. It’s a nice contrast to ‘Reputation’, a song about showing understanding for a girl who’s got a bad reputation but is so much more than that.
Fans will undoubtedly really love this album: Shawn tries his hand a variety of styles, including some freestyling and gospel on ‘Understand’; soft sweet ballads such as ‘Hold On’; and the bluesy ‘Roses’. There’s also a really beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Mercy’, which is a brilliant showcase of Mendes’ voice, and it’s clearly where he’s most comfortable.
In summary, ‘Illuminate’ is a nice, laid back album. It’ll sell well, thanks to Mendes’ legion of fans, and we expect to see it nominated for awards based on that.
Watch the video for ‘Mercy’: