Shortly after the release of his self-titled third album in 2018, Mendes makes his return with his new smashing, first-class album ‘Wonder’.
Written and recorded in California and Miami, the album embodies most of Shawn’s feelings on tour and during recent months of the pandemic.
Deep in the canyons of love, Mendes explores thematic universes such as ego, loneliness and fame. The album, as a whole, struggles with heavy poignant themes.
In ‘Song For No One’, ‘Call My Friends’ and ‘Dream’, Shawn highlights the misleadingly complicated life of a celebrity and his long-distance relationship with Camila Cabello, his lobster. (*wink wink* to FRIENDS fans).
I asked 8 fans to complete a survey, where I asked to rate the Wonder songs from 1 to 5. The songs mentioned above generally received the same ratings, ranging from 3 to 5.
The first song, which initiated my love for this album, was ‘Intro’, a short melancholic melody, calling for connection. The artist faced 75% success in this one, based on my survey.
The artist also collaborated with Justin Bieber in “Monster”, where fans can perceive or attempt to understand the views of the artists on such topics as the multiple façades of the music industry.
‘Higher’ has a ‘party feel’, urging us to gather once again, after having hidden beneath the veneer of pragmatism lockdowns have forced upon us. In my survey, the response on this track was inconclusive with answers ranging from 3 to 5.
’24 Hours’ parallels Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, referring to the derivative line ‘Wise men say only fools rush in’. Mendes has already paid homage to the performer before, covering one of his hit tracks. The song also transmits this feeling of flying and urges us to come home soon, paralleling ‘Lost in Japan’. The song received generally positive feedback on my survey with seven 5s.
‘Teach Me How To Love’ sends ‘Watermelon Sugar’ vibes through the use of similar themes. Shawn stated on Twitter that it’s one of his favourite songs on the album. Despite being an ‘outlier’ of the album due to its different sound, the song received an excellent review on the survey with seven 5s.
‘Always Been You’ is a special song, where Shawn reveals to the public that all his songs were for Camila. In this song, the lyricist somewhat clears out his public image. The song didn’t gain as much distinction even though in the survey it received six 5s.
His remake of Nat “King” Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song’ in collaboration with Camila was also a big surprise for fans after both ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ in 2015 and ‘Señorita’ in 2019, where the couple previously collaborated. The song received mixed opinions with the mode being 4.
Shawn also performed Valli’s hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in the Deluxe version of the album, where connoisseurs could interestingly spot a connection to Cabello’s numerous live performance covers of the song. In my opinion, this variant excelled any other previous ones.
The song which I find doesn’t match the ingenuity of his other tunes is ‘Can’t Imagine’ due to its chorus repetition throughout. It can be seen on my survey that it didn’t reach as much support as the other songs, with a mode of 3.
Overall, Wonder is my favourite album of Shawn so far. My personal favourites are ‘305’ and ‘Look Up At The Stars’. They got me vibing. They were also really popular in my survey.
What I enjoy most about Shawn’s music is that it is relatable and displays love in its most prominent spot.