BY KAYLA GATES
Shawn Mendes has come a long way from his roots as a social media sensation, now releasing his fourth studio album as an international pop star. His latest work, “Wonder,” displays just how talented the singer-songwriter truly is, and how much he has grown as an artist.
The album generated substantial anticipation from his extensive fan base following Mendes’s promotional posts on social media. Despite a few featured singles, Mendes had not released a formal album since “Shawn Mendes” in 2018. “Wonder” however, was finally released on December 4, 2020.
Written and recorded in Miami over the course of quarantine, Mendes was able to explore deeper topics through his music. His lyrics deal with darker themes, such as loneliness and fame. For many fans, “Wonder” provides powerful and new insight into Mendes’s mind.
Following the first short but sensational “Intro” song, Mendes kicks off the album with his featured hit “Wonder.” As one of the most popular songs on the album, “Wonder” has a catchy chorus, giving listeners just a taste of what’s to come throughout the rest of the record.
As one of the most popular songs on the album, “Wonder” has a catchy chorus, giving listeners just a taste of what’s to come throughout the rest of the record.
Although a much slower song, “Dream” is just as impactful as the songs before it. The track features a beautiful piano ballad, showcasing the musical range Mendes possesses. Fans are sure to enjoy the song, as it pays tribute to his skills as a piano player.
“Monster” explores the dark side of fame and being a celebrity. Working alongside Justin Beiber, the two pop stars are able to convey the hardships they face through their powerful lyrics. The duo is somewhat ironic, as Mendes first generated fame by signing Beiber’s songs online. However, their current collaboration proves to be just as satisfying, and surprisingly seamless in terms of vocals.
While “Wonder” offers only 14 songs, the deluxe version features a whopping 24 tracks. Following the initial releases, Mendes included a variety of acoustic versions. “Wonder (Deluxe)” contains live recordings from “The Wonder Residencies.”
“Wonder (Holiday Deluxe)” is yet another variation of the album, which features a few new tracks. Most notably, Mendes collaborated with his girlfriend Camila Cabello to sing a captivating rendition of “The Christmas Song.” Just in time for December, the duet is sure to put fans of both artists in the holiday spirit.
Just in time for December, the duet is sure to put fans of both artists in the holiday spirit.
Overall, “Wonder” provides listeners with an exceptional musical experience. However, longtime fans will note that Mendes’s style has evolved. While his debut album “Handwritten” hooked audiences with upbeat love songs, “Wonder” dives deeper into Mendes’s ability.
“Wonder” is just the latest masterpiece by the music genius that is Shawn Mendes. His intense songwriting and powerful vocals never fail to deliver. Though the album may provide a sharp contrast to those in the past, his new style provides a refreshing point of view. General music lovers and devoted fans alike will have no problem traveling through “Wonder.”
- Powerful lyrics.
- Many instrumental solos.
- Somewhat overproduced.
- Too emotional at times.
Photo courtesy of USA Today