Illuminating the hearts of fans

Shawn Mendes new album connects with fans

By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor

Rating: 5/5

In two years Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has accomplished many things that most musical artists can only dream of. Within those two short years, Mendes has blossomed on the music scene. He gained his first record deal at age 16 from Island records which released his EP, debuted two albums, gone on tour with Taylor Swift and already released dates for his second world tour that begins next month.

In two years Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has accomplished many things that most musical artists can only dream of. Within those two short years, Mendes has blossomed on the music scene. He gained his first record deal at age 16 from Island records which released his EP, debuted two albums, gone on tour with Taylor Swift and already released dates for his second world tour that begins next month.

In April of 2014 “Handwritten,” a heartfelt album that introduced the world to the thoughts and experiences of this young man was released. It immediately gained popularity and the single “Stitches” off the album reached top ten in the U.S. and Canada and number one in the U.K. To date this is probably his most popular hit amongst fans, with many more to come.

Mendes, who is an 18-year-old from Pickering, Ontario, Canada. He sings and plays guitar in addition to writing all of his own music. “Illuminate” show cases these talents brilliantly and highlights his emotional connection to his songs and fans. The fifteen tracks that grace the album are all songs that reveal a different side to Mendes or an experience from his life. Some highlights off the album are “Mercy,” “Treat You Better” and “Hold On.” These songs show the true emotional impact that the lyrics have on Mendes and want to share with fans.

“Treat You Better” and “Mercy” both discuss the theme of girls with in Mendes’s life. “Treat You Better” is a catchy song about how a girl is with the wrong guy and he feels he would treat her better and is lying to everyone about her feelings. This is relatable to many both boys and girls to have felt the same. It also shows a caring side to him, while “Mercy” shifts tones to a sadder note. It discusses a girl who has broken his heart because she is simply playing him when he would do anything for her and he is just asking for honesty and for some mercy to not be broken inside. “Please have mercy on me. Take it easy on my heart, even though you don’t mean to hurt me. You keep tearing me apart. Would you please have mercy on me? I’m a puppet on your string and even though you got good intentions, I need you to se me free,” Mendes sings.

Another incredibly personal and emotional song that he shares with listeners is “Hold on.” This song Mendes wrote about his relationship with his dad and how he misses him while on the road and the advice he needs. “So I’ll pick up the phone and my dad says Shawn stay with me. Everything will be all right. I know I haven’t seen you lately, but you’re always on my mind. I don’t know what you’re going through but there’s so much life ahead of you and it won’t slow you down no matter what you do. So you just gotta hold on. All we can do is hold on.”

Overall “Illuminate” is another heart felt project that fans will adore every lyric of. The musicality is classic Mendes with slow beats and some up beat tones that are perfect for a chill night at home or to fall asleep to right before bed. Mendes manages to touch the hearts of many and illuminate within fans feelings that they can connect with. It truly is a raw and breath taking album.