By Elizabeth Scalzo
Shawn Mendes, the Canadian singer-songwriter, released his fourth studio album titled “Wonder” on Friday, Dec. 4. Anticipation was high for this album as his third self-titled album “Shawn Mendes” was arguably his best work to date.
Mendes is known for a combination of upbeat pop songs and more heartfelt slow songs that, in combination, make for a diverse record. The 16 songs on “Wonder” follow suit.
“Wonder,” the title song for the album, was released in October.
Mendes, like many artists, was discovered on the internet. He made videos on the six-second video platform Vine in 2014, according to Billboard, and made covers of songs that were posted to YouTube and led to him being discovered at just 15.
Mendes started out by going on tour with Austin Mahone and Fifth Harmony, both big names in pop at the time. Since then, Mendes has released four studio albums, “Handwritten,” “Illuminate,” “Shawn Mendes,” and “Wonder,” at just 22.
Mendes has reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts with six songs and has gathered honors such as the iheartradio awards, Billboard music awards, and both the Kid’s and People’s Choice awards.
Many of Mendes’ songs have inspiration from past girlfriends, however “Wonder” encases less of the usual heartbreak anthems and more of a lovers destiny vibe. We do still see the heartbreak anthem that we can relate to in “Song for No One.”
Overall, the album follows the typical upbeat and slow song mix that Mendes is known for, but something that is different is the songs on the album don’t all stick to the general pop-music formula, as we started to see in the “Shawn Mendes” album.
“Higher,” “Teach Me How to Love,” and “305” all follow an upbeat pattern that makes them great to blast as car songs, but each of them has influences from other genres besides pop. This makes this collection of songs different from anything Mendes has done before.
With hints of R&B, rock, and even some blues inspiration, this album is by far the most diverse work for Mendes. What truly makes an artist diverse in their craft is when they can cross into different genres and it still works for them and creates a cohesive record.
Mendes also goes back to his roots of recording covers with finishing the album with “The Christmas Song” and a heartfelt rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
“Wonder” is something different for Mendes and shows his growth as an artist since he was discovered on Vine, to now selling out shows all over the world. 2020 took a lot from people, but Mendes made sure to give his fans a record that can be appreciated from many different standpoints.