The Boy’s In Love (Music Thoughts: Wonder, Shawn Mendes)

Shawn Mendes once said he couldn’t wait for his heartbreak so he could write songs about it. In his new album ‘Wonder,’ he isn’t truly there yet, but I feel like he is halfway. On this album, we see a boy in love, and he is desperately trying to tell us he is. Are we convinced.

On the first track, ‘Intro,’ he says that he has a million different faces, and we don’t see all of it, and you wonder about its real subtext. This uncertainty – maybe insecurity – shows up everywhere int he lyrics, and he keeps hammering this point. Dude, you are a handsome white-bread pop star, why all the angst? This album should be a celebration of love, why don’t I feel the joy?

Mendes’ tunes here have less pep and zing than his previous albums, though it’s not from lack of production. In fact, there’s too much production at times, I think. It highlights his voice’s sometimes limitations, although he is very adept with working with what he has. The grandiosity at times highlights the depth (or lack of it) of the songs. In his case, I do hope his heartbreak comes soon, as I think that would be critical in him giving us a better album next time round.

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