Fresh off the heels of his 2020 single “Monster feat. Justin Bieber,” Shawn Mendes has released a whopping 24 tracks in his new deluxe album "Wonder." The cover art pictures Mendes swimming in the middle of a crystal blue sea and under a cloudy sky. There seems to be a poem of some kind written in the sky of the album cover, but it is almost impossible to make out what it says.
Shawn Mendes is known for his dream boy voice, true pop style, and love songs. His earnest passion while singing songs like 2017's “Treat You Better” is reminiscent of young Justin Bieber. Mendes does not receive as much mockery as Bieber suffered, although he does get his fair share of abuse on the internet.
Mendes is also known for his simple style: acoustic guitar, gentle piano, and an emphasis on strong vocals is what makes his music alluring in a charming boy-next-door fashion. All this holds true in "Wonder." The title track sounds like something out of a Disney movie—a good, easy listen, but perhaps not for everybody. Mendes is true pop to his core, and while Miley Cyrus converts pop listeners to rock fans, and indie music is at the center of Gen-Z’s taste, he is a tad too 2000s for today’s listeners. Listening to Mendes’s new album makes me feel like I’m back in middle school, and not many people chase that particular feeling. It’s something about Mendes’s voice, high and boyband-esque, that makes me want to change the channel to music that makes you feel something, with heavy bass and raw emotion in the voice. However, this is just one woman’s opinion.
"Wonder" has some good elements, like a distinct water-rushing-by feeling, and a refreshing bounce to the beats. There are a few features on the album, including Justin Bieber, Camila Cabello, and Surf Mesa. Camila Cabello features in "The Christmas Song" duet, where her voice ripples and twists in a familiar, slightly intoxicating way. Cabello and Mendes’s voices mix together warmly, sweetly—slightly too sweetly, like hot chocolate with too much sugar.
There is no question that this is a love album. Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes’s relationship has been no secret on the internet and in the public eye, and these love songs are unquestionably written for her. If you are one who is interested in celebrity romance (which we all are from time to time), then the clear romance between these two gentle crooners will provide you with hours of entertainment.
A few songs on "Wonder" get a bit more upbeat and exciting. “Piece of You”, for example, features Mendes singing interestingly high and a smooth, dancing beat that keeps your feet moving. Fans of Mendes’s exciting “Particular Taste” may like the “Piece of You” track.
Another track on "Wonder" is “Look Up At the Stars”, which starts out deceptively Disney movie-style, and then becomes a tad more interesting as the beat picks up.
All in all, I do not recommend this album to everyone. If you are an avid pop listener, and enjoy the sounds of Bieber and Ed Sheeran, you may like it. If you enjoy it, that is fantastic. There is no question that Mendes has made some memorable bops in his career. See you next semester for more album reviews!