By Joy Lee
Canadian singer Shawn Mendes finally released his first album, “Handwritten,” after successes with his singles “Life of the Party” and “Something Big.”
Mendes started off making covers of songs on the social media app Vine back in 2013. Now he has almost 4 million followers and even has the green Vine logo next to his name, indicating that he is the “real Shawn Mendes.”
Mendes also performed the opening act of Austin Mahone’s Live Tour back in 2014 and the Jingle Ball Tour held throughout December 2014. The Jingle Ball Tour was held at the Los Angeles Staples Center for the first day among many other renowned artists such as Sam Smith and Maroon 5.
On Mendes’ new album, he has written eight songs with other songwriters, one on his own and three were written by other artists.
Mendes’s most famous song “Life of the Party” was released in June 2014 after signing a record deal with Island Records. “Life of the Party” reflects Mendes’s admiration for girls who are willing to go out of their comfort zone and make mistakes to be the “life of the party.” The chorus states “ we don’t have to be ordinary, make your best mistakes, we don’t have the time to be sorry, so baby be the life of the party” and has become an anthem for many teenagers who are struggling to find who they are, and through this song, have learned to embrace their differences and love themselves.
“A Little Too Much” is a song that Mendes composed and wrote himself and is one that he is proud of. The lyrics itself illustrates Mendes’ emotional state at the time when he was trying to settle into his new life being a superstar. In the song, Mendes sings about this girl that seems so strong and in control, but in reality is scared and overwhelmed of everything happening in her life. The lyrics reflect Mendes’ feelings when he, himself, was overwhelmed and stressed, but, fortunately through songwriting, he was able to find a solution when life gets all “a little too much.”
For him personally, writing the song was what helped him, but for anyone else, “you just have to talk about it…it’s okay to talk about it, it’s okay to get upset, it’s okay to feel like it’s killing you or weighing you down,” Mendes said in an interview with VEVO.
“Stitches” a track in the album, that recently came out as a music video. The video starts off with a girl burning a piece of paper on the stove and then carelessly tossing it into a pan. As she leaves the kitchen, she puts on her headphones and starts dancing freely around her house.
Although this song has morbid lyrics and an angry beat to it’s tune, the music video at first doesn’t seem to reflect the same emotions because the girl seems to care little about her decision to leave “the guy,” in this case, behind. But during the last few seconds, the setting changes to the front of someone’s house where the girl is seen dropping the letter on the front steps. Although we feel a little bit of freedom and craziness from leaving someone behind, we also have a part of us, and our real emotions, that makes us come back to the person and continue with our normal routines instead of changing.
The album as whole has similar tunes but different stories. It articulates Mendes’s thoughts and emotions about his life and career this past year and also the struggles and emotions other people may be struggling with. It articulates a lot of the feelings a person may have during various difficult situations. A lot of people will be drawn to the album because it is relatable and really soothing, especially when someone is having a bad day.