Wonder: the portrayal of Shawn Mendes’ growth and newfound confidence


Wonder: the portrayal of Shawn Mendes’ growth and newfound confidence

Photo credit: Netflix

Album: “Wonder” 

Shawn Mendes’ fourth album, “Wonder,” displays a new growth and maturity in his singing career. With this album, Mendes shied away from the quiet songs with just him and his guitar. This album is filled with bright, confident and upbeat songs, which exhibit a new confidence and excitement in Mendes’ music.

Mendes opens the album with a dreamy “Intro” leading into the title track “Wonder,” a bold, emotional and powerful song. In this song, Mendes takes us through meaningful ideals truth, masculinity and authenticity. He sings, “I wonder if I’m being real/Do I speak my truth or do I filter how I feel?” and “I wonder, when I cry into my hands, I’m conditioned to feel like it makes me less of a man.” The climax of this song is powerful and beautiful, with Mendes belting, “I wonder what it’s like to be loved by you,” and an array of glorious instruments backing him. 

Following “Wonder,” the new album is filled with heart warming songs that takes the listener through a love story. Songs like “24 hours” and “Can’t Imagine” are sweet songs describing Mendes’ love for someone, with lyrics like, “All it’d take is 24 hours, sign the check and the place is ours, it’s a little soon, but I wanna come home to you,” and “I can’t imagine what a world would be without you, all the birds would stop their songs without you.”

 In addition to these love songs we also hear “Dream,” a beautiful and ethereal song that features amazing examples of Mendes’ impressive vocal range. “Look Up At The Stars” is another gorgeous melody, with beautiful lyrics written by Mendes. After the first verse, the tempo picks up and the soothing song turns into a song full of life. 

Wonder also explores heavier themes. In “Monster,” featuring Justin Bieber, the two singers dive into the dark side and discuss the struggles of being a celebrity. Both singers were put into the spotlight at a young age, and “Monster” focuses on the weight of being famous. Mendes sings, “What if I sin?…What if I break? Then am I the monster?” Mendes also sings about loneliness in “Call My Friends.” The song has a strikingly vibrant beat, despite its somber lyrics.

Mendes did not hold back with his fourth album. He has matured greatly as an artist since his first album, “Handwritten,” in 2015. His songs are bolder and his sound has developed incredibly since then. His vocals have become more impressive, and his confidence in the music has grown. Mendes experimented with new instruments and many new types of background music for this album. In “Always Been You,” Mendes uses an epic orchestra in the chorus, and “Piece of You” features a choir backing Mendes’ vocals. 

Despite his new and improved sound, the album does feature songs that bring back memories from Mendes’ first album. “Can’t Imagine” and “Song For No One” presents Mendes singing and playing his guitar, similar to many songs from “Handwritten.” Just like his previous albums, “Wonder” is a personal and emotional album, with beautiful songs that create an incredible listening experience.

Shawn Mendes VEVO

Documentary: “Shawn Mendes: In Wonder” 

“Shawn Mendes: In Wonder” was released on Netflix on Nov. 23, prior to the release of Mendes’ new album, “Wonder.” It is a very personal documentary and shows a side of Mendes that we usually do not get to see. It takes us back to the start of Mendes’ career through old video clips from when he was posting singing videos on YouTube and Vine and performing concerts in a school auditorium. 

In the documentary, Mendes and his family reminisce about the times when his career was just beginning. We see Mendes visit his home in Pickering, Canada, while on his world tour, in which he shows his vulnerable side. The documentary tours where he grew up, places he would go to as a kid, and the bedroom where he would make singing videos for Vine. It feels extremely intimate and displays Mendes’ humble beginnings, as he reflects on his extreme growth and success.

The film also takes us through Mendes’ journey of his last tour, “The Shawn Mendes World Tour.” It highlights the highs and lows of the tour, and the struggles Mendes experienced with his voice due to having to perform constantly. We also get to see some of the process of Mendes creating his next album, “Wonder,” during the tour, exhibiting the creative process of producing the album and showing how much hard work went into making it. 

“Shawn Mendes: In Wonder” was a vulnerable and personal story about Shawn Mendes, but, considering the title, it could have featured more of the process of creating the album “Wonder.” Otherwise, it was a great and heart-warming documentary.