On his 14-track fourth album, Shawn Mendes is ethereal, grand, intense and rapturous. It is the sound of a man completely and hopelessly in love.
Adoration is baked into “Wonder,” from the virtually religious-sounding title observe as Mendes sings “I ponder what it is prefer to be beloved by you,” to the final tune, the place, with a voice shaking with emotion, he sings over acoustic guitar: “I am unable to think about what a world could be with out you.” The album’s cowl captures Mendes ecstatic, floating in waves.
Though she is talked about solely as soon as — within the liner notes, thanked proper after his household — it is not laborious to search out the supply of this ardor: Mendes’ longtime romantic and quarantine accomplice, singer Camila Cabello. Whatever occurs to this couple sooner or later, she has impressed a hopelessly romantic set.
“Teach Me How to Love” flirts with ’80s disco (with Anderson .Paak on drums) and “305” (the realm code to Cabello’s Miami) is a candy-colored piece of ’60s doo-wop during which Mendes sings to his lover, “If there’s a door to heaven, child you are the important thing.” The lovers are discovering a new dwelling to share in “24 Hours” — “It’s a little quickly however I wanna come dwelling to you,” he sings.
Mendes’ falsetto soars with pure glee atop a pillow of strings on the standout “Look Up on the Stars” (the place Mendes sings “the universe is ours” in a Coldplay “Yellow” means) and “Always Been You” is each hovering and triumphant. This is music you’d hear in a mall in heaven.
The solely tune that veers out of the love zone is Mendes’ duet with Justin Bieber, “Monster,” an excellent moody banger about how early fame messes with you, sung by a rising heartthrob singer-songwriter and a longtime one.
In-demand producer Kid Harpoon, who took Harry Stiles to new heights on “Fine Line,” is throughout this gooey album. There’s little of the urgency Mendes has proven earlier than — no “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” or “In My Blood” — and “Wonder” is typically laborious to take throughout prolonged performs — particularly its pointless intro — however to search out fault with it’s to search out fault with love itself.
Shawn Mendes, “Wonder” (Island)