The student-created online news source for Irvington High School | Fremont, CA

The Voice

Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By Vivian Hoang | Staff Writer

“Illuminate” is expected to sell 100 to 105 thousand copies solely in the United States, and 120 to 125 thousand copies globally. (Island Records)

Canadian singer, song-writer, and former Vine star Shawn Mendes released his sophomore album “Illuminate” on Sept. 23. The album contains twelve tracks, the deluxe version containing three additional tracks. The influence of  acoustic rock artists John Mayer and Jason Mraz, resonates throughout this album’s guitar heavy melodies and clear vocals. “Illuminate” serves as an outlet for Mendes’s past experiences and romantic thoughts. His intimate and relatable lyrics strike his audience and make this album heartwarming.

The opening track “Ruin” describes Mendes’s experience pining after a girl who did not reciprocate his feelings. A poignant line from the chorus, “And I’m not tryna to ruin your happiness, but darling don’t you know that I’m the one for you,” captures the essence of unrequited love. The combination of Mendes’s sweet crooning over a guitar accompanied by a thumping drum, both of which are very John Mayer-esque, sets a high standard for the rest of the album.

    Mendes opens the second song “Mercy” by humming and nostalgically recalls a girl who had complete control over him and his heart. He laments in the chorus, “Show me an open door, then you go and slam it on me. I can’t take it anymore.” Mendes begs for mercy, while an echoing choir backs his pleas, and concludes the song by reverting back to his humming. The song is catchy and captures the raw emotion of a passionate, but unhealthy relationship.

   “Three Empty Words” is the fourth song on the album, and outlines the process of breaking up and the emotions involved. The song is reminiscent of works by Jason Mraz, but Mendes personalizes it with his own vocals and unique viewpoint on love. The opening guitar riffs sounds like a love song, but close attention to the lyrics, reveals that it is a song about falling out of love. He sings about the feelings one has at the end of a relationship when the partnership seems reliant more on habit than on chemistry. Mendes refuses to waste time pretending to be happy, “We’re going through the motions, cause we can’t fix what’s broken. Those three empty words will only make it worse. I’m tired. I can’t take it anymore.”

I enjoyed listening to this album in my down time. “Illuminate” slowed down my fast-paced life and created a perfect atmosphere for reflection. Overall, I liked the music, but I still think there is room for growth. Instead of imitating songs of the early 2000s, Shawn Mendes needs to develop his own individual style. The similar sounding ambiance and composition of the tracks makes the overall album repetitive and songs forgettable.

The “Illuminate” album is perfect for the fall season. Hopeless romantics and fans of John Mayer and Jason Mraz will enjoy Mendes’s style and lyrics. “Illuminate” is a testament of Mendes’s continued growth as an artist who is quickly making his way to the center stage. I would give the album a 8/10 rating.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    News

    Senior prank causes extensive damage to Irvington; seniors required to clean up

  • Irvington News

    ASB makes changes to Club Policy

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    Irvington News

    WASC visit leads to new plans for Irvington

  • News

    Board of Education authorizes Declaration of Qualified Educators

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    Irvington News

    Irvington receives Gold Ribbon Award and Exemplary Arts Education

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    News

    Caitlin Chen

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    News

    A Night in Style: 2017 French Fashion Show

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    Entertainment

    Administration Seeks to Break the Trend: Ohlone Policy Changes

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    News

    Risheek Priyadarshi

  • Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day

    Irvington News

    Irvington administration initiates use of gender neutral pronouns

The student-created online news source for Irvington High School | Fremont, CA
Shawn Mendes’s “Illuminate” will brighten your day