On Friday, September 23rd, 2016, Shawn Mendes finally gave his thousands of fans what they wanted; he released his second album, “Illuminate”. This was almost a year and a half after the release of his first album, “Handwritten”. After having announced it’s release date in early July and releasing the single, “Treat You Better,” in early June, many fans, like myself were becoming anxious for this day.
Mendes was born in Toronto Ontario, Canada. He was raised in a small town near Toronto called Pickering by parents Karen and Manuel Mendes with younger sister Aaliyah. He created his popular YouTube channel on January 28th and began posting videos of him singing covers on the popular app Vine.
Mendes’ first album “Handwritten” was released on April 15th, 2015, it included the “Billboard Pop Songs chart number one” hit “Stitches” which made Mendes recognized instantly.
In my opinion, after “Stitches” rose to the top of many song charts, Mendes became instantly more famous. More people were listening to not only “Stitches” but a lot more his music, which shouldn’t be all that surprising.
“Handwritten” was an amazing album, it explored many aspects of daily life or struggles, as well as human emotion.
The “Illuminate” release date was announced on July 8th. The popular hit single, “Treat You Better”, was released on June 3rd. “Treat You Better” was an instant hit, rising on Billboard charts, and going platinum, lifting Mendes, and his new album, along with his career with it.
Mendes’ new album not only showed new music, it showed growth and maturity in him as an artist. A month and a half before the release of this album Mendes turned eighteen he was stepping into adulthood with a new album and the question of what the future holds.
After hits like “Stitches” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” from previous album “Handwritten”. “Treat You Better” gave people what they wanted; something new and it aroused my questions for the upcoming album.
My main question was “How different will this new album be from ‘Handwritten’?”. Honestly, there are some minor changes, which usually occurs with new music, but there isn’t any dramatic difference in the style.
Mendes will always be an amazing artist and I think both of these albums exemplify that opinion, I also feel that Mendes will never be recognized or appreciated enough for his music.
I think Mendes definitely deserves a lot more recognition than he will ever get. He is an amazing artist, and in my opinion he will always be.
To me, “Handwritten” has a special place in my heart and I think it’s that way for a lot of fans. It was Mendes’ first album and his only album before adulthood. “Illuminate” is an amazing album, I think Mendes’ music will always be very tasteful, but in my opinion I think that “Handwritten” is a better album, it is more calming and less serious.
Album rating: 7/10
Songs rating: 8/10
Album originality: 9/10