Shawn Mendes Essentials

Shawn Mendes Essentials

Canadian troubadour Shawn Mendes' teen-idol appeal and soulful voice helped him become a social-media star in the mid-2010s. His debut single, “Life of the Party,” is a sweeping piano ballad that shows off his passionate vocals, and the hits that followed—like the wounded “Stitches”—combine thoughtful lyrics with insistent rhythms. The galloping “There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back” and the longing “Treat You Better,” both of which Mendes co-wrote, have a youthful bounce that underscores their lyrics' urgency; the slinky “Lost in Japan” strips down and foregrounds its bouncing-ball bassline, allowing Mendes to shift into international-lover mode.

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