With the release of Mendes’ first full-length CD, there are going to be the inevitable comparisons between Mendes and Justin Bieber. Both are from Ontario (Mendes from Toronto suburb Pickering and Bieber from Stratford), both made an initial impact posting videos that went viral, both signed with Island Records, where they earned chart success with debut EP’s and both are rated teenage heartthrobs, yet, that is where the comparisons end. Unlike Bieber, Mendes’ creative approach is definitely low key with songs that focus on mainly sparsely produced arrangements keying on clear vocals and lyrics that are generally age-appropriate for a 16-year old, “Kid In Love”, “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” being prime examples. Mendes’ more simplistic approach is more in the vein of Ed Sheeran and he has a vocal style that justifies this comparison. His break-out single; “Life Of The Party” boasts a simple but infectious arrangement, tailor-made for mass radio consumption and Mendes has followed that up with a more up-beat “Something Big” and his latest single, “A Little Too Much” which again relies on a simplistic, yet catchy, vocal arrangement. There is no question this kid is going to be huge, his upcoming 24-date opening stint for Taylor Swift is going to open career doors – and bank vaults – for him. But let’s just hope   Mendes is not victimized by a music industry which seems to love to chew these kids up and then spit them out. He may not be the showman Bieber is, but his recording skills alone should stand him in good stead and let’s hope that is management team is disciplined enough for him to steer past the pitfalls that have plagued Mr. Bieber. Here’s hoping also that Mendes is in it for the long haul, he certainly has the talent and personality to be successful long term.

Download: “Life Of The Party” “Air” “Something Big”

Shawn Mendes_Something Big_Meredith Truax2

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