Music: Illuminate (Deluxe)

Released: September 23, 2016

By Shawn Mendes

Alongside Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes is perhaps the most talented male pop artist around right now. He’s matured since he released his first album and it shows in the lyrics for this new one.

Mendes co-wrote every single song on Illuminate and his passion shines through. He doesn’t go for perfect vocals and let’s his voice crack at different points, which is what makes the music so raw and authentic.

I could talk about any of the hit songs of this album – “Mercy,” “Treat You Better,” “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” – but the best song has yet to become a single yet. “Understand,” the album’s 13th track, is the strongest lyrically with a monologue about accepting the changes that naturally happen to you as you grow up.

Final say: Don’t be a fool; this is one of the best albums. ★★★★★

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