Review: Shawn Mendes’ new album ‘Illuminate’ – you are not ready


If you didn’t already know, I am such a HUGE Shawn Mendes fan. So imagine my excitement when I was asked to review his new album, ‘Illuminate’. The best part? I got to listen to the whole deluxe album before the official release (heavy breathing). Here’s my Shawn Mendes’ ‘Illuminate’ review.

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The emotions I went through while listening to ‘Illuminate’ were indescribable. I pretty much stopped breathing a few times. I don’t know what it is but Shawn’s voice is otherworldly. Every track on ‘Illuminate’ gave me goosebumps because his voice just does things no other man can do.

When Shawn’s first album came out, I thought “oh yeah, this guy is great”, and now after listening to the entirety of ‘Illuminate’ I’m all like “I’M ON THE FLOOR, SOMEONE SAVE ME”.

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Treat You Better‘ and ‘Mercy‘ instantly became my favourites weeks ago so I had high hopes for the rest of the album. If you don’t love those two songs, who even are you? It’s safe to say that Shawn’s maturity has blossomed on his second album. The deep and meaningful lyrics make you think “wow, this guy is really talented”.

I didn’t automatically click with ‘Ruin‘ and ‘Three Empty Words‘ straight away, however, after multiple plays, I’ve grown to love them so much. The emotion Shawn brings is magical.

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Don’t Be a Fool‘ is just wow. Such a beautiful ballad about telling someone you love that you can’t stay with them. Really heartbreaking. ‘Like This‘, on the other hand, is a raw and powerful song that I won’t be forgetting any time soon. Shawn’s voice also hits notes that shook me. I’m already done.

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Diverting away from ballads, ‘No Promises‘ is a little more of a jam. I could see myself driving down the road and bopping along to this. ‘Lights On‘ gave me such a huge smile and I almost got a little emotional. He sings about getting to know a girl based on her personality and not her looks (SO CUTE and beautiful). Definite favourite.

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Continuing with his more mature tracks, ‘Honest‘, ‘Patience‘ and ‘Bad Reputation‘ prove to me that even for an eighteen-year-old, Shawn has a better understanding of women than literally 75% of the male population. Full of truth and honesty, you can’t help but just sit back and enjoy the sound of his voice.

Understand‘ actually surprised me. Singing about trying to fit into the world and learning (also including a cute monologue). So damn relatable and definitely one of my favourites. Now ‘Hold On‘ because this next track will pull on your heart strings. A perfectly emotional piece of music about how Shawn’s life keeps moving too fast so he calls his dad for advice. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

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And we’ve reached the final two songs off the album. ‘Roses‘ is another emotional song that will make you feel things. If you weren’t already dead, the ‘Mercy‘ acoustic will finish you. Just buy a lot of tissues and be prepared to cry. A lot. And prepare for his raspy voice, naked and raw #dead.

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Overall, ‘Illuminate’ has definitely become one of my favourite albums of the year and this has made me even more excited to see him perform live in a few months (I’m not going to survive). Shawn could literally sing the alphabet and it’d be a masterpiece.

‘Illuminate’ is due for release on September 23rd. If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, you should be ashamed of yourself.

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