Shawn Mendes Scores Third No. 1 Album — Here’s How He Did It
Shawn Mendes, released May 25, sold 182,000 total copies in its first week, marking the biggest debut in the 19-year-old singer's career: 2015's Handwritten opened with 115,000 copies and 2016's Illuminate bowed with 145,000. According to Billboard, he is also the third youngest solo artist to ever achieve three No.1 records, following Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.
Mendes' success could certainly be attributed to his growing clout: As his star has risen, so has his following. But the project is also, notably, his most versatile, as well as his most personal — both qualities that have been praised favorably in reviews.
"I was thinking, what do I want the album to feel like? The main thing was rock... [but] the next day, I woke up and I had this urge to go R&B. And it was weird because at first I was like, ‘Am I screwing up cohesiveness of an album? Is this bad to do?" he said of his decision to eschew genre in a recent video partnership with Pandora. "I realize that it’s not about the genre of the song anymore. People don’t care about the genre. If it’s a good song, it’s a good song.”
In the same interview, he also detailed what led him to be more honest in his work.
"About a year prior was my first time kind of experiencing anxiety and I wrote down in my notes the feelings of exactly what was going on because I wanted to make a song about that,” he shared of "In My Blood." “And it came out, and friends and family and people and fans [were] saying, ‘This is what I needed. Thank you so much for being this honest.' After that, I was just so excited for everything ‘cause I took that same honest approach through all the music.”
From the sounds of it, Mendes considers his new LP both his most ambitious and authentic to date — something that, as proved by the charts, is apparently paying off.
Read PopCrush's review of Shawn Mendes here.