Is this the kind of music one makes when one is in love? Shawn Mendes seems to be regressing with Wonder, his latest effort, as while his earlier music could arguably be said to be of the indie alternative vein at times, this album consists of dull tunes that seem to be made by studio suits solely to make a lot of money. The songs here could have been by any random dude with a passable voice, as they are generic beyond belief. Despite borrowing heavily from Motown and other genres that scream “1970s”, these songs sound both like rehashes of his older songs as well as songs by any random pop act dotting the charts these days.
The exceptions are the title track, which is memorably only because of how unabashedly and toe-curling melodramatic this piece of muzak is, and Higher, which is the most uptempo song here and hence the perfect song to wake me up when I’m halfway nodding off already. Outside of this album, however, these two songs are forgettable. I’m hard-pressed to hum even the chorus despite having listened to this album twice. Teach Me to Love is also alright, but it sounds so much like a song rejected from an Earth Wind & Fire album that I end up experiencing an urge to revisit the discography of the latter instead.
Anyway, Wonder is anything but. The whole thing feels like a clichéd album from an increasingly clichéd young man that is fast aging out of his target demographic. He’s also losing his looks too. Common sense should have told him that it’s way past time to start making more grown-up and memorable music if he wanted to last a little longer in the business.