Illuminate By Shawn Mendes


McKenzie Reimer, Co-Editor In Chief

It’s no secret that I love Shawn Mendes. Stitches was practically my savior last year whenever I was going through a difficult time. So, it’s no surprise that I would be elated to hear his recently released CD, Illuminate. It is a surprise though, on the mixed feelings I have after listening to it.

Looking at the CD cover for the first time makes you think that Illuminate is just about a white boy brooding about all of his bad relationship problems, and you’d, unfortunately, be right. The first four songs on the CD were already his recently released singles, and go from wanting someone bad, to needing someone to let him go, and back again. It’s a relationship roller coaster that had me begging to get off.


With a sudden John Mayer vibe and amazing vocal talent, it’s no wonder how one can love each song he makes, but together, Illuminate just becomes way too repetitive. At some point, I literally wanted to scream “we get it, Shawn! You have the hots for someone and lots of relationship problems! Stop the pity party and get on with it.”

The whole CD isn’t a total loss though, Upon a second and third listen, I started to really understand what he was going for with Illuminate. he wanted to show how he was getting older, not only vocally, but mentally and physically. After I realized this myself, I began to listen closely to his lyrics, and even found myself beginning to tap my toes to them. The individual songs are really surprising, especially songs like Treat You Better, which features a domestically abusive boyfriend in the music video, Mercy, Three Empty Words, and Honest. All of these songs not only highlight Shawn’s talent for singing, but also his writing. Each have a unique quality that are so indescribably beautiful that I can’t help listening to them on repeat for hours.

I’d like to lie to you all out of loyalty for Shawn, and say that I loved this CD completely, but that would be dishonest and wouldn’t do this article justice. Overall, this CD is not worth the 11 dollars I paid for it, and I’m so glad I decided not to go with the 16 dollar version with bonus songs. I still adore him with all my heart, and his soul shattering vocals are still the highlight of my life, but my hopes for Shawn Mendes’ second CD were sadly not satisfied. If I had to rate Illuminate on a scale of 1 to 10, I would unfortunately only rate it at about a 6.