Track Review: Shawn Mendes, ‘Mercy’
With latest single “Mercy,” Shawn Mendes continues to successfully build momentum up to the release of sophomore album ‘Illumination’.
Canadian teen-pop heartthrob Shawn Mendes has been promoting his highly anticipated sophomore album, Illuminate, nonstop. Single after single, he has provided a snapshot of what his forthcoming album is going to sound like. All of his singles as of yet have been respectable, with the soulful “Ruin” showing more expressiveness and soulfulness than anything off his debut album, Handwritten. That soulfulness is reprised on fantastic single, “Mercy.”
Nice warm piano chords, coupled with Mendes’ hums initiate “Mercy.” Beautiful, thoughtful vocals arrive from Mendes, accompanied by piano and guitar. Pummeling drums and a shift from warm vocals to more expressive, soulful vocals characterize the refrain. Ultimately, this is a thoughtful contrast. The pummeling drums remain intact on the second verse.
Unsurprisingly, “Mercy” features a catchy chorus which is memorable from the first listen. Additionally, it features excellent vocal production, especially during the refrain where backing vocals support Mendes’ soulful lead. While it shares some of the same cues with “Stitches” and “Treat You Better,” it’s quite effective.
“Mercy” is a love song. While the topic is cliché (“please have mercy on my heart”), it’s both enjoyable and highly effective. It suits Mendes’ artistic lane without a hitch. The vocals are strong, with the backing vocals adding a soulful dimension. Overall, “Mercy” is sound with the potential to be a big hit.
Shawn Mendes • Illuminate • Island • Release: 9.23.16
Photo Credit: Island