Track Review | Shawn Mendes, ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’
Shawn Mendes returns with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” a new addition to 2017 editions of his sophomore album, ‘Illuminate.’
After releasing Illuminate in September 2016, Shawn Mendes returns with a new single, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” arrives on new editions of Illuminate as the first track. How does the new addition stack up? Good, but it doesn’t break new ground – it’s not transcendent.
From a first listen, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” has some of the same qualities as Mendes’ past work, but also has its differences. Here, the groove particularly stands out, separating itself from other songs. It’s a bit odd, but there’s a funkiness to it that gives it a similar infectiousness. The production as a whole is also unique, but feels a bit too hollow. While every song doesn’t require an orchestra, at times, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” feels too stripped. Still, it has its musical moments.
The song itself isn’t particularly cutting edge either. Essentially, this girl has got Shawn Mendes completely crazy. This is a familiar, oft cliché theme. It all starts from the first line of the first verse of the song: “I wanna follow where she goes.” There’s nothing to decode from that simple line, uttered an infinite amount of times from men worldwide. On the chorus, Mendes – who is young to his credit – amps up the drama of the effect she has on him:
“Oh, I’ve been shaking / I love it when you go crazy / You take all my inhibitions / Baby, there’s nothing holding me back / You take me places that tear up my reputation / Manipulate my decisions / Baby there’s nothing holding me back.”
Love can cause folks to go crazy. But still, isn’t S.M. being a bit overdramatic? He gets a pass though – he’s 18.
All in all, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” is good, but not ggame-changing In regards to its sound, it seems a bit unfinished. It is finished, but even with the excellent guitar riff and percussive touches of the production, it seems like it could use a fuller sound at times. Regardless, Shawn Mendes remains a compelling singer with a distinctive, cutting voice. Once more, he shines here.