"Bad Reputation" is also undeniably a beautifully touching song; its lyrics digs deep, using relatable words and phrases. Mendes, choosing such an issue and coming up with such a beautiful song, proves that he is an absolutely talented song writer, at such a young age - co-writers are Geoffrey Warburton, Scott Harris. Several versions of the song, by other singers, have been uploaded to various social websites, and each version carries its own taste; yet the song "Bad Reputation" ultimately belongs to Shawn Mendes, for he adds a special aromatic sensation to it, especially through his live performances. It can be approached from various angles, and here resides its beauty. Social conformity - she got a bad reputation, nobody gets too close; psychological struggles - she takes the long way home; mutual understanding - nobody knows the way that I, I know her, said; bad reputations - and all of my friends seen her naked; false adulthood - or so the story goes; and genuine approach - let me see what's underneath, all I need is you - are all themes which can be generated just by scratching the surface of the song. "She got a bad reputation" initiates the song smoothly, implying the fact that there is more to come and there is yet another face to the story. The indication to humans' similar mistakes in "Mistakes we all make them" brings to light the false masks people wear to cover up their trips and falls whilst wrongly and non-righteously condemning others. And each and every line carries various and different meanings, themes, ideas which invoke multiple, individualistic responses in the audience. Plus, the addition of the cello - & violins - to "Bad Reputation", in MTV unplugged version, is certainly a treat to our tastes.
All of the Canadian singer-songwriter's songs, in fact, induce multiple sorts of ideas and inordinately diverse themes. Shawn Mendes follows the method of the obvious, the subtle yet the meaningfully aesthetic and the provocative in creating his music, hence there is a great deal of similarity between the first album "Handwritten" and the second album "Illuminate", although "Illuminate" is characterized with his maturity and progressive, evolutionary artistry.
To some extent, modernism and diversity are Shawn Mendes' goals of creating his music. The only downside, prior to MTV unplugged, somehow, was the lack of the variety of instruments; for his songs - I believe - are primitively raw, bare, and most importantly, individually grasped and experienced; yet, if innumerable themes are drawn from his songs with just little utilization of some musical instruments, what genres of themes shall be drawn if more instruments are incorporated! Unlimited genres.
• written on 6th Nov. 2017