These days, all it takes for new talent to be discovered is for something to go viral. Like teen idols such as Justin Bieber and Austin Mahone before him, 16 year old Shaun Mendes already has gone viral on social media.
After his debut single and some high-profile performances, he is already onto ‘something big’: a support slot for stadium-filling country-pop juggernaut Taylor Swift on the US leg of her upcoming 1989 World Tour next year.
Something Big, the teen’s new single, counts down as if to announce Mendes is the new Bieber or Cody Simpson. A ‘whoa oh oh oh’ hook is a cute attempt to kick the track off with a bang. A monotonous melody and bit of wordiness in the verses are occasionally interrupted by a ‘something’s in the air’ hook, whose repetition ends up being unrewarding.
There’s the obligatory, mundane guitar solo to break things up. And there goes that ‘ whoa oh oh oh’ hook again. After a few times, it begins to grate as each instance sounds the same with the band grinding to a halt. Perhaps the point of this riff is to stop listeners in their tracks and reach the back of the stadiums that Mendes will soon play at. However, each hook generates diminishing returns as the hook’s impact gets weaker with each repeat. At least change up the hook a bit here and there! It doesn’t help that the background synth bass behind the riff also sounds as bombastic as something off a cheesy 1970s variety show.
At least Mendes, despite doubletracking, sounds like he can sing as evident in the odd belt here and there. Something Big will not be easy to forget but not easy to last either, as it doesn’t have a pull that will make it memorable.