Shawn Mendes • Treat You Better – Single • Island • Release Date: 6.3.16
Shawn Mendes has had a big year, spanning 2015 and 2016. Think about it – how many 17 year olds can boast at having just a smidgen of the success Mendes has had. One hit single – One “Stitches” – would’ve been enough to have made Mendes one to watch. But no, the kid added a platinum-certified album to the mix with Handwritten, not to mention other highly decorated singles. So what does the rising artist do? He continues to rise or makes sure that he “stays hot” while his fame is at its peak. That means that Mendes dropped a new single, “Treat You Better.”
How does “Treat You Better” stack up? Well in all honesty, it doesn’t sound dramatically different from “Stitches.” Yes, “Treat You Better” and “Stitches” are two different songs, but “Treat You Better” doesn’t find the Canadian heartthrob changing much. Is that okay at this point of Mendes’ career and the height of his fame? Yes definitely. “Treat You Better” should please Shawn Mendes fans because he’s playing to his base and staying true to the material he offered on Handwritten. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “Treat You Better” will definitely play best to a hardcore Shawn Mendes fan.
The success of “Treat You Better” among fans probably won’t translate as well (if at all) to as more casual/fair-weather fans or non-fan who will assert, “what’s the big deal?” As the owner of Handwritten and a more casual fan, personally, “Treat You Better” was merely okay. Call it an adequate musical moment but not cutting edge.
No one will deny Mendes has “the package.” He’s got the looks and he definitely has a respectable voice, though by no means is it transcendent or otherworldly. But in order for Mendes to expand his base as he gets older and more more mature, he will have to “step out of the box.” “Treat You Better” is fine for now, but is it a song that will stand the test of time? No. How many songs have we heard possessing a similar sentiment? Too many!