Decoding Shawn Mendes Album, Who Are Songs About

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Shawn Mendes: The Album is finally here and ready to be downloaded and we. are. ALIVE. Now that we’ve had the chance to listen to Shawn Mendes‘ third studio creation a few more times than we are willing to admit, we’re not only starting to memorize the lyrics to the songs he didn’t release previously, but also try our hand at decoding it.

Fans have already decided that the song “Why” is about Camila Cabello and he’s been open about how “Youth” was inspired by the Manchester terrorist attack. But what about all the other jam-worthy tracks? Join as as we work on decoding Shawn Mendes: The Album and please feel free to add your two cents in the comments below; we can always use some help from the Mendes Army!

“In My Blood”

Fans were #blessed on March 22 when Shawn dropped the album’s lead single, “In My Blood.” To be perfectly honest, fans weren’t sure what to expect from this new era, but upon listening to the tune for the first time, it became instantly clear that this would be one of his most personal projects to date.

Days before the track was released, Shawn tweeted, “This song is the closest song to my heart that I’ve ever written,” and now that we’ve had it on repeat for two months, we couldn’t agree more. The brave and vulnerable song is about Shawn’s struggle with anxiety, which is a huge departure from his past tracks about love and heartbreak.

In an interview with Billboard, the teen explained, “I’m really proud of it. I think, especially, comparing that to all of my other music — I love all of my other songs, but… it was all kind of more vague topics about a relationship, and this is my first time breaking into something that’s more serious and more about me.”


Shawn has been teasing the release of this new album for months now, but even as the release date got closer, he continued dropping new tracks. “Nervous,” which he co-wrote with Julia Michaels, was dropped just two days before the album’s official release,and it’s all about struggling to keep your cool when you’re around your crush. Hey… we’ve all been there!

Of all of the songs the crooner has released, this one is one of the most mature and it also has fans buzzing about who it could possibly be about. On Twitter, people have not-so-surprisingly whipped up a theory that it’s about none other than Hailey Baldwin. Apparently, the lyrics “I saw you on a Sunday in a cafe” match up with his first meeting with the model, which happened on a Sunday in a restaurant. Hmm…

“Lost in Japan”

One of Shawn’s absolute favorite things about this new album is that the songs are so different from each other in terms of genre. “In my Blood,” for example, is more rock, whereas “Lost In Japan” gives off more of a funk vibe.

When it comes to this particular track, SM told Billboard that it was actually heavily inspired by a dream dream he had, as well as all of the Justin Timberlake music he was listening to while creating the album. He said, “I had this dream that I was lost in this country and I woke up the next day and we had this cool piano part and the song was birthed.” So cool!

“Where Were You in the Morning?”

Just because Shawn gets more vulnerable about issues such as mental health on this album doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have its fair share of heartbreak songs, too. According to Billboard, “Where Were You In The Morning?” is a “melancholy tale of a one-night stand who bailed on him the next morning without so much as a good-bye.” We know… who would do that to our beloved prince that is Shawn Mendes?!

This was yet another track that the 19-year-old released ahead of the album’s official release date. The truth of the matter is, we’re all familiar with the feeling of abandonment, and this song captures it perfectly.

Although fans are itching to know whether or not it’s based on a real experience Shawn had, we still don’t quite have an answer. And, if you’re wondering who it’s about (and LBR, who isn’t?!), we hate to tell you… we may never know.

“Like to Be You”

When Shawn released the album’s tracklist, fans were absolutely freaking out over the collaborations. And now that it has officially arrived, they seriously can’t keep their chill. “Like to Be You” is one of two songs that features another artist, and it’s none other than Julia Michaels herself.

What we love so much about this track is that Shawn and Julia take on the roles two people in a relationship that’s going through a rough patch. In each of their respective verses, they admit that their communication is poor and that they don’t know what it’s like to be in the others’ shoes.

While it’s unclear at this point who this song is about exactly, we do know that it’s one that his fans — especially if they’re in relationships — will be able to relate to. Yeah… we definitely have this one on repeat.

“Fallin’ All in You”

If you’re anything like us, you probably thought “Fallin’ All in You” sounded a whole lot like an Ed Sheeran song. Turns out, there’s a good reason for that! Shawn actually co-wrote this song with the Brit and Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol, so it all makes sense now.

If you were looking for a sweet love song similar to “Thinking Out Loud” or “Perfect,” this one is definitely it. It is all about how lucky Shawn is to have his love interest in his life, singing, “You are bringing out a different kind of me,” and “Make love, then we fight / Laugh ’cause it was only meant to be for one night baby.” Uhh…We are SHOOK.

Again, there’s no word yet on who this song is about, but we have faith that members of the Mendes Army will be able to figure it out. Plus, based on fan reactions on Twitter, it seems like this one’s an immediate fan fave.

“Particular Taste”

Prince? Is that you?

“Particular Taste” is a sexy tune that was obviously inspired by one girl in particular (no pun intended), but it’s not immediately clear who. One quick Twitter search shows that fans are tweeting Shawn constantly with questions about who this favorite is about, but he has yet to respond (SIGH). So as we wait for him to HOPEFULLY give us some details, let’s break down what we know.

The girl in question likes Kanye West music (“only dances when it’s Kanye”), doesn’t like phone conversations (“never pickin’ up a bone unless it rings twice / only answers with a question) and made Shawn Mendes “obsessed with her.”

Mendes Army, do your thing!


“Why” is one song off Shawn Mendes: The Album that’s really getting people talking. Here’s how the tune starts:

“I know a girl, she’s like a curse / We want each other, no one will break first / When people ask about us, now, we just brush it off / I don’t know why we act like it means nothing at all / I wish that I could tell you that you’re all that I want, yeah.”

OK…seems pretty generic so far. But then he throws in, “When I hear you sing, it gets hard to breathe / Can’t help but think every song’s about me / And every line, every word that I write / You are the muse in the back of my mind, oh.”

Ding ding ding we have a winner! Fans were quick to conclude that “Why” is about none other than Camila Cabello, the 19-year-old’s best friend who he has denied dating for years.

Could it be Shawn’s way of admitting that he was in love with Cam all along and regrets not taking the friendship further? Absolutely!

“Because I Had You”

If you like Justin Bieber‘s “Love Yourself,” you’re going to be obsessed with Shawn’s “Because I Had You.” But while the tunes have a similar strum pattern, their messages are quite different; “LY” is basically a big eff you to someone and “BIHY” is quite the opposite — it’s about letting go of someone you love even though you don’t want to.

“It’s time for me to finally meet somebody new / Take her to all the places that I took us too / And she might help me forget that loving her is something I could never do / Because I had you.”

Some fans speculate that this is an ode to ex-girlfriend Lauren Arendse, who much of his previous albums were written about. But things get a bit confusing because Shawn also sings, “Does your sister ask about me?” and Laur has a brother.

So who’s someone the 19-year-old has been linked to in the past that has a sister that he could’ve written this about? That’s up to you to decide…*cough*CamilaCabello*cough*


If “Queen” was about someone in particular, we’d need to know ALLLLL the details because that’s some tea. But, according to the Canadian crooner himself, the sassy tune is “not about somebody in particular.”

“Honestly, it’s a vague concept going out to everybody that’s like that,” he tells EW. “It’s not about somebody in particular. I just hate people who think they’re better than other people. There’s no reason to. It just bugs me, man.”

He continues, “My least favorite trait in somebody is when you can feel them acting like they’re more important than you, and I just had to write a song about it. I thought the best way to talk about it was to be like, ‘You’re not the queen of a country.”



If you watched the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, you know “Youth” by Shawn and Khalid is one of the most powerful songs of the moment.

The tune was written after the terrorist attack that happened at Ariana Grande‘s concert in Manchester last year. The 19-year-old wanted to create something to remind listeners to not let horrible events completely change their outlook on life.

Shawn explained, “When I texted [Khalid], I said when we get together, we have to make a statement. We have to move. We have to write about what’s going on in life and how the youth is feeling because I think we have the voice to do that.”