• Ryan Hope

'Summer of Love' by Shawn Mendes: A Repetitive, Simplistic Slog of a Summer Song


Summer of Love, the collaborative effort between heartthrob Shawn Mendes and producer Tainy, sees the Canadian songwriter stay well within his lane as a pin-up pop crooner; this time over an uninspired beat and with remarkably unimpressive vocals.

Mendes has carved himself out a comfortable niche writing seductive, lofi-esque pop bangers, though makes no attempt to explore outside this comfort zone on this track, instead sticking to his usual raspy timbre while singing almost-tacky lyrics about his summer love interest. The second verse is far more commendable than the first, the syncopation between the flow of the lyrics and the beat: “meditation and tequila, calling you my señorita” is a short, but notably slick example of Mendes’ writing. But no amount of snazzy lyricism will cover the botched production that it’s laid over, nor improve the placid inflection its sung in.

Tainy takes a risk with the obscure chorus instrumental featuring a phased plucky string riff backed by a latin-dance beat, but goes nowhere with it. It’s an interesting musical concept, it sounds fresh - but isn’t developed at all throughout the track. It causes a barely three minute song to feel like five. The constant back and forth between Mendes lacklustre hook and the monotonous instrumental riff causes the track to have a jumpy flow, leaving no room for instrumental development or even a rising buildup to the breakdown itself. It’s a slog to listen to.

Seemingly, Shawn doesn’t really feel developing his sound past what he is comfortable doing. Surprisingly so, considering he said he wanted to move away from the toxic cycle of wanting to produce chart-topping hits, and instead focus on the art of the musical process. However this desire doesn’t manifest itself here at all. Its repetitive, simplistic and poorly produced.