Photo via wowt.com.

4.5/5 Stars 

Shawn Mendes’ newest release, “When You’re Gone” is giving listeners a look into Mendes’ mind following the end of his most recent and first long-term relationship. As a debut single released in March, written by Mendes, Jonah Shy and Scott Harris, this song has been a work in progress since November 2021.

“When You’re Gone” was only released a couple of weeks ago, but it has already made its way to the number two spot on the iTunes Top 100 Pop Songs chart.

Fans have noticed a change in tone amongst Mendes’ recent songs, including “When You’re Gone,” which is more pop-rock than most of his other songs. His more recent work has also shifted from love songs to break-up songs. 

Mendes’ new single was inspired by his difficult and public breakup with 25-year-old pop artist Camila Cabello. Along with “It’ll Be Okay,” “When You’re Gone” is Mendes’ second song released since the end of his and Cabello’s relationship and gives listeners a look into how it can be difficult to process the loss of a loving relationship. 

“When You’re Gone” is touching, but upbeat and catchy, and the lyrics provide listeners with relatable and heartache-filled lines. The simplicity of the lyrics does not take away from the vulnerability of the song, but rather it allows listeners to feel and relate to the emotions in the song on a more personal level.

You’re slipping through my fingertips / A little bit, by a little bit / I didn’t know that loving you was the happiest I’ve ever been,” Mendes sings.

This vulnerability gives viewers insight about how Mendes was feeling about the end of his relationship, but is also simple enough to be open to interpretation so that listeners can relate the song to their lives as well.

While the overall reaction to last week’s release of “When You’re Gone” is positive, its criticism lies mostly in the overall generic feel of the song. Although fun and easy to listen to, the success of the song may be credited with Mendes’ already existing fame.

Avid Mendes fans will likely enjoy the song and seek it out. However, the song overall may have a hard time standing out amongst the abundance of pop-rock music that is now circulating through new-release playlists on Apple Music and Spotify.

Mendes fans and pop-rock lovers alike should pick up their heartbroken friends and head over to Apple Music or Spotify to give “When You’re Gone” a listen.