LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: Shawn Mendes performs at Staples Center on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harmony Gerber/WireImage)

Hidden Hits: Shawn Mendes’ “Bad Reputation”

Here at CelebMix, we love a good hit single. However, some singles never achieve the success they truly deserved. Therefore, we present to you our latest weekly feature – ‘Hidden Hits’. Within this feature, we will discuss a ‘hidden hit’, discuss the success it achieved, the success it should’ve achieved and why it should’ve achieved that success.

He is one of the most influential young singers present in the music industry. Vine might have been credited with Shawn Mendes’ viral outreach amongst the music listeners but it could have justified his success as an artist only till a certain period of time. Attributing an artist’s success to a medium of interaction over the work itself shows a misleading interpretation on the part of the observer.

Mendes’ success as an artist should really be attributed to his “sensible” musicality which is not acquired but is inherent in the singer. His songs including debut singles like “Show You” make it quite evident.

Considering his influence at the moment, it would come as a surprise to any music listener that some of his songs haven’t received their due attention and recognition. They might have gained visibility thanks to his “popular” songs but they, unfortunately, got lost among the humdrum of fans’ fascination for just the “popular few”.

One such song is “Bad Reputation”. The song was one of the singles off Mendes’ album “Illuminate”. When compared with “Stitches” and “Treat You Better”, the theme that “Bad Reputation’ deals with is much darker. It takes one back to The French Lieutenant’s Woman where the female protagonist in the opening lines of the novel is judged for taking the sidewalk. She is nameless for the society as she has a past with the mischievous French Lieutenant whom she loved but who left her without any explanation.  This is just one aspect of the story that has no relation to the truth that is revealed at the end of the novel. The main idea of both the novel and Mendes single is that the “truth” is often lost when judgment and gossip are preferred over communication. Mendes’ female protagonist is “talked about” and not “talked to”. Throughout the song, he makes an attempt to bridge the gap.

The song speaks for all those people who are caricatured under certain categories that take away their real identity. While everyone is responsible for the consequent trauma caused due to such uninformed categorization, no one ever owns up to their mistake.

Even in terms of musicality, the song might be categorized as “pop” but the tone leans toward ballad giving it the right weight and gravity. As important as the song is in terms of its subject matter and as a proof of Mendes’ maturity as a songwriter, it is saddening it see fans paying less attention to it.

It’s commonly observed that while people look for ways to change the trend, they often distance themselves from the works and people who actually make an attempt to disrupt the scene. From a young singer like Mendes, songs like “Bad Reputation” would not have been expected but throughout his journey, he has made a point to show that his vitality lies in his courageous decision to experiment with themes that are not so commonplace, even now.

What do you think of our new ‘Hidden Hit’ feature? Check out our past features on Mura Musa and Taylor Swift’s singles.

What did you think of Shawn Mendes’ “Bad Reputation”? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Ayushi

Hi! I am Ayushi from India. The only thing that is consistent about me is my passion for writing and reading. Weaving words to form a story is the best thing I know and the only thing I want to do.
"Writer by nature is a dreamer, a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

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