Review: Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back (Pop) Drew Wilson | May 22, 2019 This review covers the pop track Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back. This track was released in 2016 on the album Illuminate. The track starts with an acoustic guitar element. Shortly after, the vocals come in with a rather odd bass guitar. After a rather acoustic section, a more electric guitar element comes in. This electric guitar is backed by the acoustic-like guitar before the track chops off. From there, the bass guitar comes back along with the vocals. When the main chorus comes in,a more electric guitar sound comes back in before being layers with the acoustic one. The track then chops again and the vocals backed by the bass guitar element comes in again. The track builds up in the same way as the first two times again. Suddenly, everything but the vocals drops out and the track finishes off with a final couple of words in the lyrics. This track came into my music list in an interesting time. The tracks up to now so far this year have been pretty solid. In fact, I started wondering if there is even going to be a dud this year. Well, it seems like we have our first clunker of a track. The first thing that struck me, and not in a good way, is the acoustic guitar. I’m normally fine with acoustic guitars. In this case, it sounds like the guitar is badly tuned somehow. It just sounds bad. No matter what kind of musical environment I can imagine this guitar in, I can’t think of one that would make it not either sound bad or be a giant boat anchor dragging the quality of the track down. The worst part about it is that it’s such a major part of the track on top of it all. Meanwhile, the electric guitar is not that bad. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the producers thought it would be an awesome idea to layer an acoustic guitar with an electric one. In the end, it just didn’t work and the track just sounds off. Chances are, an electric guitar is going to more or less drown out the acoustic guitar. What’s left is a bit of an audible clutter. The vocals didn’t really do the track any favours either. Like a number of mainstream acts I’ve heard in the past, this track suffers from the dreaded mumbling. Supposedly, it’s supposed to make the track sound more heart felt somehow, but in this case, it just made some of the lyrics lose meaning. Finally, the lyrics cover themes that just fall flat. The themes already have been beaten to death in this genre. On top of it all, there really isn’t much in the way of creativity here. Because of this, the lyrics are quite stale. Overall, this track just isn’t that great. The acoustic guitar sounds bad. The bass guitar sounds a bit awkward. Meanwhile, the vocals are mumbled through and the lyrics are stale. Even the electric guitar did nothing to save this track. A track with almost everything holding it back as far as quality is concerned. Score 4/10 Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.