I have to admit that, for a long time, I dismissed Shawn Mendes - who came to popularity by way of the video-sharing app Vine - quite out of hand. "Meh, he's just another one of those teens who can sing a few vocal runs and impress other teens"...that was maybe the kind of thinking I was guilty of.
It is true that his single "Stitches", which reached the top 10 in both the US and Canada, and number 1 in the UK, never quite did it for me. But that's music - it's not so much a matter of what's good or bad, but what we like or don't like.
It wasn't until I came across this live performance of "Ruin" that my perspective shifted. Sure, the song perhaps borrows directly from John Mayer's "Gravity", but it nonetheless comes off as genuine and finds strength in its simplicity. There are no guitar fireworks to be found, no overwhelming genius in the lyrics, but the song offers a solid vibe, a feeling to get lost in for a little bit. And at the center of it, driving the experience is Shawn's voice, which he seems to command effortlessly. This song, and the way I've been listening to it repeatedly, is enough to make me think I should listen to more of his music.