【track review】shawn mendes/ if I can’t have you

The nation’s twunk kicks off his next era with a song that’s a little safe, but manages to serve well as a sweet and sunny slice of things to come.

“If I Can’t Have You” flutters across its brisk three minute runtime with piano led choruses, minimal guitar fronted verses and a slightly shrill sounding Mendes crooning atop the instrumental. I don’t listen to enough of his music to know his vocal stylings very well, but he sounds both whiny and shaky? Don’t know if that was the goal, but it somehow works here.

The lack of a middle eight is the only sore spot here, as Mendes’ ad libs couldn’t exactly elevate the song to a memorable finale. Aside from that, “If I Can’t Have You” is still an uplifting track that may make it into your summer playlists and stay firmly put.

Stream it now on Apple Music.

Limited edition physical formats available on Shawn’s official website.


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