Shawn Mendes and Justin BIeber sing in the video for the song "Monster."


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Kristin Smith

Album Review

Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes—two hugely popular performers whose careers both began on YouTube—have finally collaborated. And they have some pretty serious things to say on their latest track.

The song is called “Monster,” and it’s taken from Mendes’ latest album, Wonder. Together, both men wonder how long they’ll be villainized for the things they’ve done wrong.

The Present and The Past

Both Mendes and Bieber acknowledge that their fame and fortune has led to them being placed “on a pedestal,” one that they didn’t really ask for. And although it’s filled them “up with confidence,” they’re bound to fall. Why? Well, because they’re human.

Justin makes this clear as he talks openly about his past mistakes (“Made some bad moves tryna act cool, upset by they jealousy”) and how he can’t seem to escape the criticism. Yes, he takes full responsibility (“I’ll take responsibility for everything I’ve done”) but that hasn’t seemed to diffuse his critics’ hypocrisy (“Holdin’ it against me like you’re the holy one”).

Still, he moves forward in forgiveness (“I had a chip on my shoulder, had to let it go/’Cause unforgiveness keeps them in control”). But he and Mendes wonder, what happens when they slip again? (“And what if I sin?/And what if I break?”) And how will they be viewed? (“Then am I the monster?”).

Real Talk

“Monster” shows a side of Bieber and Mendes that is honest and transparent. Both men have done things they’re not proud of. Haven’t we all? But their message isn’t one of anger, it’s one of frustration. Will people always make them out to be “monsters” when they mess up? And if they weren’t so famous, would it matter as much?

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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