"Treat You Better," performed by Shawn Mendes / by Patrick Shea

Performer: "Treat You Better," is currently #1 on the Adult Pop Songs chart. Mendes' last single "Stitches," peaked at #4 on the Hot 100.

Writers: Shawn Mendes, Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris.

Title: A phrase; a little vague in the absence of a subject noun, but we get the idea.

BPM: 83

Length: 3:07

Structure: Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus

Points of Interest:

1) Like many recent hits, "Treat You Better," comes in under 3 minutes 30 seconds, with a BPM in the general neighborhood of 90. The song structure is also about as straightforward as can be; no drops, solos, double verse, or double chorus, for example. This is a very textbook song.

2) This song sounds like the Caribbean-influenced songs of The Police to me, especially the chorus and the shouted echo-y last line of the chorus. A lot of pop music recently has felt influenced by dancehall and other Caribbean music, so the song feels vaguely current in this respect, and somewhat like a watered-down reference of a reference.

3) While we are on the topic of The Police, "Treat You Better" reminds me of just how much most pop music is targeted at very young kids. I can't even remember how many songs I wrote in high school and college about how I'm a nice guy and how that girl I like should be dating me instead of that other guy who's totally a dick. Honestly, I was kind of shocked to see someone cranking out another song on the topic, but of course these ideas are always fresh to someone, even if they aren't fresh to me.

4) The syllabic stress of these lyrics generally match up very well with the rhythmic stress of the music, and so most of the lyrics sound natural and are easy to understand. But there are a couple of moments where words are awkwardly smashed in where they don't fit, and those moments really stand out. The first three lines of the chorus have many examples of those moments, and you feel things get suddenly awkward in contrast to the smooth sailing before and after.

5) Some of these lines are exceptionally vague, even for pop music. "This could be so different," for example, doesn't really refer to a better future or a problematic present, as neither the future or present have been established elsewhere in the song. Or when he says "Just know that you don't have to do this alone;" we don't know if he's talking about the hypothetical breakup, or some other difficulty that actually exists in her life already. All of these moments add up to being a lot of space that could have been used to make the song say something more unique and interesting.