Ed Sheeran – ÷

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Ed Sheeran has finally dropped his brand new 3rd studio album,  called ‘Divide’ but stylized as ‘ ÷’, after his previous albums ‘Multiply’ stylized as ‘X’ and ‘Addition,’ stylized as, you guessed it, ‘+’. 

The album follows not so long after two lead singles off the album ‘Shape of You,’ and ‘Castle on the Hill,’ and promotional tracks ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’, and the Stormzy remix of ‘Shape of You,’ which of course, features English grime artist, Stormzy.

Since it’s release, it has broken some huge records like taking the top 16 spots of Spotify’s worldwide charts, got Ed that 1 billion mark on his YouTube channel just on Divide songs alone, and plenty more.

Safe to say Ed’s return was long awaited, and with anticipation too.


Review

1. Eraser
A touching opening for an album. Ed revisits growing up and ‘chasing those dreams’ as his father apparently once told him. It’s literally a nostalgic trip through the years and realising that he has now made it, and reminiscing through the adventure to where he is now gives him the strength and moral to carry on. It’s a very honest song, and the production along with it is great. Has a little guitar riff throughout the song that sticks to your mind.
Rate /10: 7

2. Castle on the Hill
This whole song is just magic. The lyrics are honest and beautiful, and every emotions runs right through you through every second of the song. If you really pay attention to the song, I guess you start to reminisce about your own childhood and think about the good memories and the good people in your life that maybe are still in your life, or maybe not. but are never forgotten, whether that’s your best friends, your first love, it’s still nice to shed some light on the good times on when you were younger and how happy you were in that very moment. Aw.
Rate /10: 8

3. Dive
Taking a more slow approach into emotion. Dive serves as a love song, obviously. Unfortunately I would say this one gets a little boring sort of midway, and you lose any attention, or just zone in and out every so often. The one thing I will say, like in true Ed Sheeran style, you can expect some honest raw lyrics in there, that some of you hopeless romantics can relate to.
Rate /10: 6

4. Shape of You
BABY I DON’T NEED DOLLAR BILLS TO HAVE… No? Not that song? Could have had me fooled. Of course I’m joking, but upon initial listening you could have definitely had this down as a Sia song. I must honestly admit, I’m not sure about this whole new sound for Ed. I might find that after a few listens that it becomes my favourite track of the year, however, listening to it for the first time, I can’t say I was overly ecstatic after listening to it. I feel like it’s missing something. I don’t get any “oomph” from it. Also after hearing it on the radio constantly, it still doesn’t get any better from upon initial listening.
It has a catchy beat, and infectious guitar playing, and Ed, as always kills the vocals, however putting it together, I sort of feel like this a jigsaw piece missing from the complete set.
Rate /10: 6

5. Perfect
This is going to be one of those songs in about 10-15 years time that everyone will be having their first dance at their wedding too. I bet you. Again, we jump right back into the slower side of things, and again, it’s one you just zone in and out of. I love a ballad, so I know this isn’t me being rude or me having an attention span of a fish, but it’s just not doing it for me. It’s predictable. I don’t like predictable.
Rate /10: 5

6. Galway Girl
Bringing his roots together, Ed explores and uses the Irish approach with the traditional Irish flute and a guitar, with a modern twist. It’s very catchy, and tells you a story about an English man and an Irish lady falling in love. If you keep your attention to the song, you can visualise the story happening in your head, and it actually makes the song a whole lot more enjoyable. One of the best on the album so far.
Rate /10: 7

7. Happier
Wow. Honestly, never ever thought I would cry to an Ed Sheeran song. This is so heartbreaking. This is that song if you ever need a cry after a break up, or even if you just miss someone. Everyone can relate to a song like this, so the fact that Ed literally sung how everyone perceives it, makes it more magical, and beautiful, a little more heart wrenching too, but we all need a good cry once in a while. We’re human after all.
Rate /10: 9

8. New Man
The thing I like about Ed Sheeran is that you know he will never sway too far from home when it comes to writing music. This song for example literally describes 76% of guys in the UK right now as well as around 80% of young relationships these days, and it is just legendary. Ed also probably goes down as probably the only person to mention someone getting their asshole bleached in a song. Iconic.
Rate /10: 8

9. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
If you ever need to be jealous of a relationship because you’re single and no one loves you, or have just broken up with someone and want to keep crying after listening to track 7, then this is the song for you. It’s a cute little number of Ed just informing whoever he’s singing to that he won’t leave her, or break her heart. If you’re that lonely, then I guess you can just pretend he’s singing to you. I wouldn’t say it’s as out there and as enjoyable as the last two, but it’s a cute little finish from what was a heartbreak, then an independent song. Right in those feelings.
Rate /10: 7

10. What Do I Know?
Not sure what really to write about on this one. The song kind of speaks for itself. It’s a chilled song, nothing to in your face. I guess the moral of the story from this song that came across to me was just not only one person can change the world. It’s problems, events, everything wrong with the world, of course starts with one person, but one person can’t change everything. Although the idea maybe there, it takes everyone to work together to change things for the better good. That’s what I got from it anyway, but what do I know?
Rate /10: 7

11. How Would You Feel (Paean)
This one is pretty run-in-the-mill compared to some of the more grittier, Ed songs. Although carefully polished and composed it serves more as a setback on the album compared to some of the others. On an album full of ballads, I guess it’s hard to maintain continuity, edginess and uniqueness with everyone so perhaps it’s me just maybe being an asshole and asking for too much, or perhaps it’s just too in-your-face-with-an-album-full-of-the-same-ballads. When you get this far down of the tracklist and having listening to the rest of the ballads of the album this one comes no surprise as one you may want to skip.
Rate /10: 6

12. Supermarket Flowers
In this wispy tribute to his grandmother, Ed shows his more vulnerable side in this gentle composure. It’s as almost as if he’s telling the story from two sides in some way. His side, and his mothers. It definitely pulls on the heart strings and is obvious that this is one of the most important songs on the album for Ed.
Rate /10: 8

Deluxe tracks

13. Barcelona
So we are now transported to the sunny streets of Spain where throughout this song, I pictured white buildings by the beach, with the sun beaming down, with my friends and a bottle of god knows what strolling to the beach listening to this song. What beautiful imagery that was. If Ed doesn’t release this song nearer to the summertime I am happy to press charges for… false advertising… Anywho, this song is a right pick me up for anyone having a bad day, and serves actually as one of the best songs on the album.
Rate /10: 8

14. Bibia Be Ye Ye
You know, if Ed keeps making music like this and ‘Barcelona’ then I may become a superfan. Ed sure knows how to make those feel good summer songs, and certainly knows how to transport us to different locations of the world. This one has more African infused influences of the song and is a truly certified bop.
Rate /10: 8

15. Nancy Mulligan
So now we’re off to Ireland where Ed tells us an insider about how his grandmother, Nancy, met his grandfather, William, and it’s not a only a brilliant song, it’s a genuinely lovely story about two lovers rebelling against their everyday lives and their families to be together and to be happy. Well we can only Nancy and William for doing so, otherwise we wouldn’t have Ed telling us such a beautiful story.
Rate /10: 8

16. Save Myself
What a beautiful ending to this album. Really puts into perspective of people who always put others before themselves and end up unhappy, or end up facing consequences for doing so, and this song really makes you appreciate the person you are, and that sometimes you are the priority.
Rate /10: 8

Album percentage – 73%


Conclusion

I remember years ago when Ed Sheeran first stepped onto the music scene with his debut album, and I remember this mad buzz about him, but honestly, his music just bored me. He, at first to me, seemed like another guy with a guitar from the UK just trying to make it into the business and become this next egotistical asshole. The song ‘A Team,’ used to drive me up the wall, and I remember for my brothers birthday I bought him the album for his birthday, and I felt disgusted buying it.
Fast forward a few years and then Ed releases his second album and the songs ‘Sing,’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ I surprised myself by actually finding that I liked them. I listened to a few songs on the album and decided that Ed had a few OK songs on there, but wasn’t going to be a lover of his music anytime soon, and that was that.  Fast forward a few years later from that, and then he releases ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill,’ and it just appealed to me that he was trying to release music purposely just for the record sales and not necessarily for the music and it infuriates me when someone has a record deal and doesn’t take artistry that well, so I went back to thinking he was that egotistical asshole.

I would just like to apologise and probably admit that I was wrong. This is the first album of Ed’s that I have listened to the whole way through, and I’ve been putting it off for days knowing that I guess I had to do it, but didn’t quite want to giving what I was currently thinking of him at the time. This album is incredible. It has a few minor bumps along the way, but thinking about the whole thing as an entire piece, it really is fantastic.

There were songs on there that made me smile, there songs that had me crying, there were songs on there that made me think about certain experiences in my own personal life, whether good or bad. It was just a journey in itself.

I love how Ed has not only shared some personal things within his music through lyrics, but also the sounds too. As people will know, Ed took time out to travel the world for a little bit, and he has obviously brought that to the music, and it pays off. Not only that, but he has shared with the world more about his family, and his roots, as you will notice if you listen to the album that there a few songs that have Irish influences. Another thing that I love about this album is how raw and honest the lyrics are. There are no cliché lyrics within this album whatsoever, and you can really relate to a lot of things this albums messages tell.

It seemed at first that this album was just going to be an album full of songs that were radio friendly crap that you hear all the time, but actually it’s not. Ed has cleverly deciphered the things people want to hear, and the things that people relate to in their day to day lives, and life messages that everyone will go through and has put the two together to make people listen and really relate to this stuff and enjoy it, and honestly, I am one of those people.

This is undoubtedly the best Ed Sheeran album, and undoubtedly one of the best albums released so far this decade, possibly millennium.

Favourite song? Happier or Barcelona

Is it worth buying? Hell yes.

#1? Of course.


Support Ed Sheeran

Get ‘÷’ here:
iTunes (Standard)
iTunes (Deluxe)
Google Play (Standard)
Google Play (Deluxe)
Amazon (Standard)
Amazon (Deluxe)

Stream ‘÷’ here:
Apple Music
Spotify
TIDAL

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