Hey guys! Today's post is going to be a fun one because I'm talking about one of my favorite artists on the planet. Last night Ed Sheeran released his highly anticipated third album titled Divide. I have listened to the collection of songs maybe two or three times because I really wanted to give you guys a first impression of the record. I'm also going to give shoutouts to my favorite lyrics because that's something Sheeran is known for and usually does very well.
So here's a track by track review of Ed Sheeran's new album. Enjoy! (FYI, I'm skipping the three songs that have been out for a bit, sorry!)
So at first listen this song is one of my favorites. I love Sheeran's more rap songs, and I think the hook in this song really meshes the two halves of his music together. The little guitar riff that carries on through the song makes it really engaging and memorable.
Favorite Lyric: "Welcome to the new show. I guess you know I've been away, where I'm heading who knows. My heart will stay the same."
My first thought when listening to this song was good vocals. Sometimes I think under all the cutesy words and fun beats, some forget that Sheeran has a great voice, and he really shows off his range on this track. It's not only that he's hitting the right notes, you can also hear the emotion in his voice. I'm also a huge fan of the guitar solo toward the end. I could see this one becoming one of the next singles.
Favorite Lyric: "So don't call me baby unless you mean it. Don't tell me you need me if you don't believe it."
The new wedding song. Now I'm probably going to get tomatoes thrown at me for this, but I'm not super into this song. Maybe it's because I'm just naturally bitter, but I'm thinking of songs like Tenerife Sea and Photograph, and I just find those songs much more personal and romantic. Maybe this track will be one of those that grows on me.
Favorite Lyric: "I found a love to carry more than just my secrets."
4. Galway Girl
This is another song that became an instant favorite for me. From the first line, I was pulled in. The chorus is very catchy, and the Irish fiddle gives a sweet preview for the rest of the album. I wrote "very unashamedly Irish" in my notes. If only I knew what was coming later in the album. In all seriousness though, this song is definitely an experiment that I think paid off.
Favorite Lyric: "She took Jamie as a chaser, Jack for the fun. She got Arthur on the table, with Johnny riding as a shotgun."
My first thought was why does a song titled happier sound sad? All jokes aside though, this song is one of the more raw and genuine tracks on the record. I was actually really surprised to find out that Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, co-wrote this song with Sheeran. I love OneRepublic, but I've never heard this much of an emotional ballad come from them. For Sheeran, it was perfect though, and I'm also dying over his falsetto toward the end.
Favorite Lyric: "Everything's reminding me of you. Nursing an empty bottle and telling myself you're happier. Aren't you?"
6. New Man
Okay this might be another controversial opinion. I'm sorry. This song is funny, which Sheeran does but usually it is less obvious. I think this song works, and it doesn't. There are certain parts of the song that sound forced, but then there are other parts of the song that I genuinely like. This track is definitely one that is growing on me, but when I first listened to it, I was not really a fan.
Favorite Lyric: "Baby, I'm not tryin' to ruin your week, but you act so differently when you're with him. I know you're lonely"
7. Hearts Don't Break Around Here
This was the first slower song on the record that I fell in love with immediately. This track is just very soft and lovely. It doesn't need to be a big production or grand gesture of love. I wrote the word genuine three times in a row when I was putting down my thoughts on first listen. Sheeran just has a way of writing exactly what people go through. It's relatable and honest.
Favorite lyric: "She is the sweetest thing that I know. Should see the way she holds me when the lights go low."
8. What Do I Know?
I love the meaning of this song a lot. I think it's very cute, and it changes up the traditional love song formula. I also think this kind of takes the funny approach without being forced like New Man is at times. Sheeran sounds really good in this song, and his high harmony in the chorus is one of the best parts of the track.
Favorite Lyric: "Love can change the world in a moment, but what do I know?"
9. Supermarket Flowers
This song broke my heart. After a first listen, I had tears streaming down my face. That is true talent to convey such powerful emotions and make it applicable for people across cultures and generations. This song was written about Sheeran's grandma who passed away during the writing portion of the album. The personal touches in this song are so beautiful and heartbreaking. I thank Sheeran for sharing something so personal with so many people.
Favorite Lyric: The whole song. I genuinely can't choose.
Another one of my favorite songs. For me, it's a bit personal because just a couple of months ago I was in Barcelona, and I really think this song captures the essence of the city. This track is very catchy and fun, and it transports me back to the city a little bit. I do think the Spanish speaking part close to the end is a bit much, but it might grow on me. Just off the bat it seemed a little cheesy.
Favorite Lyric: "We’re flying on an airplane tonight. We’re going somewhere where the sun is shining bright. Just close your eyes and let’s pretend to dance in the streets of Barcelona."
11. Bibia Be Ye Ye
Well I have to admit my first thought when listening to this song was what's up with the title? After some research I've found out the title is in the language Twi, which is spoken in Ghana, and means all will be well. The song was written in Ghana and features Ed saying other phrases in Twi. I loved this song before knowing the background, but now that I know that bit of information I love it even more. You can definitely get a sense of the tropical tone that Sheeran was going for, and I just really love the variation of sounds on this entire record.
Favorite Lyric: "I lost my shoes last night. I don't know where I put my keys."
12. Nancy Mulligan
You remember when I thought Galway Girl was really Irish. Yeah that song was nothing compared to this one. If you wanted Ed Sheeran to start making Irish folk music then you will really like this album. I love the fact that this album cannot really be put into one genre. Sheeran is always trying to do something new and different, which I can respect. With that said though, I'm not sure I like this song. Sorry.
Favorite Lyric: "I was twenty-four years old when I met the woman I would call my own."
13. Save Myself
I thought I knew my favorite song on this record, and then this song came up. This song is another one of those tracks where Sheeran is able to convey so much emotion. His vocals are great in this song, but I think the meaning of this track is what makes it one of my favorites. It's an inspiring message, and I don't know how much strategy went behind putting this song last, but I think it was a great idea. Lovely to go out on a message of self care and acceptance.
Favorite lyric: "So before I save someone else, I've got to save myself"
Guys this album is pretty great. I want to reserve making judgement on the whole album as a whole and whether I prefer another Sheeran album over this one until I listen to it more. I need to listen to the music and really absorb it, but based on the first couple listens, I did really enjoy it. I think Sheeran made a lot of musical risks that in some ways paid off, and in other ways didn't. All in all though, it's an album that everyone should at least take a listen to, so listen below along with some oldies to get you in the Ed Sheeran mood.