Ed Sheeran – Divide
Divide pure talent by the wisdom of a man twice his age, and we get the astonishingly exhilarating and oftentimes overwhelming masterpiece that is Ed Sheeran’s new album. His music is fresh enough to feel novel and electrifying, yet will assuredly make its way to the masses again, abetted by familiar producers Benny Blanco and Johnny McDaid, and first-time Sheeran producers Labrinth and Steve Mac.
The British songwriter chooses to commence Divide by reminiscing with melancholy at the naivety of his former self’s aspirations through the upbeat, unexpectedly well-crafted, rap-pop opener Eraser. Unapologetically furious, bittersweet and intimate, Sheeran looks back at his treacherous journey through fame with an unrivalled sapience for his 26 years. Though it is melodically bland and uninteresting at times, the lyrics show the darker side of dreams in a colourful step towards an unfamiliar direction that is still reflective of older works such as Don’t.
Another instant Sheeran classic is crafted in Supermarket Flowers, a sorrowful yet hopeful tale of motherly love and yearning that is evocative of best friend Taylor Swift’s tracks The Best Day and Ronan. This may be the most personal song on the record, and its slow beat somehow fits right into the sometimes buoyant, other times ballad-esque album. The hardly processed, raw simplicity of this superbly moving tune somehow adds to the artistry of it.
The bonus track Save Myself features wistful, hopeful lyrics that are universally relatable, while the singer explores a new, Latin-tinged, energetic frontier with the danceable Barcelona, hiding graceful lyrics in the peppy song (something of a Sheeran trademark). Though it may seem tacky and borderline forced during the first play, Barcelona inevitably grows on the listener.
Playful, lighthearted, depressing, melancholy, passionate, redundant and novel are all accurate descriptions of Sheeran’s risk-taking Divide. It may be as universally cherished as his previous work, but for those who would like to know the artist in his own words and not in others’, Divide is his most beautiful and best album yet. While sometimes his valiant attempts to create a new sound feel confused, rushed, distracted, and not quite complete, the English singer-songwriter’s latest work rather resembles that of a misunderstood genius. In the end, the blend of new and old makes for another laudable release.
Divide is released on 3rd March 2017, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Castle on the Hill here: