Ed Sheeran: ‘÷ (Divide)’ – Album Review

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Released: March 3, 2017

So before I conduct my review, I just wanna say that our favourite ginger musician Ed Sheeran just f-ing OBLITERATED the New Zealand charts yesterday, with not only a dozen of tracks entering the top ten, but EVERY GOD DAMN SONG from the album charting on the singles chart… I know y’all, when we are talking about Ed Sheeran here, it’s more than a music emergency, it’s a bloody evacuation up in here! It’s broken the record for the most tracks from a single album to enter the chart, and has now become one of the fastest selling albums in music history for a male artist (YUSSS boi!) But, comment over, and big congratulations to him anyway… because we’ve been waiting for this moment.

Ed’s third studio album ÷, which I will call Divide cause I’ll keep forgetting to reference the symbol, dropped a week ago and already making waves around the globe. So why’s that? Well, because majority of the numbers on the record is so good that it’s killer. The opening track, “Eraser”, is a quintessential half-singing-half-rap track that shimmers elements of acoustic and Latin-esque sounds. The thing I find fantastic about this record is the even division of Sheeran’s smooth acoustic numbers (“Perfect”, “Happier”, “Heart’s Don’t Break Around Here”, “How Would You Feel”) and a variety of different genres such as indie-esque powerhouse tunes (“Castle on the Hill”), a minimalistic approach on deep tropical house (“Shape of You”), a tinge of reggae beats (“Dive”), and… umm, is there a touch of country strumming in the hoe-doe-like “Galway Girl”… what is going on here?

You can always be convinced that Ed’s music is a typical mix of contemporary tunes that have been here-and-done-that, but Divide is a lot more stronger in its sound that his previous records, though just as equally good. But I did notice that some songs—those of which shall not be named *cough cough* “Castle on the Hill” for example *cough cough* sound a little too familiar and shareable to other tracks on US Top 40 from recent times. But the highlight here is his autobiographical and confessional songwriting, which never fails to impress. For example, he talks about toughening up in his childhood (“Supermarket Flowers”), a hypnotic and cheesy ode on relationships and love (“Heart’s Don’t Break Around Here”), and growing up with such ambition, determination and nostalgia (“Castle on the Hill”).

Ed Sheeran has come a long way with his sound and songwriting, and it penetrates superbly well with over half the material present on Divide. Yes, some tunes are a little bit generic and familiar in comparison to the other acts and albums these days, but that is only a portion from a large chuck of effortless, vulnerable pop-friendly moments on the album. It’s probably his most polished and accessible record to date, so Mr. Sheeran should been poppin’ bottles and celebrating… because he has certainly won me over with this record. Worth a few spins!

Track list (Bold means best tracks)

  1. Eraser
  2. Castle on the Hill
  3. Dive
  4. Shape of You ~Liam’s favourite~
  5. Perfect
  6. Galway Girl
  7. Happier
  8. New Man
  9. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
  10. What Do I Know?
  11. How Do You Feel? (Paean)
  12. Supermarket Flowers

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