Ed Sheeran – Divide (Album Review)
“And I’ve not seen the roaring fields in so long, I know I’ve grown… But I can’t wait to go home.”
The end of 2015 saw the hiatus slash disappearance of Ed Sheeran from social media and evidently media in general after he finished his worldwide tour in Australia/New Zealand. He ironically penned a small digital note to everyone and posted it all over his social media, saying he found himself “seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes”. In an instant, Ed was gone.
Then Divide was born. Divide is the highly anticipated third album from British Pop phenomenon Ed Sheeran, released through Atlantic Records on March 3rd. Ed made his comeback just a little over nine weeks ago and fans were over the moon and I think a little surprised too! With his comeback came new music, Divide and now the recently announced world tour.
It’s been six days since the release of Divide, and it’s safe to say Ed has already smashed every record in the music book and then some! Divide sold a massive 232,000 physical and digital copies in the first day of its release, just shy of the 300,000 platinum unit mark! Divide smashed global Spotify records generating 68.7 million streams on the first day alone. 12 hours into the release of Divide, the album was topping the iTunes charts across the globe! In the UK Singles Charts alone, nine songs from the album made the midweek Top 10 with the entire album tracking to be in the Top 40 by the end of the week! (majority are already in the Top 20!) And if that wasn’t enough for you, with the entire album being available on Ed’s YouTube channel via audio videos, Divide has hit over a billion views on YouTube in the last 24 hours, earning his account three million new subscribers.
It’s no surprise really, Shape of You – the lead single of the album was streamed on Spotify just under seven million times in the first week and since its release two months ago has stayed number 1 in the UK Singles Charts.
So, where does that leave me with Divide? Divide as the 16 track, 60 minute deluxe edition presents an array of ballads, Gaelic tunes, raps and entrancing acoustic pop beats that are Ed Sheeran through and through. Eraser is an acoustic hip hop rap/pop vision no doubt about Ed’s life in the music industry, fame and the person he has become because of his music career, whereas Castle On The Hill presents an upbeat, thumping pop anthem that reflects on Ed’s life too as a child and returning to his home town after being away for so long. Shape Of You has a true dance beat that’s got you feeling like it’s Friday night, with hidden but bold promiscuous catchy lyrics about a random hook up with a girl he quickly falls for as a result of their physical relationship. Shape Of You flies the Sheeran trademark of the blended acoustic guitar and hip hop vibe high, yet Perfect is the signature Sheeran ballad that showcases Ed’s powerfully raw vocals; the true ode to Ed’s girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn.
“Cause we were just kids when we fell in love, not knowing what it was. I will not give you up this time. But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own. And in your eyes you’re holding mine…”
Ed also channels his Irish heritage and their traditional Gaelic folk music and storytelling in Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan. These two songs are true Irish jams with the fiddle and a pipe to boot, as Ed takes a step back and talks about an Irish woman falling in love with an English man in his catchy rap/pop hit Galway Girl, while singing about his grandparents’ meeting during World War II in Wexford, his grandmother’s home town and the love and life they share in the Gaelic acoustic folk fusion track Nancy Mulligan.
All in all, Divide is the album of the year. It’s that simple. Divide has only solidified Ed’s continued domination of modern Pop music. Bring on 2017 for Ed and all his fans, and bring on those Australian tour dates! It must happen… There’s no way I’m missing out on seeing Divide live. Ed Sheeran is truly back and he is here to stay!