Ed Sheeran comes back from his hiatus with a pop record that has taken over the nation.
After his two leading singles, Shape of You and Castle on the Hill becoming huge successes, it was only natural for his third LP to bombard the charts. Not many artists can have the pleasure of keeping their success intact after going offline for over a year.
The 12-track album starts with Eraser, a salute to his journey so far. The song shadows a few songs from his previous albums, specifically Multiply’s The Man. His signature rapping and consciously honest lyrics create the perfect song to start off this new record.
Genre-wise it’s different to any of his previous work. Dive, his John Mayer inspired track is probably one of the best on the record and will go down well with any fan of Mayer. The other prominent ballads are Perfect (the new overly romantic Thinking Out Loud) and Supermarket Flowers, an ode to his grandmother. It’s beautiful, sad and also the last song on the album. It’s an interesting, sombre note to end on. The Deluxe version’s Nancy Mulligan also stars his grandparents, with Irish Folk vibes, depicting the story of their love.
Sheeran has always been open in his songs about drinking and picking up girls whilst out partying. In Shape of You, he meets a girl in a bar, and in his other Irish folk-pop song, Galway Girl, he meets his next missus in a similar fashion. The mixed fusions of this song have called attention to it, as it’s climbing heavily up the charts.
Drink and love are two heavily recurring themes. In Happier, Sheeran is coming to terms with an ex moving on swiftly and being content with someone else. Despite turning to the “bottle” he says he is happy for her. Then in the following song, New Man, he goes on negatively about his ex’s new boyfriend and admits to stalking her on Instagram.
Despite the few guitar-inspired songs reminding everyone of Sheeran’s singer-songwriter beginnings, the album is commercially catchy. The songs have you singing along immediately. The lyrics, even though they are not his best, are incredibly relatable. Multiply surpasses anything anyone ever thought Ed Sheeran could do. This album is good, but miles away from Multiply. Instrumentally, too. There seems to be a lack of experimentation with production and vocals. It’s honest but doesn’t spell his name as clearly as his previous work. Needless to say, it’s one we’ll all be listening to for a while. All in all, it is a fantastic return entry as it ticks all the ‘relevant’ boxes to bring him back to the top. I’m incredibly looking forward to seeing where he’ll go with his next album.