Ed Sheeran Divides from norm, brings new sound

Ed Sheeran's newest album cover for his album 
Divide which released March 3. This was his third studio album following Plus and Multiply.

Ed Sheeran's newest album cover for his album Divide which released March 3. This was his third studio album following Plus and Multiply.

Melissa Donovan, Business Manager

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After leaving fans in love with his album Multiply, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran took a yearlong break, bringing high anticipation for his newest album Divide, which fully released Friday, March 3.

In this case, the wait was definitely worth it.

Before his break, Sheeran reported that he was getting a “lukewarm reaction from everyone,” meaning that people got used to his sound and didn’t find it exciting anymore. He spent a year in Australia relaxing so, people would be “hungry” for his music again.

Two songs initially released as singles, “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You,” gave fans just the perfect dose of his sound that was needed after a year of silence. Despite the fact that they were released together, the singles are quite different, mirroring the two sides of the album.

Divide gives fans a more personal and somber touch with songs like “Supermarket Flowers,” which is written in the perspective of Sheeran’s mother when she faces the loss of her own mother. The song describes the love and loss that is brought with people’s passing.

On the other hand, “Shape of You,” also has a danceable beat and always causes a smile and a sing-along. The pairing of love and the attraction that is contained in here has had fans raving about it since it was released.

“Castle on the Hill” reflects on Sheeran’s childhood memories in his hometown, Suffolk, England. It is very intriguing how he captivates the listener at the beginning of the song with simple lines such as, “When I was six years old I broke my leg.” The match of the exhilarating beat and the teenage memories brings an adventurous mood. That is what sets him apart from other artists, almost all of his songs on the album tell a story.

“How Would You Feel (Paean),” given as a treat to fans on Sheeran’s birthday as a bit of a sneak-peek, was dedicated to his girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn. It’s a slow moving song that causes the listener to one day hope to have a love as true and wonderful as he describes his in the song.

While none of the songs actually mention a real “divide,” Sheeran creates a divide in tone through the mix of the sound in his music. One song will have you dancing; another may have you contemplating life itself. Divide places Sheeran ahead of the pack as he creates an album that makes you feel a wide range of emotion through contrast from song to song, keeping the listener on their feet and making for a unique experience.

Releasing so many songs early before the album’s release was initially seen as risky, but paid off to paint a picture of what the album as a whole would eventually look like: a divide. It contains a divide by having songs contrast between happy and sad.

“Happier” tells a story about how he lost a girl to another guy, but in a melancholic way he’s content that she is happy even though they are not together. The beat in the chorus demonstrates him getting over her and always brings over a sad feeling for him.

Songs such as “What Do I Know,” are very danceable and undeniably fun to listen to. As well, songs like “Barcelona,” “Galway girl,” and “Bi Bia Be Ye Ye” combine with the sadness of the other songs creating just the right mix of emotions for the album as a whole.

Overall, Divide separates Sheeran from other artists through his remarkable storytelling and range of feelings from each song. Being that the album is separated by emotions, it brings a new and exciting dimension to Sheeran’s songs.

 

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