Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ proves his ‘unfailing talent’
Ed’s first album was impressive, his second brilliant, and now his third is a confirmation of his pure and unfailing talent. Divide includes the already hit tracks ‘Castle on the Hill’ and ‘Shape of You’.
The album begins with a track I’d call a Sheeran Tradition. ‘Eraser’ exhibits his typical fast and clever lyrical talent, signalling that this is where he plans to introduce Divide: ‘welcome to the new show, I guess you know I’ve been away’. ‘New Man’ also hints to similarities from the previous album, Multiply. Its clever and witty lyrics, talking about Instagram and ‘tryin’ not to double tap’ on someone’s photo, are relatable to most of us in this social media era.
Taking on musical inspiration from all over the world, Ed shows great diversity within his writing skill-set. There’s the epic Irish Pop track, ‘Galway Girl’, combining traditional Irish sounds with traditional Sheeran sounds; ‘Bibia be Ye Ye’ in Twi; and ‘Barcelona’ which plays around with a few Spanish phrases.
‘What Do I Know’ is a song about how he has no ‘degree’ or ‘portfolio’, but suggests his music can save the world… then again, What Does [he] Know? Tying in with this self-reflective theme, the song ‘Save Myself’ talks about how he should put himself first.
The singer/song-writer has written a nice number of slow, heartfelt tracks amongst the upbeat ones; Ed holds a suitable balance between love stories and non-love stories. ‘Dive’ and ‘Perfect’ are two beautiful pieces of music which reiterate Sheeran’s excellence and originality in love-songwriting, with lyrics such as ‘I could fly here in your areoplane’ in ‘Dive’, and ‘shakes my soul like a pothole’ in ‘Hearts Don’t Break Around Here’. ‘How Would You Feel’ sounds like a first dance song at a wedding — no doubt this will start replacing ‘Thinking Out Loud’ at weddings over the next few years. He shows off his talent for songwriting by avoiding the clichés and creating pleasant and innovative lyrics.
More personal songs include ‘Supermarket Flowers’ written about his grandmother, guaranteed to set a tear in your eye. And ‘Nancy Mulligan’, a folk-sounding Irish song, telling the story of how his grandparents met.
Ed himself says that ‘Perfect’ is the best song he has written and I certainly agree. His ability to express things that others struggle to put into words is a gift. We are lucky to have been graced with his genius lyrics once again in his third and latest album.
With thanks to Jennifer A.