Album Review: Ed Sheeran ÷ (Divide)

Ed Sheeran’s latest album is his best work yet. Keeping in with his trend of naming his albums mathematical signs, this new album is called ÷ (pronounced ‘Divide’). Sheeran dropped two surprise singles, ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’, on January 6, 2017. The catchy song ‘Shape of You’ was streamed 6,868,642 times on Spotify in a just one week!

We see a very vast variety of topics here, ranging from being in love, to his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend’s bleached butthole (rather odd) . But never mind that, because the music is simply brilliant.

The album opens with the song ‘Eraser’ which is perhaps one of Sheeran’s most honest songs ever. In this acoustic rap banger, Sheeran moans about superstardom (And ain’t nobody want to see you down in the dumps/Because you’re living your dream and this should be fun), and it accompanying difficulties, but still manages not to sound like a jerk.

If there is one thing that is consistent in Sheeran’s albums, it is his unwavering belief in love. ‘Perfect’, ‘Hearts Don’t Break Around Here’ and ‘How Would You Feel’ are songs for all the die-hard romantics out there. And honestly, with his soulful tunes and lyrics, these songs work even for the cynics.

Both ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Nancy Mulligan’ have Sheeran mixing very typical Irish sounds with pop, giving us catchy, foot-tapping tunes. The album closer ‘Supermarket Flowers’, is a heart wrenching ballad written as a tribute to Sheeran’s late grandmother. Told from the perspective of his mother, this song deals with mundanity of the aftermath of death.

One of my favourite things about this album is Sheeran’s employment of very graphic imagery. The deceptively breezy alt-acoustic song ‘New Man’ is a cutting description of his old flame’s new man. His condescending take on this new guy who wears sunglasses indoors in the night, has a six pack, along with plucked eyebrows and the aforementioned bleached butthole, makes this song relatable to every person who has ever stalked their ex’s Instagram.

All in all, this album makes for a good listen, although I will admit that it wasn’t as good on the first listen as it was on the second. Sheeran’s peppy tunes, relatable lyrics and the raw simplicity he portrays, makes this album the best album (yet), of his ever evolving musicality and career. And I guarantee, that of these 16 tracks, there will be at least one song that will get stuck in your mind for the entire day. Oh well, at least they’re good songs.

Rating: 8/10

Contributed by : Anjali Mascarenhas