Hey, did you hear ? ED SHEERAN has a new album out today ! And you wanna know something ?
IT’S A SMASHING SUCCESS !
Okay, little recap, in case you were hidden under a rock for the past 5 years.
ED SHEERAN (or simply Ed as I like to call him), has been taking the world by storm over the course of a few years, firstly by going to LA with a one way ticket and getting noticed by none other than Jamie Foxx. Then putting out his album + which was a huger success and earned him many views, especially with songs like The A Team, Lego House (featuring our dear Ronald Weasley’s interpreter Rupert Grint) and Gimme Love (featured in Cougar Town and Vampire Diaries). Finally, Ed built his own throne on top of the music world by granting us with X. With singles such as SING, Don’t, Thinking Out Loud, Bloodstream and Photograph, he proved to be king of the charts anywhere in the world, got knighted by Hollywood in participating to The Hobbit The Desolation Of Smaug soundtrack with his song I See Fire and went for the crown by selling out not 1, not 2, but 3 Wembley stadium shows in London.
Shortly after that, Ed took it to his social medias to explain he was taking a break off everything and decided to focus solely on himself.
Of course while waiting for his comeback, we had the pleasure to see him for a few minutes in Bridget Jones’ Baby, where he could be seen singing 2 of his promotional singles. But most importantly: HE COULD BE SEEN ZORBING.
Come on, tell me you wouldn’t want to be zorbing with Ed Sheeran at some point in your life ? It’s the ULTIMATE GOAL !
Anyway, back on track.
After spending a dreadful year with current events and the loss of so many great musicians, it was with more than great pleasure that on January 1st, after much speculation due to his changing pictures on every social medias (and lack of posting for almost a year), Ed appeared in a video holding a sign saying « New music coming this Friday ».
Everybody was NUTS. And waiting for this like the holy grail ! (I admit, I kept checking iTunes every day till Friday just to see if they had it up early). And this, ladies and gents, is where the madness began again.
On January 6, I woke up and before I could even put my glasses on, I turned my alarm off and went straight on iTunes. And OH MY the surprise when, not only was the single out already, but we had 2 SINGLES.
Ed sure knows how to please his fans !
I bought both of them and it’s basically been my soundtrack through the whole day that day.
No questions asked, I knew I’d like them just because to me, Ed Sheeran can do no wrong ! (I know I’m writing his full name way too often, but I can’t help it, I don’t feel write writing just « Ed » eheh)
The album was announced shortly after, followed by a tour announcement, a promotional single in How Would You Feel (Paean) and here we are. Due date.
Saying that my expectations were high considering it’s ED. FREAKING. SHEERAN. is saying so little.
But today, one day before official release date, I’ve managed to get my hands on a physical copy, and I’ve been blasting it since.
Opening the album with a guitar riff that only he has the secret of, then rapping, is exactly how I pictured Ed welcoming us back into yet another musical venture of his.
ERASER has everything you’d want. A rhythm that’ll make you nod your head and want to put your hand in the air and wave back and forth, folk guitars making you want to dance, and a chorus that’ll make you sing it over and over again.
In its lyrics, Ed first sings « I’ll find comfort in my pain eraser » and then goes « Welcome to the new show, I guess you know I’ve been away, Where I’m heading who knows, my heart will stay the same ». This song basically is Ed explaining why he took some time away, almost apologizing for leaving us, but at the same time proving that he did it to come back stronger than ever. And he did. He did indeed.
CASTLE ON THE HILL is one of the two singles Ed outted on January 6 along side with SHAPE OF YOU.
While Shape Of You could easily be a track played in a nightclub for everyone to dance to (though the lyrics clearly state that Ed would much rather go to a bar instead), what struck me most was the power of Castle On The Hill basically taking you places you’ve never been before, you’ll feel the wind on your cheeks and smell the grass as you watch from afar that Castle on the hill.
Every single track is perfectly built. Every chord played, every sound made with a loop pedal or on the guitar itself (yes, Ed Sheeran is a musical genius) compliment each other and resonates within you.
If you’ve never believed in love, you’ll believe now. If you didn’t believe in love anymore, you’ll believe again. And if you know love, it’ll simply make you want to cry.
Ed clearly channeled is inner romantic self (as per usual) and yet again has set it to make us sob like we’ve never done before.
The worst/best part is: I love it !
The further you go in the track list of the album and the more you keep saying « AGAIN. AGAIN ». Till the moment you realize it’s almost over.
GALWAY GIRL makes me think of a song that modern hobbits could sing in a tavern. Or in Ed’s case, in a stadium filled with screens projecting a four-leaf clover and Irish flags everywhere and everyone singing along. My favorite part of the song is hearing violins and flutes on the chorus. Oh and you’ll want to clap. That should be said too.
But he can also take the blame for a relationship gone wrong, as heard on the song HAPPIER.
WHAT DO I KNOW kindly reminds us that Ed can be just as much at ease with a simple guitar riff and his voice, going back to his roots.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL (PAEAN) is not only a beautiful hymn that could fit in someone’s wedding vows, but it’s also a beautiful slow to share with the one you love.
Finally, last but not least, possibly one of my ultimate favorite on this album, SUPERMARKET FLOWERS. Being the over-emotional guy that I am, how could I not listen to this song and want to cry ? Be careful, this song has a powerful effect. It’ll make you want to hug your mom even more than usual. Singing about your mom being gone is bound to make anyone having a heart shed a tear. I cried like a baby. And of course I also want to hug Ed after listening to this song. And surprise: the most heart-wrenching song on the album has 2 of my new favorite lines « A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved… A life with love is a life that’s been lived ». Did I mention this song also features only a voice and a piano ? Yep.
It’s with no real surprise that two of my favorite songs are Eraser and Supermarket Flowers. But let’s talk about some others !
DIVE: the slow beat of the song, funky guitar and the fact that this song is about seducing someone you fancy, basically was enough for me to either picture myself being in a bar with that song in the background and eyeing someone to come over and have a drink and fall madly in love together. Also, DAT GUITAR SOLO IN THE MIDDLE EIGHT THOUGH !
PERFECT: as previously stated before, Ed writes songs that you hope your loved one never heard before that way you can use them as wedding vows. But in case your better half also likes him, then you might as well suggest that song as first slow, and whisper « Darling you look perfect tonight » in the same breath as the song.
NEW MAN: if you’ve ever been the other guy or friend-zoned, this song’s for you ! Can we PLEASE focus on the line « Still looking at your instagram, I’ll be creeping a little, I’ll be trying not to double-tap ». This song is an absolute BANGER.
HEARTS DON’T BREAK AROUND HERE: There isn’t a particular reason why I love this song and chose it as part of my favorite ones. I just feel so at peace listening to it, like nothing else exists for those 4mn.
SAVE MYSELF (DELUXE EDITION): This song is complementary, in my opinion, to Eraser. Explaining why Ed decided to take a break from the world and from everyone and everything. It also has one of the most beautiful self-help lyrics I’ve had the chance to hear « Before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself. Before I blame someone else, I’ve got to save myself. Before I love someone else, I’ve got to love myself ».
Altogether, it’s with no surprise that Ed won over my heart yet again, not only with his ability to make me cry for days with a simple song, but also with songs that’ll make you wanna go on an adventure, songs that’ll make you wanna hold a loved one close to you, that’ll make you wanna fall in love. But most importantly, songs that’ll make you want to live life to the fullest. Welcome back Ed !
CASTLE ON THE HILL AND SHAPE OF YOU AT THE BRITS AWARDS
SHAPE OF YOU MV
CASTLE ON THE HILL MV
Oh and just for the sake of it…