REVUE OF ED SHEERAN’S DIVIDE
Release Date – March 3, 2017
In late 2015 Ed Sheeran took a year-long hiatus from social media to travel and explore various cities in the world. The result is his third studio album titled after another mathematical symbol – DIVIDE.
On DIVIDE, his widened horizon was pretty obvious and he was not afraid to experiment with different sounds and genres. He listed influences like Rihanna, Damien Rice (you can google him) and Eminem in making the album and he was almost Emimen-esque on the intro song ERASER where you hear him rapping about the highs and low of being successful.
CASTLE ON THE HILLS has Ed reminiscing about his childhood and growing up, first love, first kisses and all the troubles young people get into. He seems to infer that these were the best days and how he truly misses those times, I truly relate to and agree with him on this.
Ed was just being Ed as he completely serenades us on DIVE, one of the most beautiful songs on the album (I know we are just 3 tracks in) but everything about the song is perfect and the song has a message for the girls that will call you with all the sweet endearments and just lead you on. You need to play this song for them and tell them don’t call me Baby, unless you mean it.
SHAPE OF YOU, the lead single for the album needs no further introduction as it is already a certified banger. It’s beautiful how he makes a song that just makes you shake your body so effortlessly. Naija artist should learn that you can actually make a club banger without singing trash. This is not about comparison but at least we are hoping to make Grammy worthy music.
When Ed makes a song titled PERFECT, then you can almost bet the song will be everything like the title. For an artist considered to be one of the best song writers of this generation (yeah he has written 1 or 2 songs for your favorite artist) he was so good on the track it feels like he was just showing off. The song just wants me to find a girl, fall in love, hold her in my arms and dance to the beat forever but then I remember that tweet that trending on Naija twitter a while back that…
I want to meet me a GALWAY GIRL cos she does sound like a lot of fun
Ironically, listening to HAPPIER will make you want to cry as Ed sings about his lost love interest. He is still in love and misses her but she’s with someone else and looks a lot happier. I can totally relate to this track on so many levels but (sniffs) big boys don’t cry. NEW MAN is kind of a contrast to HAPPIER, cos this time Ed was being a bully and calling out the choice of his ex’s new man and pretty sure he is by a mile the better man and he still misses her. I really find the “he is bleaching his ass and keeping up with the Kardashian lines” hilarious.
If you still need further proof of Ed’s musical ingenuity, then listen to HEARTS DON’T BREAK AROUND HERE,. See I just gotta say if you are not in love, looking to fall in love or just love love, then listening to this album will probably annoy you – going on about how beautiful love can be. Ed can always find the perfect word to describe it. I guess I have to just take one for the team and endure all these mushy feelings.
Ed was preaching the message of love in WHAT DO I KNOW as he believes that love and tolerance, understanding and positivity is the key to a better world. Valid points that cannot be overemphasized.
If you have a girl you have been crushing on, take her on a ride in your car (if you have one), park at a beautiful spot and let HOW WOULD YOU FEEL come on your playlist. (You can thank me later) or just buy her a new iPhone or something, I heard that works better.
Ed dedicates SUPERMARKET FLOWERS to his late grandma, the song is so beautiful and listening to it actually reminded me of my own grandma and how she was an Angel to me.
Obviously inspired by his travel to BARCELONA, he serenades the Spanish city in a song highly influenced by the Latino rhythm and even sings some parts of the song in Spanish. Then he travels to Ghana and teams up with Ghanaian artist FUSE ODG who co-wrote BIBIA BE YE YE – meaning All will be well. Ed this time also sings in Twi the native Ghanaian language. I have to confess I am a bit jealous about this song cos Ghana obviously has one over us (Yes we have to make everything a Naija/Ghana war) and I will love to see Ed in Naija and probably doing a song in Yoruba as well.
On the Irish folk tune NANCY MULLIGAN, Ed draws inspiration from his grandparent’s love story who at that time had to fight against the wishes of their parents and their Catholic-Protestant religious differences to get married. The album ends with Ed realizing you need to pick yourself up before you can help anyone else on SAVE MYSELF.
In conclusion, DIVIDE is beautiful – so beautiful I cannot find words to describe it. Something else that strikes me about the album is that it is very personal and honest, on most of the songs you will hear him singing about his life, his experiences, travels etc. Above all, DIVIDE tells an amazing story of love. Ed shows the full wealth and range of his undoubted gift and the song writing on the album is absolutely flawless. The stand-out tracks for me are DIVE, PERFECT and HEARTS DON’T BREAK AROUND HERE. I also love how he infuses the various sounds he encountered on his travels all over the album and I am especially proud to hear highlife on the album. I will rate DIVIDE an outstanding 8/10. Listen and share your thoughts in the comment section and remember BIBIA BE YE YE.