Here’s a track-by-track review of Ed Sheeran’s newest album. Feel free to get angry at my opinions.
1. Beautiful People ft. Khalid
I really like this tune. I like the message that it is trying to convey: Ed Sheeran is determined not to become a typical high-profile celebrity and is trying not to pretend that he is one of those “beautiful people”. We’ll see if the rest of the album sticks to that theme.
One of the main reasons I’ve always liked Ed Sheeran is that he actually makes genuine music. If you put aside his chart-topping cheesy, over-produced singles like ‘Shape Of You’ and delve into his less-heard songs, then you can appreciate that he still cares about making meaningful music. Let’s hope it stays that way.
2. South Of The Border ft. Camilla Cabello & Cardi B
Nope. The backing track is a bop, but nope. “Te amo, mami”? Nope. Also Cardi B is just a big ol’ nope. I just couldn’t listen to this all the way through.
3. Cross Me ft. Chance The Rapper & PnB Rock
From the first time that I heard this song on the radio, I knew I was gonna enjoy it. It’s certainly different to your usual Ed Sheeran acoustic style, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think his voice sounds really good in this song and Chance The Rapper has really grown on me recently, this track, primarily, being to blame.
4. Take Me Back To London ft. Stormzy
Stormzy is always a win… and this is a f***ing bop! Ed Sheeran just gels perfectly with grime flows and I don’t understand it, but I admire it. This is a banger. No lie. This also hits home for me, quite literally, as I recently moved back to my hometown London after being away for far too long.
5. Best Part Of Me ft. YEBBA
Ahhh, breathe out. Back to the acoustic. It’s been a breath of fresh air hearing the highly produced and hip-hoppy songs earlier in the album, but it is always a blessing to hear Ed’s voice over an acoustic guitar. I really relate to these lyrics, too. Wow. I’ve always enjoyed listening to Ed Sheeran, but this is the first time I think I’ve really felt the lyrics.
Also, it’s always a treat to hear Ed dueting with another talented vocalist. It worked wonders with Beyoncé and this works even better! Beaut.
6. I Don’t Care ft. Justin Bieber
After a brief pause for reflection and realism, it’s time to get back into the world of over-produced, under-written pop music. Hoorah. This is an earworm, but it is so damn dry. Dear oh dear. Give us some imagination. Skip!
7. Antisocial ft. Travis Scott
Interesting. This one’s beat goes in hard. Oof. Wow. This is actually a bop. Goodness. I may have found my new guilty pleasure. I can’t help but move to this, despite the lyrics about partying and doing drugs. Who produced this? *Googles* Fred Gibson seems to be the producer for the majority of this album. I take my hat off to you, Fred. This is incredible talent!
8. Remember The Name ft. 50 Cent & Eminem
I’m excited! 50 Cent AND Eminem AND Ed Sheeran! This is gonna be good. *Hits play* This is very 50 Cent. I honestly have been listening to the whole song, enjoying it, and forgetting to write about it. Interesting that all three sing the chorus. I really like the verses too.
To be completely honest, it’s nothing special, but it is a solid tune.
Big up, Ipswich.
9. Feels ft. J Hus & Young Thug
Not keen on this. Struggling to get into it. It’s just a bit crap to be honest. Skip.
10. Put It All On Me ft. Ella Mai
Right from the get go, I have never heard this song before, but I already know how the chorus is going to sound. Good grief this is predictable. It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t recommend it as informative or worthwhile listening. That said, I do like the vibe of it, in general, and Ella Mai has an amazing voice. Not all bad!
11. Nothing On You ft. Paulo Londra
Hmmm. This one is really hard for me to comment on because I quite like it but, at the same time, it’s pretty bad. I am definitely going to forget this song but it’s an interesting insight into what Ed Sheeran will sound like when he inevitably completely forgets what it means to make music and starts caring more about the money. Oh, wait. That is this album.
The next song title is perfect irony, then. Please let it be literal. Care about what it means to be a musician, Ed!
12. I Don’t Want Your Money ft. H.E.R.
You know what I want? Some versatility from Ed Sheeran. I have no doubt that Ed Sheeran would be able to turn his hand to something completely different. I understand that he likes making music like this, but why not give something else a try? You never know, you might like it. I’m just a bit sick of this style at this point. Didn’t even make it halfway through this one. Skip.
13. 1000 Nights ft. A Boogie Wit A Hoodie & Meek Mill
This is God awful.
14. Way To Break My Heart ft. Skrillex
Wait, what? Skrillex? Please please please tell me he produced this song. He did. It’s a bit underwhelming, though. It’s a real shame because, other than Ed Sheeran and Skrillex, there were ELEVEN other people who worked on this track.
15. Blow ft. Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars
F***, f***, f***! Yes! Something a bit different! Also, it doesn’t suck! I haven’t heard this side of Ed Sheeran since Devlin’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’! What a banger! More please! In fact, a whole rock / rap album with Ed Sheeran and Eminem. That’s a dream.
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