ARTIST Ed Sheeran is at the top of his game at the moment and the success of his new album ‘Divide’ shows few signs of slowing down. Journal chief reporter Suzanne Jordan and North Wales Pioneer reporter Annie Roberts were asked to review the current chart takeover and to give their thoughts on their favoured tunes.
Ed Sheeran’s new album is a mix of heartbreak, happiness and jealousy all blended together.
There is lyrically beautiful music, frank honesty and a showcase of the Irish fiddle, giving a nod to the singer-songwriter’s heritage.
Personal favourites have to be Shape of You, Castle on the Hill and Perfect.
Breezy, bouncy and easy to listen to, Shape of You is performed with passionate conviction.
Sheeran sings about falling in love with a girl whom he has met at a bar.
The lyrics aren’t particularly deep, but they are catchy. It is one that makes you tap your feet... “Girl you know I want your love/ Your love was handmade for someone like me/ Come on now follow my lead/ I may be crazy don’t mind me.”
Being a huge fan of Photograph and Thinking of You (both from his album, X), it was only natural for me to be drawn to Perfect.
The soft organ, guitar and beautiful chord progressions means this song is built for emotive church moments or is one to take to the wedding dance floor.
The uplifting Castle on the Hill acts at the perfect cup of tea.
The soaring ballad – which gives an emotive insight into Sheeran’s ‘younger days’ and the paths taken by different childhood friends – takes you to a different place entirely. It has a rhythmic and singalong vibe.
Lyrics such as “Had my first kiss on Friday night/ I don’t reckon I did it right/ I was younger then, take me back to when we found weekend jobs….” show the artist’s reflective side.
Ed Sheeran's new album tells tales of his experiences whilst travelling the road from uplifting African-themed melodies to a song about packing bags and heading to Barcelona including hints at his Irish heritage.
As a fan of Ed's more fast-paced songs - including Sing from his second album Multiply and You Need Me Man I Don't Need You from his first album Plus - I was more than happy with the selection we were given on this new album.
Songs such as New Man, co-written between Ed and British singer-songwriter Jessie Ware - known for tracks such as Say You Love Me and Wildest Moments - criticises a girlfriend's ex-boyfriend, it's judgmental, edgy, upbeat and something most fans wouldn't expect from Ed, but still, it suits his authentic style.
And the bonus tracks on Divide don't disappoint, they give fans a taste of his worldwide experiences with many containing foreign languages.
The track Barcelona which Ed co-wrote with British sing-songer writer Amy Wadge who is based in Wales and Foy Vance is an uptempo song which takes on a holiday vibe and makes you want to get up and dance. Amy helped Ed with his track Thinking Out Loud (2014) which won Grammy Awards, but these two tracks couldn't sound further apart in terms of tempo. Ed sings in Spanish on this track too which adds to the European feel to the song.
From this track we go into Bibia Be Ye Ye another uplifting song but with an African-theme which gives listeners and fans a glimpse of his travels around the world. The song which is believed to mean 'all is well' in Twi - a native language in Ghana in South Africa - was co-written with Fuse ODG an English recording artist of Ghanaian decent who's influences can be clearly heard throughout the track.
My favourite track of the album has to be Nancy Mulligan purely for the ingenious storytelling and the fact Ed is believed to have turned to his grandparents for inspiration for the song.
The Irish folk tune behind this track helps to tell the story of a marriage that was against the wishes of family members because of a divide in religion and takes listeners through the couples lives to the present day in a brilliantly written and heartfelt song.