Ed Sheeran’s Record Breaking “÷”

Returning from a hiatus in his music career, Ed Sheeran released “÷”, his long-awaited third studio album featuring 16 songs. The diverse track differs stylistically and lyrically from his previous albums by integrating new musical elements and highlighting the pop aspect of his generally acoustic pieces.

“÷” effortlessly combines an array of vivacious, upbeat songs to contrast the more dejected songs to create a lasting effect. The lighthearted pieces of the album starkly juxtapose the sorrowful pieces that elicit ambivalent emotions.

Deviating from his typical musical styles, the album’s first song, “Eraser”, is a folk song infused with a rap that is far too intense and distracting from the lyrical facet of the song. The abrupt shift neither suits Sheeran’s style nor begins the album enticingly. It is far from what I envisioned for the remainder of the album following the release of his hit singles, “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” in January. These pieces are more melodic and playful while “Eraser” has a discordant sound.

In contrast to the vibrant, colorful vibe from his introductory piece, “Supermarket Flowers” is on the opposite end of the spectrum with its melancholy tune and doleful lyrics.

Sheeran’s soothing, tender vocals accompanied by the gentle melodies of the piano evoke feelings of nostalgia and heartbreak as he commemorates the passing of his grandmother. The inclusion of personal songs enhances the meaning of the album with its underlying message and connections.
The album is unique with its distinct characteristics and styles. Sheeran’s experimentation with contemporary genres of music reflects his evolving style. Although the rap section was not particularly my favorite, the remainder of his songs are beautifully pieced and is a must-listen.

By Airi Gonzalez, Photo Editor

Photo courtesy of edsheeran.com

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