Dream hit-maker and genuine pop kingpin Ed Sheeran is at a point now where the Suffolk native can do no wrong. Divide is the latest record from the folk-pop superpower and reveals a working of connected ballad-type rock anthems, acoustic gemstones and a folk aura only Sheeran can pull off.
Eraser begins the 16 track album with a narrative half sung and rapped over Sheeran’s unmistakable melodic vigour before Castle On the Hill unleashes a chart-topping force a die hard Sheeran fan could expect the record to shelter. Dive perhaps better displays the signature R&B cadence the singer-songwriter is known for, with a four-minute slow-dance strength both compelling and tender. New Man employs a sung narrative both hilarious and real – as Sheeran illustrates themes of pretentiousness and superficiality underneath an acoustic breath of confidence. Most surprising is perhaps the African influence inside Bibia Be Ye Ye, with a slight nod to Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes. The track showcases a plucked beauty divine and rich, with a certain sunshine memory.
Significantly, the album comprises all of the organic and contemporary features alive and well in a pop music of today. Naturally, Sheeran leads the charge in this area – delivering up an album of worthy composition, ruthless talent and a confidence in a playing style only he can express so wonderfully and melodious. Now with only three albums under his belt, we can certainly expect more from the fiery singer-songwriter, for now though, basking in the sun with this on repeat will do just fine.