Get excited, Shorians! Friday, March 3, marked the long-awaited arrival of Ed Sheeran’s third album, Divide. After exactly a 1 year hiatus (which felt like forever), Sheeran became active on social media again, and in early January, announced that new music would be dropping, followed by an album.
“Castle On The Hill” and “Shape of You” dropped January 6, and fans were neither emotionally nor mentally prepared for what is considered to be some of his best music yet. Even the critics rejoiced after the sweet sound of Ed’s childhood memories hit their ears (and undoubtedly touched their souls), as one has yet to express any negative commentary. Fun fact: the upbeat tune “Shape of You” was originally written for Rihanna (Could you imagine anyone else singing about thrifty dates and Chinese takeout?).
Just when fans and critics were beginning to recover from the immense excitement that followed the highly supported singles, he shook the world a second time with the release of the emotional earthquake “How Would You Feel (Paean)”. The lovely ballad features 7 time Grammy winner, John Mayer, on guitar, and was found to be just as profound as the previous singles-(now hits)-reaching #2 in both the UK and US charts. Sheeran admitted the love song was written to “keep his girlfriend entertained on her way to the airport” and if that doesn’t make you want Ed Sheeran in your life, then I don’t know what does.
Divide has a tracklist of 12 songs, and the Deluxe version has 16. One of the four deluxe songs, “Barcelona”, is definitely a fan favorite (or at least a favorite of mine), as Ed shows off his Spanish skills, switching to full-fledged espanol many times throughout the upbeat track, and including some Spanish-style inflections on guitar. Another album favorite of mine, and a favorite Ed Sheeran song in general, is “Nancy Mulligan”, the third deluxe track. This timeless song tells the story of Ed’s grandparents, William Sheeran and Nancy Mulligan, and is told from the perspective of his grandfather. So, in my humble opinion, definitely purchase the Deluxe version, it is guaranteed to be worth your money, and Ed Sheeran most certainly deserves a grammy (or multiple) for the album.