Following up Ed Sheeran’s chart topping album ‘+,’ the highly anticipated ‘x’ is set to be just as huge. Expressing his emotions of love, hurt, the pressures of stardom and of course, inebriation, we see Sheeran’s true lyrical talent in his ability to construct depth and meaning whilst keeping each track delightfully poppy.
Opening track ‘One,’ whilst a seemingly bleak start to the album, is nevertheless beautiful, showcasing Sheeran’s vocal talent and introducing the honesty revealed in the following tracks. The simplicity of ‘I’m A Mess’ with it’s catchy hook is reminiscent of Sheeran’s earlier material, giving the album an all encompassing feel that’s sure to please long-standing fans.
True to form, Sheeran doesn’t hold back on the explicit and brutally honest, most notably demonstrated in ‘Don’t.’ ‘I never saw him as a threat until you disappeared with him to have sex,’ he reels, all whilst ensuring the track doesn’t slip into the downright depressing.
In this day and age, a chart topping album is hardly complete without the input of Pharrell Williams and Timberlake-esque ‘Sing’ brings us just that. The number one single sits comfortably amongst the rest of the album, providing a welcome break to the more anguished swoons of ‘The Man’ and terribly honest ‘Bloodstream.’
The album’s varied pace, where rap infused tracks collide with stripped back heartfelt numbers (‘Photograph’) and the romantically waltzy (‘Tenerife Sea’), unwaveringly reflects Sheeran’s muddled emotions and strains. The conclusion, then, seems apt with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ showing the singer-songwriter finally making ends meet with his feelings.