RELEASED 12TH JULY 2019
Favourite Track: 1000 Nights
This album rivals DJ Khaled in the number of massive artists featured on it but every song is great and showcases Ed Sheeran’s vocal ability, song-writing skills and how so many genres are mastered by one man with the help of a few popular artists that bring so much to each song
I was stunned to see that Ed Sheeran was releasing another album after so long, but I was even more confused at the fact that this one wasn’t called ‘-’ to fit with the symbols used in the three previous albums. Instead, this was a collaborative project featuring artists like Khalid, Stormzy, Justin Bieber and Eminem to mention just a few. Some of the biggest names in the industry sing or rap with Sheeran on this album which is why it has gained so much attention as each artist has their own fan base eagerly waiting to hear them featured on the new album. Yeah… I’m so not sticking to the 500 word limit here either. I had heard some of the songs listed on the radio already or online on social media platforms but I was really hyped to listen to the whole thing and didn’t really know what to expect this time. Based on track record (wow two musical reference/puns in one? Go me), I thought there might be a lot of guitar, a bit of rap from Sheeran and some strong beats and looping.
‘Beautiful People’ with Khalid has a strong beat to open with and then a clap and bassline. Ed’s vocals are great and varied straight away. The chorus is very catchy and Khalid’s voice really works on this song alongside Ed’s and the backing music. A very good opening to the album. The next one had two popular female artists (Camila Cabello and Cardi B) featured on it and Ed Sheeran singing some Spanish words?! This one has a little more of a guitar, commercial and dancy feel. This one is quite a summery song I think. ‘Cross Me’ featuring Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock was one that blew up online already. This one has more of a Pop/RnB feel to it with quirky synths and warm wave sounds in the background. I like this one, it shows just how musically diverse the album is going to be. When I saw the name Stormzy featured on the track I was like…this is going to be good. ‘Take Me Back to London’ has a solid beat and staccato plucked strings backing. Since I was born in London and spent half my childhood there, I wanna also go back to live there so yeah Ed, I relate.
YEBBA was featured on Mark Ronson’s album not to long ago and her voice caught my attention there so to see her on Ed’s acoustic slow song ‘Best Part of Me’, I knew it would sound beautiful and IT IS. I think by now if you haven’t heard ‘I Don’t Care’, you have been living under a rock. The catchy, upbeat pop song featuring Justin Bieber is already a massive hit. ‘Antisocial’ (featuring Travis Scott) then completely changes the vibe to become one that becomes a combination of Hip-Hop and commercial Pop with a HARD beat. Carrying on with Hip-Hop rappers, 50 Cent and Eminem feature on ‘Remember The Name’ with piano, guitar and a retro style beat. ‘Feels’ featuring J Hus and Young Thug is another RnB style song and it’s one you can dance to sure. I like the production of this one for sure with the echo and vocal effects.
Ella Mai features on the next track ‘Put It All on Me’ which has more of a commercial pop feel to it. ‘Nothing On You’ then changes up the atmosphere again with synths and another hard beat to make it more dramatic than the previous song. I like the melody in the background too, it’s one you can move to and features Paulo Londra with some Spanish rap and oh…just Dave too. ‘I Don’t Want Your Money’ has the RnB feel to it with Ed rapping with some nice dream guitar and lovely vocals from H.E.R. It’s another one where his lyrics (in typical Ed Sheeran style) where he talks about the struggle of success, the relationships he’s experienced in his life and his lifestyle after fame. ‘1000 Nights’ has a very cool opening with soft synth effects and then a Trap style beat. Meek Mill and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie also feature on this and it works well. This one is a good song to play in the evening when you’re about to go out. Skrillex features on ‘Way To Break My Heart’ which has a classical Ed Sheeran melody and lyrics with an acoustic feel to it partnered with a harder echoing beat to lift it. The chorus ends in a chopped up Dance/EDM style vocal effect and a subtle electronic synth/bass to accompany it. The last song, ‘BLOW’ opens with mad electric guitar and Rock drum-kit. This one would be wild at a festival. Ed channels his inner Rockstar and Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars do the same. It’s got a very retro style to it with great harmonies and a lot of attack and energy. Totally unexpected not gonna lie but wow.
This album is so multi-genre and honestly has something for everyone. You need to play different songs for different times. Some are crazy, some romantic, some dancy and some acoustic for a chill moment. Just depends on your mood!