I’ve talked about Ed Sheeran before, and there’s no doubt I’ll talk about Ed Sheeran again. I’ll listen to anything Ed Sheeran ever puts out, whether he’s the main artist or he’s featured on a track (have you listened to “Lazy Day” by Fuse ODG and Danny Ocean? Ed features too and it’s an amazing song!) Ed dropped this album 12th of July 2019, 50 minutes of glorious new music. I was living for it; and so prepare yourself for an article of complete and utter fangirling over this incredible album, and if you hate it, frankly, I don’t care.
Just the first beat of this song reminds me of sunset drives at the height of summer. This whole album has a summery vibe to it if I’m honest and I’m here for it. Khalid has this beautiful, full, soulful voice which matches the smooth melody really well. Being famous sounds like bundles of fun to me, it looks like being rich and always having banging photos to put on your Instagram. However, I think this song, along with the video, highlights how it can feel like you really don’t belong at all the lavish parties and on the private jets, maybe you get an intense bout of imposter syndrome. It’s all in its own little bubble which from the outside looks glorious but has all of its own issues. I also love Ed’s cameos in this video.
After “Shape of you”, I think we were all made aware of Ed’s ability to be a little more risqué with his lyrics, and “South of the Border” is most definitely evidence of this. Featuring both Camilla Cabello and Cardi B, this song is a seductive combination of off beat singing and breathy percussion (which also invokes that feeling of hot sunsets in a foreign country). Camilla and Ed’s voices intertwine so well in the chorus’, and Cardi’s rap section is unbelievable, with my favorite lyric being “You got a girl that can finally do it all, drop an album drop a baby but I never drop the ball”
Can we just take a minute to mention this video, which wasn’t what I expected it to be at all, it’s like a mini spy thriller, but it works really well with the song, and features all 3 singers quite heavily which I always appreciate. We all love a story vid, but it’s even better when the singers act the story (even if Ed is notoriously bad at playing himself, yes I’m looking at you Yesterday).
This gives me major Collaborations No. 5. I feel like this song shows Ed’s range in musicality. To have song like this on the same album with hits like “Beautiful People” and “I Don’t Care” is what makes this album so special, the versatility of not only Ed’s writing, but also his voice and flow really comes through. Take me back to London is, I feel, a reflection by Ed looking at all he’s achieved from what could be perceived as the prime of his career, and the things which you come to appreciate from such a place. I feel like Stormzy is coming at it from the other angle, and what it’s like to be approaching the prime of your career and to first be exposed to all this sort of stuff. With lyrics like “You can win BRITs, and you can do Glasto, but when your miles away and you’re feeling alone, gotta remember that there ain’t no place like home”. Nothing is ever enough, and nothing beats being back with the people who have always been around. (Also he says in this song he grossed half a billion on the divide tour, and can we just take a second to acknowledge how much MONEY that is!)
I feel like this song is kind of what the Divide album was, it’s a well written love song where insecurities are proudly displayed for all to see. It has this really intimate vibe to it, and YEBBA is incredible. I love the pizzicato strings they bring in for her verse, and her voice is so pretty. This album introduced me to so many new artists, and I think that’s another great thing about this album, there are some big names on there, but others are artists that are less well known in the mainstream and this album was a major amount of exposure for them.
I love this song, it’s gorgeous! Probably my favorite song on the album, I feel like this song portrays the everydayness of love really well. Being able to rely on the person your with to be there when you’re in a bad place or you’re having a bad day/week/month is something a lot of people aspire to have, and I think this song perfectly encapsulates that feeling – I also really liked the video for this song, and the fact that it ends with Ed and Cherry who’ve gotten married, but also Ella Mai who’s going on a first date. The contrast is clever – I’m going to leave this here because I love this album, and I could write about this album for days, but there are my top 5 tracks.