Ever since his hit song “The A Team” was released in 2011, Ed Sheeran has been a hit not just in his home country of England but around the world. On June 20, he released a second album with over a dozen new songs that amazed his audience as his album soon became a number one hit in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and several other countries. An album three years in the making, “x” includes sixteen songs such as the lead single “Sing” and “Don’t” that made it chart at number one in sixteen countries in only its first week on sale.
Of the sixteen songs on the album, “One” was the first song that Sheeran wrote for the album. It is a particularly quiet song that blends the use of the guitar to his soft voice expertly. It seems to be written about a past love interest and truly makes you feel the way Sheeran felt while writing the song. The next song, “I’m a Mess”, though one of the last songs written, is one that truly sticks with you after you hear it. The beat and soft voice are an unforgettable mix. Both these songs, however, are no match for the albums hit song and promoting first single “Sing” was a collaborative effort with his fellow singers Elton John, Taylor Swift, and Pharrell. Though the most popular of the album, all of Sheeran’s other songs on this album are just as good as the promoting single.
My personal favorite on the album, “Don’t” is a song about a girlfriend who cheated on Sheeran with a close friend and was originally intended to be the opening single for the album. It almost didn’t make the album as Sheeran found it too personal and his emotions were too raw, but the vocals, words and beat make the song unforgettable and incredibly catchy. “Nina” is a similar song about heartbreak but in a much quieter tone and not as upfront about distrust. The sweat words and quiet voice make the song incredibly personal and unforgettable. Next on the album, “Photograph” is somewhat of a timeless ballad with both moving words and an incredible instrumental sound and wonderful voice that truly shows the feeling of the emotions in the words. This is the song that you find yourself humming to yourself after you listen to the album because it truly sticks with you.
The next two songs, “Bloodstream” and “Tenerife Sea” are both phenomenally written songs that are executed perfectly. The latter is a trademark acoustic ballad while the first is a much more personal song that speaks of emotions you feel when you hear the song. Similarly the next few songs, “Runaway”, “The Man” and “Thinking Out Loud” all add their own personal touch the album. Though the first and second one focus on failed relationships, the last one is Sheeran’s favorite and discusses his then girlfriend so it truly shows his soul and thoughts through the words. To him it is the only happy song in the album and truly shows how he feels about this woman.
The last batch of Sheeran’s songs are definitely the most moving. “Affire Love” was written about Sheeran’s grandfather two weeks before he passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. He finished the song after his death and used it to reunite his family for the funeral. When you listen to it, you truly feel the sadness that he must have felt and find yourself mourning his loss with him. Less serious, “Take It Back” discusses his personal struggles to rise to fame and is his first time delivering four rapped verses in a single song. Lastly, Sheeran’s final songs “I See Fire” and “All of the Stars” (only for deluxe albums) were the final tracks in “The Hobbit” film series and “The Fault in Our Stars” respectively.
Though it is rare for me to enjoy all of the songs on an album, I have to say that Ed Sheeran succeeds in getting me to fall in love with each and every song on his track. Each one is unique and moving and truly makes you feel the emotions that he feels while he was writing and recording them. He is honestly a wizard with words and music and I sincerely hope he continues singing. With an incredible voice, a wonderful pen, and phenomenal talent, Ed Sheeran is truly only at the start of what will be an incredible career as his music will always be just as incredible as this album was.