The astronomical success of everyone’s favorite redhead, Ed Sheeran, is almost incomprehensible. Just to put it into perspective, Sheeran’s song “Shape of You” has reached almost 3 billion streams on Spotify. He has also had one of the highest-grossing tours in music history at $775 million in 2018, with the “Divide” tour. That album was the top selling album of 2017. It is clear that Ed Sheeran is a powerful musical force to be reckoned with. He is best known for his acoustic guitar sound and his mellow vocals that could make anyone an instant fan. All of his albums are math symbols starting with “Plus,” which was released in 2011. He then proceeded to release “Multiply” and then “Divide.”
Sheeran’s most recent album, “Equals,”was released Oct. 29 of this year. The first track to kick off this album is “Tides.” Do I think this was the best one to kick off the album? No. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a good song though. “Tides” is your basic radio pop rock formula song. It consists of an upbeat simple drum rhythm, a guitar strumming a few basic chords, and to finish off the equation—the most important part of it—is a catchy melody. This is a beautifully relatable song though. It’s about how life is constantly changing and that it’s scary sometimes, but that’s okay. The unknown future holds good things.
My personal favorite song of the album would have to be “Sandman.” It starts out with a bubbly, almost nautical sound to it. The lyrics pay homage to his 1-year-old daughter. He says,
“Chocolate-covered roof and candy cars/Rainbow sugar river we can sail upon/Marshmallow books and strawberries/Snowmen made of ice cream/Over the flower fields, we'll fly/We'll count the fish in the sky/Honeybees and birds sing your song/Whatever you feel can never be wrong.”
This pop song lullaby is as sweet as the chocolate-covered roofs and candy cars he talks about.
This album has a consistent theme to it which seems to be love and life. He sings about his daughter, marriage, and the inevitable changes of life.
The best way to describe Sheeran’s recent release would be a “coming of age” album. It’s comforting to know that a millionaire musician is just as lost and confused about life as the rest of us sometimes. The album does not stray far from the formula that has worked so well for Sheeran in the past. His optimistic pop songs sprinkled in with a couple of acoustic songs did not fail him on this record either. Is it different and innovative for the well-known pop musician? Well, not necessarily. But it is your classic Ed Sheeran sound that everyone is oh, so familiar with.