It’s been a week since Sheeran’s fifth album, = and despite topping the charts with another Number One album of his, … but is it a worthy addition to his collection of mathematical symbols?
Since his adolescent debut of + way back in 2010, Sheeran has become a quintessential pop legend throughout the decade. But as he began to shift away from his true acoustic-folk works to the more chart-topping arena pop anthems, many people feel that he has become to lose his way, and ultimately sell himself to the mass public of the music industry. Whether that may be true or not, Ed Sheeran’s recent album falls short of the mark in every sense of the word for me.
Flush with the plasticity of pop – from Shivers to Bad Habits – the album feels boyish, lazy and oddly rushed from a production perspective. The slow, emotive moves of Love in Slow Motion and Visiting Hours seem like favourable works that begin to save the album from its brink, but the lazy fillers of Sandman and Be Right Now choke any desire for this album to reflect any songwriting with depth.
Whether it was the fatherhood break that threatened his retirement from the love of music – or the fact that he was taking a break from songwriting itself – the change in Divide to Equals is somewhat devastating.
I totally understand the desire to change your creativity avenues all to make adventurous music that you have never attempted before, but I really do miss the authentic and enriching style of + for his debut. Whether that was because it was at the start of his career and the fame and adoration was not all that present at that moment in time, we’ll never know.
Still, we’ll always have those albums to cherish. He’ll do whatever he loves to do. He’s the biggest music artist in the world after all.