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Ed Sheeran: Is = Worth it?

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.

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New Music Friday: What are you playing at the weekend?

As another Friday rolls around, we enter the spooky season of Halloween this weekend. So, let’s delve into some of the new releases for October 29th, and get an idea what new songs may be playing alongside your Halloween playlists this Sunday.

‘My bad habits will lead to wearing this hideous costume … ‘

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Eddy’s Return equals equals: This Friday, sees the return of Sheeran’s songwriting with his latest release, =. Following the quirky, unadulterated format of adhering to a mathematician’s dream, = follows his last release which was all the way back in 2017. Seeing a different side to life by taking up fatherhood during this time, Sheeran is embarking on yet another eclipse into a life he loves. Worldwide tours sharing worldwide love, Ed Sheeran will no doubt feature pre-single favourites of Bad Habits and Shivers.

Komeback of Kasbian: ALYGATYR: Kasabian share their first new bits of material following the departure of Tom Meighan. The sceptics amongst the fans of the Leicester band wondered what would happen after those abusive allegations first appeared, with many hedging their bets that the band would all but collapse in on itself. But lo and behold, driving creating force and lead guitarist behind Kasabian has rose to the challenge. Batting of combatants of change, Sergio has trailblazed his way to a fantastic arching story of a frontman. Of course, it is not Pizzorno’s first time as a leading frontman in a band – he also shares the same spotlight role with his super-immersive project of The S.L.P. With a homecoming show in Leicester and a fanatic single seemingly taken straight off the B-sides of 48:13, it’s like anything has rarely changed at all.

Biffy Clyro’s SURPRISETRICK OR TREAT?: Adorning to the fans of the Kilmarnock-rockers, they managed to release two studio albums in the space of little over 12 months. Sharing the same idealisms as A Celebration of Endings that was released post-lockdown, The Myth of The Happily Ever After is a special side-project of classic Biffy works that would have more likely been discarded, never to be consumed by ears again. Emblazoned with Unknown Male 01 and A Hunger In Your Haunt, it is a delicious treat for us to enjoy. Just in time for those past curfew during Halloween, too!

Leading the Way in Indie … Death Cab For Cutie and The War on Drugs: The War on Drugs third album comes with I Don’t Live Here Anymore, a splintered rock ‘n’ roll album of character. The next chapter from A Deeper Understanding … we’re going deeper still and we’re gonna need a bigger boat. With a new week abound with anniversary releases, Death Cab For Cutie joins the list with releasing a 20th Anniversay Edition of The Photo Album. Although no new music from the sensitive bitter-sweet drive from DCFC, it is a tasteful reminder of some of their best works to date … and a somewhat harrowing reminder how long they’ve been creating music for.

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Has Ed Sheeran “sold his soul” to the industry?

Long gone are the days of intimate acoustics of Small Bump, and now, Sheeran is causing rather large bumps in the ripple of music consumers, as people are feeling like he’s lost himself in the glamours of fame and money with music composition.

With the release of electro-dance mish mash of Bad Habits sounding hardly like the orange-coloured popstar, people are starting to lose their way and have doubts with him. It’s certainly no surprise though. After amassing such a following worth 60 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and generating billions with one of the biggest worldwide tours ever held with his divide album in 2017, it is any surprise his sound has changed into global mainstream pop mania when it has made one of the most successful pop artists in the world?

With this said, thousands of artists become popular, mainstream global artists but still keep their original sounds, integrity and formalities, allowing them to stay grounded and more importantly, true to the music. With Sheeran speaking in interviews, his thoughts on his music and others around him – aswell as seemingly buying property in the entire Suffolk region, it seems he has certainly lost aspects of both integrity and staying grounded.

But, what are your thoughts on Ed Sheeran and his music?

Has he really lost himself to the music?