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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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ABBA’s Heroic Return: ‘Voyage’ becomes fastest-selling vinyl of the century

Seeing off Ed Sheeran and Radiohead in one swoop, the Swedish megastars land a Number One album spot – and earned the fastest-selling vinyl of the century in the process.

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Above all else, it feels like they never left.

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With the album marking the return of the band in over 40 years, it is no wonder that it shifted 204,000 chart sales in the first seven days and broke the record for biggest opening week – a title that was originally held by Sheeran’s Divide in 2017.

Having the time of your life? Absolutely. Sailing through in true ABBA fashion, it certainly wouldn’t be a true return if they made an impact. From Thank You For The Music in 1994, to Voyage to the year of 2021 – it’s certainly an honourable title fit for the Dancing Queens of music. What a journey.

Playing through the album itself, it is classic ABBA with a fresh and unadulterated style embracing a taste of happy change. Both songs of I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down are colossal works that will go down in ABBA history.

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What’s New: Your Friday Releases

So comes around another Friday, which inevitably means new music to sink our teeth into. Included, are two of the most popular musicians to surface from the industry. Let me know what upcoming project, pre-released single drops you are most excited for!

Have a gander at a few of the best picked out below:

  • Stylistic and sleek, brother of bigger sister Eilish, FINNEAS steps into the spotlight with his imperious new debut, Optimist.
  • ADELE returns to music for the first time in 6 years with her new single, Easy on Me. With a tempting new album on the horizon in November, this song has been sat on and questioned since 2019. It’s finally here – and what better way for Adele to embark on her final journey.
  • COLDPLAY brave the cold with an October release, Music of the Spheres. Imploring the narration of sustainability to ensure the future of our Universe – with a self-sourced tour to boot – their ninth studio album has an undeniably atmospheric impact.
  • Two of my faves, both THE WOMBATS and DON BROCO give us a Friday feeling with more preemptive single releases before their scheduled albums drop. A seemingly good partnership between the two, both Endorphins and Ready for the High are rife-and-ready singles – which put in a good word for the albums to do the same.

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Billie Eilish – “Happier Than Ever” Album Review

One of the biggest stars of the century is back. Stark in maturity, complexion and musicality, Billie’s “Happier Than Ever.” Her genre-defining sound has been prolific since the debut of ocean eyes, and her first debut, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? with bad guy and when’s the party over. But this time, gone are the baggy clothes, the adolescent catharsis and the unique hair. This time, comes a new Billie. All grown up. Illustrious, sleek and sexy, Billie Eilish comes of age. And with, her first vogue cover. In what seems like a turning of age, she has become the female face of modern diplomacy, charting course for changes not just in an old-fashioned music industry for women, but the restrictions women face in every day-to-day environments.

If the album name goes by anything, safe to say, she is finally happy and comfortable with who she is, out and proud within her music, too.

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Happier Than Ever brings a more wiser, self-reflective approach to Billie’s artistry with Getting Older, which tackles responsibility, sexual harassment and reflecting the distress she has gone through within the music industry. Which to me, after seeing her grown up in such a difficult industry being in the limelight, is quite sad.

“Things I once enjoyed,

Just keep me employed now.”

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Fan pre-favourites, my future, Your Power and Lost Cause are strong contenders within an album fluxed with empowering emotion, undulating electronics and lustful lyrics that are so Billie. GOLDWING and Everybody Dies are my favourites among those already chosen, with the atmospheric space scapes making a return to her sophomore album. It’s a refreshing take on her music, shedding the skin of the angry from her debut and returning to her former modest self on her new and nurturing EP of don’t smile at me.

Worth the listen – even for the status of the artist.

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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?