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A musical grab bag: Ed Sheeran’s Divide reviewed

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Following the release of “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” in January, Ed Sheeran released Divide, his third studio album, on March 3.

Overall, Divide is an exceptional album. Sheeran is a brilliant lyricist, pulling inspiration from the world around him to create heavy, emotional songs, like “Supermarket Flowers” and fun, entertaining songs, such as “Nancy Mulligan.” His singer-songwriter combination provides depth and easy-listening to Divide.

Sheeran plays with many different types of styles on this album. Tracks “Nancy Mulligan” and “Galway Girl” are overwhelmingly Irish. “Barcelona” and “Bibia B
Be Ye Ye” have Hispanic undertones. This experimentation pays off big time by producing enjoyable, lighthearted songs perfect for blasting in the car this summer. (Though, listening to Ed Sheeran speak Spanish does offer a good laugh.)

“Dive” combines the R&B stylings of Aretha Franklin and bluesy guitar riffs of Eric Clapton. This track showcases Sheeran’s passionate vocals exceptionally well.

The diversity in instrumental arrangements, styles and lyrics in Divide allows it to be an album you can listen to no matter what mood you’re in.

Feel like dancing? “Shape of You” utilizes dance-hall synthetic beats while still being a meaningful song.

Want to cry your eyes out? “Supermarket Flowers” is the song for you. About Sheeran’s late mother, it will compel you to call your mom right this second.

While Divide offers many great hits practically made for the Top 40, some tracks missed the mark.

“Eraser” has Sheeran rapping (if you could truly call it that) awkwardly, creating a slightly off-tempo, careless sound. Not to mention the words he sings are so typical of a singer who has made it big.

“I forget when I get awards now, the wave I had to ride,” Sheeran sings.

Every musician who ever went through some sort of struggle to get where they are uses this line, or some variation of it.

“Castle on the Hill” follows the same pattern of a person with some claim to fame telling all the regular, everyday citizens to never forget where they come from. To stay grounded.

“What Do I Know?” calls to mind the same type of generic message of “world peace induced by song” that John Mayer attempts to send in “Waiting On the World to Change.”

Ed Sheeran you are wrong. We cannot “change this whole world with a piano.” It takes more than that, Ed.

Besides a few missteps here and there, Divide is a powerful album with ample amounts of musical ingenuity and lyrical creativity that is a refreshing change of pace from the current pop music scene.

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A musical grab bag: Ed Sheeran’s Divide reviewed