Music that will Divide your Heart
These past few months, Ed Sheeran’s new album, Divide, has been plucking heart strings everywhere. With a total of 16 new songs, the collection was released on March 3rd. “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” were released earlier as the lead singles on January 6th. All the songs were in the UK’s top 20 the week after it’s release. The album is one to remember with a wide range of songs that accommodate many genres.
According to Radio.com, some of the more popular songs so far have been “Shape of You,” “Dive,” and “Galway Girl,” though some of the best were “Barcelona,” “Nancy Mulligan,” and “Dive.” No matter which is your favorite, the diversity of the type of songs in the album makes it easy to listen to the whole thing on repeat. “Barcelona” is centered around the actual city of Barcelona and has a more upbeat Latin sound – not as lovey-dovey as his other songs. Contrastingly, “Dive” is steady and calming, good for slow dancing. Toward the end of the album, “Nancy Mulligan” is almost an Irish-jig, featuring a fiddle, some spoons, and a lot of group singing that all together will make you want to jump up and dance along. The song was written about Sheeran’s grandparents who had what he called in an interview with Beats 1 radio show a “Romeo and Juliet romance.” Finally, “Shape of You” features Sheeran’s classic acoustic guitar and is about exactly what one would expect. He’s in love with the “shape of yooouuu.” Each of these tracks features a different sound than what we’re used to hearing from Sheeran.
One final ballad deserves recognition: “Happier”, which goes deep into how Sheeran feels about fame. Closer to a poem than a song, if you haven’t heard it yet try listening to it with your eyes closed and really concentrating on the lyrics. He apologizes for things he feels guilty about and describes some hardships of being in the spotlight, getting at the heart of the pros and a cons of being a musician. A pro is that he has an outlet for any pain in his life and as John Green writes in The Fault In Our Stars, “Pain demands to be felt.” But that outlet is extremely public and it is probably weird to think that millions of people have access to his most personal thoughts and feelings. These are some themes that are examined in “Happier.” It’s important for people, especially on the internet, to remember that musicians are human, too. This album definitely exhibits Ed Sheeran’s humanity.
Although Sheeran’s sappy-love-song style is not for everyone, it’s definitely worth a listen with this album. It’ll make you cry, laugh, dance, and sing all at once.