Rob Lucas’ Thoughts On Ed Sheeran’s New Album May Surprise You…

March 14, 2017

USA Today

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Ed Sheeran’s Divide has been out for just over a week, and I finally got my hands on an old-school CD copy…and it’s TREMENDOUS…an A++!  Coming from me, that’s saying something, as I found his first two albums tedious, boring, and ultra-depressing. 

But not DivideThis album is so good it may convince other artists to take a year off from everything, especially social media and performing, to let real-life experiences build up, hone their craft, and turn in an album with zero filler and numerous stand out tracks.   I count as many as three smash singles on Divide, with up to three more as possible medium hit singles.   Divide Highlights:

  • “Eraser,” cut 1, jumps out in full “Sheeran-rap” such that it sounds like it could be from the Hamilton soundtrack.  And when he sings, “I was born inside a small town, I lost that state of mind” followed later by, “I forget when I get awards now, the wave I had to ride,” well there you go…that’s why he dropped out for a year. He had lost his true sense of who he was to the music business. 
  • “Castle On The Hill,” released by Ed simultaneously with Shape Of You (which didn’t make his record company happy, but then Ed’s career was formed by doing the opposite of what most record labels would do) is already almost as familiar as “Shape Of You” and could be the second official single.  But for that second single, my money is on…
  • “How Would You Feel (Paean),” album cut 11.  This is the latest, greatest Ed Sheeran song that will be played at wedding after wedding.  It clocks in at 4:40, but it seems like it’s only 2 minutes long.  BTW, a Paean is a song of praise or triumph, a positive hymn.  I had to look it up too!
  • The next “wow” track is a song we will certainly be playing on St. Patrick’s Day, “Galway Girl”.  I’m not sure if it’s a “round-the-year” hit, but it’s certainly a perfect Buffalo bar party song.  Kind of reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen’s “Meet Me At Mary’s Place” mixed with an Irish Rovers party song!
  • “Happier,” track 7, may be the saddest song I’ve heard in five years. It’s the modern-day version of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”   Is there anything worse than the pain of seeing someone you’ve loved being happier with someone else?  Ed Sheeran puts it into lyric like no-one has in a long, long time.  So sad, it’s good.
  • Cut 8, “New Man.”  It may not be a hit, but it’s catchy.  Not sure if Ed is talking about his girl being with a “New Man”, or if he is riffing on himself for being the “New Man” in the past, e.g. , “…spent 500 pounds on pants, goes to the gym 6 times a week…,” while he forgot who he really was.  Either way, it works!

So those are just six Divide highlights, but there are sooooo many more.  Buy the album.  Don’t rip it from a friend.  It’s worth the money.  You’ll listen to it for years before you tire of it!  Or maybe you never will…