A few weeks ago, in final days before Valentine’s Day, my friends and I were walking through a supermarket when we came across a large section dedicated to love heart pillows, mushy cards, teddy bears and endless supplies of chocolate. Instantly, I rolled my eyes and declared that I hated romance. “I’m not romantic,” I proudly stated but what started as a throwaway comment turned into an intense debate where I managed to convince (or they just gave up) my friends that I hated romance.
Fast forward to March 3rd. It was a rainy Friday and I was curled up on my bed when I decided to listen to Ed Sheeran’s new, highly anticipated album Divide. It only took him 4 songs and I was a goner. If you’re as familiar with the album as I am you would know that as soon as Perfect came on, every notion of romance I had ever rolled my eyes at or jokingly gagged at, was forgotten. Suddenly, I found myself sobbing (and I mean, SOBBING) over a love I had never felt before. Never mind his vocals or musical skills, that is the real talent of Ed that leaves me speechless and in absolute awe. His story telling could make the greatest author green in envy. In 16 songs you’re left dreaming about your future with the love of your life regardless of whether you’ve met them yet or not, mourning the passing of a loved one whether you’ve experienced it yet or not and reflecting with nostalgia over your past regardless of how good or bad it may be.
In many ways, Divide is classic Ed. Tugging on heart strings you didn’t even know you had one second and dancing without a single care in the world the next. But in other ways, Divide is totally brand new and entirely special. It’s hard to put into words just how good this album is but as with many albums in the industry, the charts do the talking. Divide is taking over. A ginger with a mic, guitar in his hands and a loop pedal at his feet taking over in every single way. In a generation of music where the greatest accomplishment is dropping a beat so hard speakers could blow, this musical genius could silence the greats with just one song. This time though, it’s every single song.
No song is a “weak link” or absolute “stand out”. It’s hard to find a group of people who all share the same favourite song because he covers it all. From love to heartache to loss to fame to society, there is at least one song for everyone on Divide. You can’t really categorise this album or even Ed as an artist. It’s just music for the people.
I honestly feel like I need to thank Ed for this album. On behalf of all of your listeners, thank you for putting my emotions, feelings and life experiences into your songs. Thank you for giving me beautiful music to help me cope, reflect and celebrate my life.
Side note, does anyone know where I can take Irish fiddle lessons?