When Ed Sheeran announced that he was taking a hiatus from all social media in 2015 (and therefore all ways to keep up with his musical progress), the world went into a frenzy. How could we all survive without any knowledge of the next time we would be graced with the angelic voice of our favorite ginger, British singer-songwriter? A very selfish thought after we had just been gifted with Sheeran's sophomore album, x (Multiply) and the world tour that accompanied it...
But the world went into a whole new frenzy when, out of the blue, Sheeran announced the first two singles off his third album. And not too longer after that, the release date of ÷ (Divide) was announced as well.
After giving the excuse of wanting to work on some of the best music he has ever created as reason for the hiatus, Mr. Sheeran had a lot riding on his shoulders. It also took three years to complete his third studio album as compared to the two years that separated his debut + (Plus) and x (Multiply).
Sheeran opens the album with with "Eraser" and a sound that age-long fans may recognize: the singer's attempt at rapping. And while the world may know Ed for ballads, he flawlessly demonstrates his ability to break into other styles as well. From there, the album goes into one of the first singles, "Castle On A Hill," and reminds listeners of the Ed Sheeran anyone with a radio or Spotify account can count on: a sentimental song-writer with a flare for turning stories into songs that all too relatable sometimes.
Then, of course, there are the songs that make you tear up because they are just too beautiful to be heard by our lowly human ears. "Save Myself", "How Would You Feel (Paean)", "Supermarket Flowers", "Perfect" and "Dive" all fill that job perfectly. Sheeran's voice flows with ease from high to low notes and back again, allowing listeners a glimpse into his soul (yes -- even as a ginger, Ed does seem to prove he has one of those).
But ÷ (Divide) is not all about ballads as proved by a good number of songs. In fact, I think this could be considered Sheeran's most upbeat album to date. "New Man", "Barcelona", "Galway Girl", and "Nancy Mulligan" give us acoustic jams while first single, "Shape Of You", and "Bibia Be Ye Ye" give us a new sound as well as great songs to bring the good moods around.
Overall, Sheeran's promise to make some of the best music of his career was very much fulfilled. ÷ (Divide) has so many sounds on it that there is easily a song for every kind of music listener, and it also demonstrated Sheeran's ability to tackle more than the loving ballads he built his popularity around. The album is a great show of evolution from Ed Sheeran as well as a gift to music lovers everywhere.
Author's favorite songs: Barcelona, Galway Girl, and Perfect