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British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran is climbing the mountain of success. He released his debut album + back in September of 2011, but he’s found astounding popularity out of it. Generally too late to review an album, not only is + a pleasure to listen to, but this 12 song album has six singles total, most recently “Give Me Love” set to be released November 26 of this year. That’s incredibly impressive a statistic as it is, especially from a debut album, each single has found a fair amount of success.
Late onto listening to Ed Sheeran personally, he’s become one of the top talked about acts coming out of the UK nowadays. Sheeran is clearly talented. To me he seems similar to a Jason Mraz or James Blunt, yet he stands out entirely at the same time. He produces, strums his guitar, has a very melodic voice, but is also capable of beat boxing and rapping on his tracks. Accompanied with very real and very emotional lyrics, it’s made a fan out of me.
As to the album +, it’s very good. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. The album begins with its best song “The A Team”. It’s a beautiful melodic song with dark lyrics. Written about a homeless woman, struggling with heroin addiction as well as prostitution, it finds its way to mix emotions. However, the song is certainly worth listening to, because it opens the door and pulls you in to Sheeran’s music, then from there, everything else is just a pleasant surprise.
To me, the first couple tracks are the best off of the album, I feel once it hits about the halfway point, it tapers off to sound like more of the same, with maybe one or two exceptions from “The City” and “Lego House”.
The first five songs off this album are absolute gold in my eyes. “The A Team” is followed by “Drunk”. “Drunk” displays a bit of a funky background, featuring a serene Sheeran voice, he sings of drinking to forget. It’s a heartbreaker of a song, but it’s the second best song on the album.
This is followed by “U.N.I.” This is the first song off of the album where you hear Sheeran’s display of rapping abilities. The rapping combined with a sweet slow chorus makes a unique display. It’s really fun. It’s another heartbreaker of a song lyrically but it’s awesome, very enjoyable.
Sheeran mixes it up next with “Grade 8” where he changes to a more upbeat tone. Showing more music involvement with some bass guitar to groove along to, but it steps away from his slow melodic strumming styles.
The last song in this power block off of + is beautiful. The most personal song off the album, it’s a very quiet, lonely type of song, accompanied only by a piano, the song goes very down to earth. It’s very real and relatable, I love it.
All in all + is worth a listen and a purchase. I intend on keeping this album in my library. Ed Sheeran really raised the bar with his debut album and I hope he can reach it when he eventually releases a follow up. However, Sheeran has proven to be an extremely hard worker (he played 319 gigs in one year alone back in 2009 before even being signed!) but he also has phenomenal music ability and he will do well for himself. He’s performed Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” at the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony, as well as collaborated with Taylor Swift on her latest album Red. Whatever success this 20 year old receives, it’s all well deserved.
Ed Sheeran - "The A Team":