Why “Divide” is Sheeran’s best album yet

A review of Ed Sheeran’s new album “Divide”

Why

Dropped on March 3, Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” took the world by storm. During a year sabbatical without the use of his cell phone, Sheeran spent his time traveling, gaining inspiration, and coming to terms with who he is as an artist. “Divide,” Sheeran’s third album, is drastically different from his previous albums– it covers a wide variety of themes and is refreshed with influences from all over the globe.  Each song is unique and yearns to exclaim its message to whomever listens. As follows is a review of the entire album divided up based on each song’s theme.

Love

Sheeran is best known for his poetic masterpieces-like tunes “Lego House,” “Give Me Love,” and “Thinking Out Loud” from his previous albums “Plus” and “Multiply.” However, this album adds a new list of beautifully crafted tunes for fans to swoon over, one of the most notable tracks being titled “Perfect.” I’m not going to lie, the first time I heard this song I felt tears come to my eyes as Ed concluded the song with the verses, “Now I know I have met an angel in person and she looks perfect. I don’t deserve this you look perfect tonight.”  Sheeran encompasses what it means to love someone the way they deserve to be loved- deeply and exceptionally. This heartfelt track is not solo on the album, along with it includes “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here,” a sweet ballad with a sincere chorus and soft melody that chronicles a tender romance, and “How Would You Feel,” a song premised on the genuine devotion to a relationship. With lyrics like “I’ll be taking my time, spending my life falling deeper in love with you,” this song is emotionally raw and pure. Yes, these three tracks are unbelievably beautiful and sappy, however, Sheeran adds two other tracks to the “Divide” list of love songs. Yet these two tracks take a different approach. “Dive” is a song centered on the theme of love, but it presents the question as to if this is the right kind of love. Its slow beat fools you into thinking it’s a sappy love song, yet its lyrics say otherwise. “Shape of You,” is an upbeat track with a techie beat at its opening, frequently played on the radio and a great one to dance to.  The “oh ah oh ah oh ah’s” in the song are catchy and create a unique rhythm. If you haven’t checked this one out yet– it’s a must!

Breaking up

Sheeran, like every human being, has been through his own share of ups and downs in relationships.  The album showcases these frequent highs and lows in relationships with two songs that specifically highlight on breaking up, aka the ultimate low of a relationship. “Happier” is a song that wallows in the pain of a breakup. Sheeran sings with desperation as he recites the words “I knew one day you’d fall for someone new, but if he breaks your heart like lovers do just know that I’ll be waiting here for you.” It’s vulnerable, it’s relatable, it’s a great song if you’re in need of a good cry. Yet Sheeran does not just convey this side of a breakup, he also focuses on the strength gained after a break up in “New Man.” Sheeran uses this song as a mini roast session for an ex’s new lover. Confidence is radiated as Sheeran is sassy singing “I know you’re missing all this kind of love.” “New Man” shows off Sheeran’s creativity through each uniquely written lyric. This is a good one to dance to or alternatively a good one to help you move on!

Culture

During his hiatus, Sheeran was able to get in touch with cultures from all over the globe. A Spanish influence shines through in “Barcelona,” an upbeat tune about dancing and letting loose, especially with lyrics like “Mamacita, rica, si tú, te adoro señorita Los otros, viva la vida, Come on let’s be free in Barcelona.” While an African influence is present in “Bibia Be Ye Ye,” which means “all will be well” in the Ghanaian Twi language. “Bibia Be Ye Ye” sounds like a song I would listen to on a beach– it’s peaceful, unique, tribal sound that takes me back to my trip out of the country. Sheeran also includes Irish influences in two songs- “Nancy Mulligan” and “Galway Girl.” “Nancy Mulligan” is a song written about Sheeran’s Grandmother named Nancy Mulligan. It is catchy and upbeat and has wicked cool Irish sound- it makes me want to do an Irish jig.

“Galway Girl,” the other Irish song by Sheeran, is my FAVORITE song on the whole album. It’s a lighthearted folk song that mixes modern lyrics and melodies with traditional Irish tunes. I highly recommend you check this one out– you may surprise yourself and develop a new passion for Irish music.”

Introspection

Finally, Sheeran delves into the topic of self-discovery throughout this album. The opening track “Eraser” discusses Sheeran’s career and who he is as an artist. It presents the idea of finding comfort in a “pain eraser,” and questions where he’ll go from here. This track is deep and intense– a literal self-analysis. Sheeran smoothly transitions into his next song in the “finding oneself theme,” with track two, “Castle on the Hill.” This song retells Sheeran’s past and describes him re-entering his hometown. This song truly unveils his roots, who he is as a person, as an artist. It’s a powerful song, with lyrics like “And I’m on my way, I still remember

These old country lanes, When we did not know the answers.” It’s upbeat, but it’s sincere.  Sheeran continues on this theme with the songs  “Supermarket Flowers,” a heartfelt song about death and coping, and “Save Myself,” a profound song about taking care and loving yourself before pouring yourself out to others.  A broader theme is shifted to with track “What Do I Know,” as Sheeran discusses changing the world and making an impact. “What Do I Know,” is more lighthearted, but still dives into the abstract topic of life as we know it.

This is Sheeran’s best album yet because it’s out of the box. It’s different yet has the same comforting voice and lyrics. If you haven’t listened yet, check this one out!