‘Sing’ was pretty brilliant, wasn’t it? The Pharrell production was the perfect launch for the new Ed Sheeran album ‘X’ by challenging what most people though an Ed Sheeran song should sound like.
Slight issue though… it doesn’t sound like the rest of the album at all. Red herrings usually upset us but when it’s as good as ‘Sing’, all can be forgiven pretty quickly.
Independent of ‘Sing’, the rest of ‘X’ is a smooth combination of comfortable lovey-dovey Ed and gritty faux-urban Ed.
Take ‘Don’t’, for example. This is the sound Amy Winehouse perfected back in the ‘Back to Black’ days. It’s deeply personal, soulful and universal all at one. Who can’t relate to telling someone not to ‘fudge’ with his or her love!
There are plenty of radio-ready songs on here for the masses; ‘Photograph’, ‘Tenerife Sea’ (try not to internally weep uncontrollably when he sings, “All that you are is all that i’ll ever need”. Go on!) and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ are all classic love songs. They don’t challenge the senses but sometimes you just need someone softly crooning about being in love.
Thankfully there’s more to Ed than weepy love songs; ‘Runaway’ (the other song produced by Pharrell on here) is about walking out on his alcoholic dad, ‘The Man’ is all about its stream of conscientious rapping and heavy urban influence and ‘Nina’s haunting piano will seep into your mind quickly.
The only obvious thing we felt was missing was more instrumentation on ‘I’m a Mess’ and ‘Take it Back’, but that’s a question of personal preference. We’re all for acoustic songs but we just think both songs would work better with a fuller sound.
That is obviously a very minor criticism as really Ed has done a stand up job of releasing the difficult second album.
No download section for this one, stream or download the whole thing and pick and choose what touches you the most!