British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is back from his long hiatus with the release of his third album, ÷ (also known as Divide), on March 3. The album, including the deluxe version and four bonus tracks, has a total of 16 songs, with the majority of them hand-written and self-produced.
Sheeran has called Divide “the best thing I have made thus far.” Divide has new sounds and vulnerable, sentimental lyrics that seem to speak to the souls of listeners, telling a unique story.
Though I don’t generally listen to much of Sheeran’s songs, many of the singles from Divide managed to capture my attention. My favorite track from this album is “Perfect.” It’s a sweet, romantic song that’s “perfect” for slow dancing at wedding ceremonies. The best part of the song is the lyrics: “I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets/ To carry love, to carry children of our own.” Other slow songs include “How Would You Feel (Paean),” “Supermarket Flowers” and “Happier.”
The song “Shape of You” has garnered by far the most popularity and attention. It has a catchy melody and an upbeat vibe, and has risen to first place on the Billboard “Hot 100.” It has arguably become one of Sheeran’s most notable hit songs. “Shape of You,” along with “Castle on the Hill,” were released early on Jan. 6 as the album’s lead singles.
“Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” tell musical narratives of their own with their folk song styles and fiddle-based rhythms. “Galway Girl” references a specific street in Galway, Ireland, and tells the detailed story of how an Irish fiddle player and an Englishman met and fell in love one night, while “Nancy Mulligan” recounts the love story of Sheeran’s grandparents through sweet tunes and lyrics.
Overall, I found Divide to be an enjoyable album to listen to. I’d recommend everyone of all ages to check it out.