Sheeran’s success carries on with ‘÷’


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Sheeran in concert.

By Audrey Fisher, Round Table photo editor

From his debut album to his newest hits, Ed Sheeran has become one of the most famous artists in today’s music. His first studio album, “+”, pronounced “Plus”, paved the way for Sheeran’s career. He became known for not only his pop music, but for some of his more touching songs. His newest album, “÷”, pronounced “Divide”, further shows Sheeran’s ability to perform.

Earlier this year, on January 6th, Sheeran released two singles from the new album, “Shape of You” and “Castle On the Hill”. These songs immediately rose to the top of the charts and gave fans an insight on what the new album would bring. Both were upbeat and fun songs. Though “Castle On the Hill” told more of a story of growing up and missing friends, both songs showed fans that “Divide” would not be a disappointment.

The album’s first song, “Eraser”, is an upbeat song that still talks about a man’s fatal flaws. The opening verse talks about how Sheeran lost sight of his roots, though he overall acknowledges it and the things that can destroy a man, shown through the chorus lyrics: “I’m well aware of certain things that can destroy a man like me/But with that said give me one more/Another one to take the sting away/I am happy on my own, so here I’ll stay.”

The album continues on to the songs, “Castle on the Hill” and “Dive”. While “Castle on the Hill” is a song that tells more of missing friends and growing up, “Dive” is much more heartfelt. The flowing song talks about how Sheeran could have gone wrong in past relationships, by coming on too strong or waiting too long. The chorus, though, is perhaps one of the more intense parts of the song, as the key lyrics are, “Don’t call me baby/Unless you mean it/Don’t tell me you need me/Unless you believe it,” while it ends with a touching, “So let me know the truth/Before I dive right into you.”

The next songs, “Shape of You”, “Perfect” and “Galway Girl”, are all very different in sound and meaning. “Shape of You” is upbeat and talks about Sheeran at a club, talking to girls primarily because of how they look. “Perfect” is the opposite of that, as it starts off slow, talking about how he found the perfect girl for him and all of the amazing and sweet things they are going to do together. “Galway Girl” begins abruptly and talks about a girl in a band who marries an Englishman but how he meets her and they spend a wonderful night together.

All of the songs are different, but tie into the main idea of love; finding it, the struggles of it, and ending it. This continues on to the next songs of the album and eventually takes us through other songs like “New Man” and “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here”.

“New Man” talks of a lost lover of Sheeran’s and how she has moved on with a man that does not satisfy her and looks for love in other places, including Ed. He says throughout the song that he does not like the new boyfriend, but also how he doesn’t want to be a part of his ex’s life anymore, saying “I don’t wanna know about your new man/’Cause if it was meant to be/You wouldn’t be callin’ me up.”

“Hearts Don’t Break Around Here” is a beautiful love song that talks about how wonderful this girl is and Ed compares her to all of the wonderful things in the world. He talks about how she conquers her fears and makes him feel alive, calling her his lighthouse in the dark of night.

The album moves to perhaps one of Sheeran’s saddest songs, “Supermarket Flowers”. This is the final song of the album, not including the bonus tracks, and speaks of one of the most tragic moments in Ed’s life. While writing “Divide”, Sheeran’s grandmother passed away and the song was originally written to play at her funeral, while Ed’s grandfather convinced him it was so good that it needed to go on the album. Its slow melody talks about heartbreak and the angel that heaven gets as his grandmother passes.

“Nancy Mulligan” is a bonus track on the album that is so upbeat and original, it truly brings Sheeran back to his Irish roots, especially because it was written about his other grandmother, Nancy Mulligan. Sheeran’s grandfather and grandmother ran off to get married together after Mulligan’s father denied them marriage, and actually got married in borrowed clothes, like the song says. Ed wrote one song about each of his grandparents for this album, and Nancy Mulligan was written based entirely on Sheeran’s grandfather and grandmother’s love story. Its upbeat rhythm and catchy lyrics catch the attention of everyone, while it tells a true story of love and religion.

Including the bonus tracks, Sheeran’s new album has sixteen songs and out of these sixteen songs, none of them disappoint. Each song brings something different to the surface. While some are slow and sad and some are upbeat and enjoyable, they all pull together to form what could be one of the top albums of 2017.