Three months ago, I was asked to do a feature on the western music society of my college. In an interview with the President of the society, I was told that one of their major influences was a bloke named Ed Sheeran.
I kept on telling myself in the Metro that I would go home and browse YouTube for Ed Sheeran as I had heard a lot about him but had never had the opportunity of listening to his music. As soon as I reached home, I had my dinner and sat down on my computer to search for Ed Sheeran. The first video that cropped up was of a song named ‘The A Team’ which had close to 150 million views. Nonetheless I clicked on the video and waited for it to buffer completely. Twenty seconds into the song I was mesmerised by the simplicity of his voice as well the emotion behind every word he sang.
In an interview to an Australian Radio Station, Ed mentioned how he met a homeless girl in a homeless shelter while he was playing a show when he was 18 years old. He mentions that the ‘girl’ was later found out to be a prostitute who sold ‘love to another man’ for the sole purpose of smoking Cocaine. The A Team was about this girl ‘Angel’ who is so rightfully mentioned in the song. Till this day The A Team has stayed in my playlist along with few of his other songs.
2 months later, on 24th June I had the opportunity of buying a digital version of Ed Sheeran’s new album ‘Multiply’. From the first to the last song this album kept me craving for more. In few of his interviews this year, Ed mentioned how this album was ‘way too personal’ and how it had ‘variety’. He mentioned how this album consisted of both his original style of music and his experiment with Hip Hop as a result of him working with contemporary hip hop artists and producers (which he has managed to pull off splendidly).
If you are a person who loves romantic ballads as well as well constructed contemporary hip hop, this is definitely the album for you. I have tried to group the songs in the album into three groups namely Love Songs, Hip Hop and Assorted and I shall be addressing each song accordingly:
- I’m a Mess
- Tenerife Sea
- Thinking Out Loud
- Afire Love
- Sing (Produced by Pharell Williams)
- The Man
- Take it back
- Even my dad does sometimes
- I see fire
Let us start with the Love Songs;
‘One’, ‘Tenerife Sea’ and ‘Photograph’ are slow, melodic and high pitched songs with well executed vocal harmonies which complement the guitar and the drums perfectly. These three songs are pretty personal. ‘One’ is like a traditional ballad which is dedicated in a general fashion but ‘Photograph’, as speculated, describes his relationship with Nina Nesbitt. ‘Tenerife Sea’ is speculated as a song dedicated to Ellie Goulding, because Ed mentioned that “in a difficult time when there was too much buzz, a ‘lady’ helped him cope with the hustle and bustle of life.” A few weeks later a photo was revealed which showed Ed holding Ellie’s hand in an Award Ceremony, which somehow portrayed that Ed was troubled with the buzz of the Awards and he was relaxed when Ellie met him.
‘I’m a Mess’, ’Shirtsleeves’ and ‘Nina’ are faster songs but they are all addressed to Nina Nesbitt, describing a few instances of their relationship. ‘Thinking out loud’ is another general love song which has a ‘Jazzy’ vibe to it. In an album promo, Ed plays ‘Thinking out loud’ with Jazz Pianist Jools Holland and both of them complement each other perfectly. ‘Afire Love’ describes the love amongst his grandparents. He sings about how his ill grandfather once used to sing to his grandmother. The chorus of the song is partly what his grandfather used to sing to his grandmother.
Now moving on the Hip Hop Songs;
‘Sing’ was the first single that Ed released in February and surprisingly it was produced by Grammy Award winning artist Pharell Williams. It is a funky song and it even has a music video where both of them feature together. The song received positive criticism and showed a new face of Sheeran’s music. Next on the album is ‘Don’t’ which is another extremely personal song. The song mentions “Me and Her we make money the same way, two cities and two planes the same day” and “I never intended to be next, but you didn’t need to take him to bed that’s all. I never saw him as a threat, until you disappeared with him to have sex of course”.
The next song is ‘The Man’ where he addresses this to song to Nina Nesbitt. It is an intense rap and he delivers the whole story in the Rap. ‘Runaway’ is a song that depicts Ed’s feelings when he was just 16 years old and he left his town for a career in music in London; how he loves his father but has to busk in the streets to carry on his passion for music…’Bloodstream’ is a general song where he portrays his mood when he is drunk and there are women surrounding him. He depicts a very dark side of his mind in this song. It also has a catchy and a melodic guitar pattern to complement the lyrics. ‘Take it Back’ is like an answer to his critics. For anyone who wants to learn about Ed Sheeran’s life this is the song he/she should listen to. It’s a fast rap song and has a catchy chorus as well.
Moving on to the Assorted songs section,
‘Even my dad does sometimes’ is like a slow ballad where he describes how it’s okay to cry and enjoy life as it unfolds with the passage of time. It’s like a message to the modern youth who look for an excuse to give up their lives and finally ‘I See Fire’ is the song Sheeran made for the movie ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug’. This song was pretty well received and has been covered more than 5000 times on YouTube.
Overall this album is awesome. It provides you with super cool music and it creates a perfect balance between love songs and hip hop songs. I can’t wait for radios in Delhi to play these songs. Some of my favourite songs in the album are ‘Don’t’, ‘Bloodstream’, ‘The Man’, ‘I’m a Mess’, ‘Nina’, ’Thinking Out Loud’, ’Sing’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘I See Fire’. You should definitely buy this album as it is worth it.