Review: Ed Sheeran Returns From Year Long Absence to Release “Divide,” His Best Album to Date


Brynne Bergen

After taking a year off from all social media to travel the world, Ed Sheeran came back to the music scene boasting his best album to date. Fans around the world recognize Sheeran for his raw vocals coupled with talented guitar skills, and he does not fail to highlight these attributes on his third studio album, “Divide.”

The anticipation for Sheeran’s album picked up because the artist released two singles, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill”, on Jan. 6. “Shape of You”—a song that strays away from Sheeran’s typical sound—debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and quickly became a hit around the world.

The album itself, released on March 3, has already broken multiple records on different platforms. “Divide” now holds the record for the most first week streams for an album on Spotify with a whopping 374 million streams worldwide. “Divide” is also the fastest selling album by a male artist of all time.

“Divide” possesses similar songs to his first two albums, “Plus” and “Multiply.” Romantic ballads “Perfect” and “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here,” showcase Sheeran’s acoustic roots. Sheeran also exhibits his rap talent in songs “Eraser” and “New Man.” The latter, a relatable break-up song complete with a catchy chorus and strong beat, is destined for success.

Although there are many connections between the three albums, it is clear that traveling had a major influence on Sheeran, for “Divide” is his most creative work yet. Sheeran takes a risk by singing alongside traditional Irish music in the songs “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan.” The singer even shows off his Spanish speaking skills in the song “Barcelona,” —an upbeat song that can be found on the deluxe version of the album.

One thing that is evident throughout all three albums, and in every song that Sheeran writes, is clever lyrics. Having just been awarded the iHeartRadio Music Award for Best Lyrics with Justin Bieber for the song “Love Yourself,” it is clear that Sheeran does not lack in the songwriting department. On top of Bieber’s hit song, Sheeran has also written for other artists like One Direction, Major Lazer and Taylor Swift.

Despite of the fact that Sheeran is already a household name, this new album brings the singer to a new level artistically. With multiple awards already under his belt, Sheeran will undoubtedly win many more for the genius that is “Divide.” Sheeran’s new album proves that creative risk is a good thing, and that pure vocal talent will always thrive no matter the background music.