Featuring an assortment of refreshing, genre-blending tunes, Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” is worth a listen whether or not his efforts on this album are as impactful as the previous two.
“+” and “x” brought Sheeran to the spotlight because of his genuine, original style that is influenced by pop, hip-hop, and folk genres. Released on March 3, it is definitely connected to those two previous works, but this one moves even further from the artist’s roots while still preserving his lived-in, melodic sound.
His style is recognizable and it is easy to connect the dots between his first big hit, Grammy nominated “The A Team,” and his recent ballad, “Photograph.” If fans of these songs are looking for more of the acoustic, swooning Sheeran, look to songs such as “Perfect.”
While he explores different techniques and rhythms, he always stays true to the sounds that made him famous. For fans of all his experimental sides, “Shape of You” is what might be the biggest clue as to where he is today.
It is always good to see an artist try out different sounds, especially when they are dealt with as thoughtfully as they are on this collection. He doesn’t always get it right and not all of his ideas are song-worthy, but most are noteworthy.
Forgettable tracks on the album include “Eraser” and “Dive.”
A fitting album for the day, week, or season of newness and growth that is upon us, “÷” has a positive yet reflective tracklist that is rough around the edges. Sheeran shows evident signs of growth in his now six year long career with plenty of new material to sink into. Results may vary, but this one is hard to not appreciate as it is something simple and exciting: something different.