On December 13th, 2015 Ed Sheeran announced that he’d be taking a hiatus from social media and going rogue. He explained he wasn’t interested in living life through a tiny screen, and wanted to see the world with his own eyes. On December 13th, 2016, exactly one year later, Ed came back and with a very cryptic message to share with his fans and the world.
Everything on his social media was changed to this shade of blue, and just a few weeks after his return, he announced the release of his two latest singles “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You”; also teasing the cover art to his forthcoming third studio album “Divide”. And on March 3rd, 2017, the album was released for the world to hear, and we could not be any more happier and relieved. Our cravings for new music from Ed have been satisfied, and we can finally rest.
We must say that Ed’s year long hiatus was probably the greatest thing to happen to the music industry, because the album that was produced over that time is an absolute banger. Not only is the vibe unlike anything we’ve ever heard, but the songs are off the charts and each song carries a different story to its birth behind them, which makes this entire album pure art. Each song also has a different sound – different from what we’ve heard on Plus (+) and Multiply (X) – and we adore the feeling of an artist’s new sound/vibe, because it means they’re still trying to find themselves in music, and they’re not afraid to try new things and step over boundaries to really find who they are.
We have a million and one things to say about Ed’s newest album, so without further adieu let’s get onto the track by track review.
Track One – Eraser
So of course before the song even started, we were already overcome with happiness to finally be listening to the long-awaited album. But when we pressed play on Eraser, we were 100% hooked with the rhythm and the tune. And as soon as Ed started rapping, our minds went back to our favourite tune on Multiply, “The Man”. We’re incredibly happy that Ed decided to carry the rapping or as he calls it “spittin out lyrics”, to the third album because it starts it off perfectly. As soon as Eraser concluded, we were in for a treat.
Favourite lyrics: “I used to think that nothing could be better than touring the world with my songs/I chased the picture perfect life, I think they painted it wrong/I think that money is the route of all evil, and fame is hell/Relationships and hearts you fix, they break as well.”
Track Two – Castle on the Hill
And the good vibes continue with Castle on the Hill! We definitely think this song is a song that you listen to when you’re out with your close friends for a late night jam sesh. We got nothing but good vibes from this song – it made us feel free, it made us want to get up and dance until the sun came up, it made us want to forget the world existed for an hour or so, while this song blasted on repeat from our speakers.
Castle on the Hill also tells a story of how Ed Sheeran became Ed Sheeran. We like to call him a legend, the king of all kings, and a musical god, but we really didn’t know who Ed Sheeran was until we heard this song. We think it’s really special that Ed decided to share his story with the world, with such an amazing and uplifting song that describes who he is and how he was brought up.
Favourite lyrics: “Fifteen years old and smoking handrolled cigarettes/Running from the law through the backfields and getting drunk with my friends/Had my first kiss on a Friday night/I don’t reckon I did it right/I was younger then,/Take me back to when.”
Track Three – Dive
Move out of the way Thinking Out Loud, you are no longer the song we’d recommend as a wedding song; Dive has taken your place. Dive is definitely our favourite song on the album because it definitely gives us the Thinking Out Loud feels, but it’s escalated to a whole other level of feels. This is definitely a song we’d dance to at our wedding (no, seriously).
The lyrics sound depressing, but the vibe is just incredible and it captivates us every single time we put this song on; it hooks us in and gets us in the right mood. You can hear the passion in Ed’s voice as he sings, and that’s one of the million and one things we’ve always loved about him – his passion. Words cannot honestly describe how much we love it, and how much we love this song. It’s (in our opinion) one of the greatest songs on Divide.
Favourite lyrics: “So don’t call me baby/Unless you mean it/Don’t tell me you need me/If you don’t believe it/So let me know the truth/Before I dive right into you.”
Track Four – Shape of You
We’ve officially nicknamed this song “club jams” because let’s be real, you can get down to this at the club. All jokes aside, this song is a banger and has been one of our favourites since it was released. The lyrics are so sensual/sexual but they’re also really cute, and joined together in the most mind-blowing way possible. Also, have you seen the music video? SHOOK. Even though the woman who played Ed’s love interest in the video isn’t actually his love interest in real life, we still ship it. To conclude, this song is 100% art at its finest.
Favourite lyrics: “Your love was handmade for somebody like me.”
Track Five – Perfect
Tenerife Sea who??
Perfect is honestly perfect and we’ll tell you why we think so. We’re definitely feeling the Tenerife Sea vibes with this song, and we love it because that is one of our favourites on Multiply. The lyrics tell the most unreal story we’ve ever heard, and this is a definitely on our list of wedding songs. The story described and the vibe we get as we listen, is something straight out of a fairytale. It feels so whimsical, magical, and almost like we’ve been transported to a whole new world (get it?). Perfect is definitely a 10/10 in our books.
Favourite lyrics: “Baby, I’m dancing in the dark with you between my arms/Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song/When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath/But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight.”
Track Six – Galway Girl
Galway Girl definitely painted a good picture for us because again, it tells us a story about his encounters while on his hiatus – a pretty good story if we do say so ourselves. We love how Ed went back to his roots with this song, and mixed a more modern rhythm with that of his roots in the UK. Again, Ed has chosen to share his upbringing and where he came from with the world though music, and that is a special connection that is impossible to break. If you need a good jam to do homework, house chores, or just a song to jam out to, Galway Girl is your song.
Favourite lyrics: “Kissed her on the neck and then I took her by the hand/Said, ‘Baby, I just want to dance’.”
Track Seven – Happier
We think we’ve possibly found our new rainy day track! Happier is one of the slower songs on the album, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful. The reason being is mainly because of the lyrics and the story, but also the mood, the theme, and of course how the song is put together musically; Happier speaks volumes.
The lyrics paint a picture of Ed’s view on the relationship his former lover now has with another guy, and how he feels about the whole situation. Clearly through the tone of the song and the passion displayed in his voice, he had more than enough things to say, but in the most beautiful way possible.
The way Happier was constructed lyrically, rhythmically, and emotionally, literally brought us to tears because of how much the song affected us when we listened to it for the first time. And that’s how you know it’s a great song, when it moves you and brings you to tears; if it makes you feel something, anything, then it’s a great song.
Favourite lyrics: “Sat in the corner of the room/Everything’s reminding me of you.”
Track Eight – New Man
Now, New Man is definitely more upbeat than the track before this one. When we first heard this song, our thoughts immediately went back to “Don’t” from Multiply because that’s the kind of vibe we got. The exception being that it’s a whole new concept, mood, and song. We definitely think New Man is Divide’s “Don’t” for many reasons, one of them being because it’s generally a banger and once it starts, you’re immediately moved by the rhythm and get into it easily.
The lyrics, the tone, the mood, and the rhythm are all so cunning and beautifully put together to make such an amazing song.
Favourite lyrics: “I don’t wanna know about your new man, we’ll get there eventually/I know you’re missing all this kind of love/But I’m positive that he don’t wanna know about me.”
Track Nine – Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
Ed knows exactly where to hit us with the feels when it comes to his songs and how he constructs them. What we loved most about Hearts Don’t Break Around Here the minute we pressed play, were the lyrics. We were immediately drawn in the minute we heard, “She is the sweetest thing that I know/You should see the way she holds me when the lights go low“, because let’s all admit, they’re pretty sweet lyrics. And when we listened to the rest of the songs and picked out the lyrics, we were moved to tears for the trillionth time since starting the album, and we were only on the ninth track.
Like we said, Ed knows exactly how to touch us with his music.
Favourite lyrics: “That every night I’ll kiss you you’ll say in my ear/Oh we’re in love aren’t we?/Hands in your hair, fingers and thumbs baby/I feel safe when you’re holding me near/Love the way that you conquer your fear/You know hearts don’t break around here.”
Track Ten – What Do I Know?
What Do I Know is one of our favourite songs on Divide for a lot of reasons. When we first heard the beginning of this song, we almost immediately thought of Shawn Mendes’ song Honest, because the songs are similar but different at the same time. We’re almost convinced that Ed and Shawn had to have gone into the studio, and collaborated on both songs secretly.
We love the overall vibe and message that What Do I Know gives off. It makes us feel like anywhere we listen to this song can become home, even if we’re on the bus or on our way to work, What Do I Know provides that feeling. This song also provides the feeling of safety, security, and relaxation, which is the best feeling you could ever experience if we’re honest. We can definitely picture waking up on a Sunday morning and making breakfast to this song (possible Lazy Sundays jam anybody?).
We love What Do I Know because it automatically brings a sense of satisfaction and happiness, which is all you can really ask for in life, and Ed provided that through his music.
Favourite lyrics: “While I’ll be sitting here with a song that I wrote/Saying love could change the world in a moment/But what do I know?”
Track Eleven – How Would You Feel (Paean)
When Ed released this song out of the blue with a live in-studio video, we were shocked and fangirled for a good thirty minutes before we pressed play. The first thing that captured our undivided attention was the first verse, “You are the one girl/And you know that it’s true/I’m feeling younger/Every time that I’m alone with you“. The lyrics and the style of writing, the vibe, and the rhythm are all certain aspects that gives this song life, and they’re 100% on the ball. We swear to you, Ed’s signature writing/song style is love songs, but we will never be able to get enough of how magical they are.
Another wedding song perhaps?
Favourite lyrics: “Every moment that I spend with you/We were sat upon our best friend’s roof/I had both of my arms round you/Watching the sunrise replace the moon.”
Track Twelve – Supermarket Flowers
Supermarket Flowers is yet another song that brought us to tears, because the lyrics and the concept of the song was just so moving we cried for a good five minutes after the song ended. We’ve never heard such a beautiful song until this one came around. We could have sworn we heard angels sing when we listened to this song; it’s just so beautiful, so moving, and so fragile. It definitely brings down the mood a little, and tackles a more emotional and tragic matter, which was something we weren’t expecting when we read the title of the song.
Supermarket Flowers is a song that definitely moved us, and if you haven’t listened to it yet we hope that when you do, it moves you too because it’s hard to listen to such a beautiful and tragic song, without breaking down into tears.
Favourite lyrics: “I hope that I see the world as you did cause I know/A life with love is a life that’s been lived.”
Track Thirteen – Barcelona
Barcelona definitely helped us get out of the sadness we were feeling in the last song, and all we wanted to do after we cried was get up and dance because of how much a tune this song is. We love how Ed incorporated Spanish culture in his album, because as he’s said in a couple interviews, he wrote the songs on Divide in countless parts of the world while he was on his hiatus. We love how he chose to go about writing the album and where to write each song, because that’s what makes his album that much more special.
When listening to Barcelona, we tried and failed miserably to Samba but you know what? Not everyone is good at it, and you know practice makes perfect, but we did definitely learn a little espagnol from this song as Ed used some of the ancient language in his song.
Favourite lyrics: “Well get up up on the dancefloor, move, it’s a Saturday night/I fell in love with the sparkle in the moonlight/Reflected in your beautiful eyes, I guess that is destiny doing it right/And dance like they do in the Mediterranean” and “Las Ramblas, I’ll meet you, we’ll dance around La Sagrada Familia/Drinking Sangria, mi niña, te amo mi cariño/Mamacita, rica, si tú, te adoro señorita/Los otros, viva la vida.”
Track Fourteen – Bibia Be Ye Ye
Bibia Be Ye Ye is 100% one of the greatest songs on this album. For those of you who are intrigued by the title and its meaning, Bibia Be Ye Ye means “all will be well” in one of Ghana’s many native languages, Twi. Yes, Ed wrote this song while he was staying in Ghana on his hiatus and again, we love how he incorporated African/Ghanaian culture in his album. It displays diversity among different cultures, and that’s a special and unique thing to see, which is something we love a lot.
Bibia Be Ye Ye has such an upbeat tune, and it involves modern rhythm mixed with afro-beats that is enjoyable for anyone, who just wants to jam out at any time of the day.
Favourite lyrics: “Someone told me, always say what’s on your mind/And I am only, being honest with you, I I get lonely/And make mistakes from time to time/Se enioma enko ye [if thing’s aren’t going well]/Bibia Be Ye Ye.”
Track Fifteen – Nancy Mulligan
Nancy Mulligan is a banger on so many levels, words cannot describe our love for this song. We love it because of how it makes us feel, and we especially love the story behind this entire song. Rumor has it that Nancy Mulligan is a story of how his grandparents William and Anne, sparked their romance. How cute is that? Nancy Mulligan also happens to be another one of his tribute songs to his grandparents, as another from his past released songs was “Afire Love” for his late grandfather.
In fact, check out this cute little video of Ed’s grandmother listening to Nancy Mulligan for the first time, and her reaction!
Not only is this song pretty catchy, but it makes us want to do a little bit of an Irish jig (if only we could), with the tune that goes back to Ed’s roots in Ireland.
Favourite lyrics: “She and I went on the run/Don’t care about religion/I’m gonna marry the woman I love/Down by the Wexford border/She was Nancy Mulligan/And I was William Sheeran/She took my name and then we were one/Down by the Wexford border.”
Track Sixteen – Save Myself
And to end such a beautiful, banger of an album we end with Save Myself, which is another touching song. What we love most about Save Myself is the message that it promotes – there are days you’ll be in a dark place and you’ll feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, and on those days you still put people’s happiness before your own, but there will come a time where you need to think of yourself before thinking of others, because eventually you’ll feel washed up, taken advantage of, and used.
We think it’s okay to be a little selfish and call a time out on life, if you’re feeling like you’re being tossed and thrown around. Life can definitely be draining sometimes, trust us we know. Self-love and self-care are two major keys to achieving happiness in life, so you should always look after yourself and your well-being before tending to the needs of others.
We love how this is how Ed decided to end his album, with such an important message that everyone far and wide needed to hear. It’s not discussed a lot in the media or society; it’s an underrated issue that needed to be tackled, and Ed did it in the most beautiful way possible.
Favourite lyrics: “So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself/And before I blame someone else, I’ve got to save myself/And before I love someone else, I’ve got to love myself.”
Have you listened to Divide? What did you think? Share your thoughts with us over on our Twitter (@CelebMix).