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Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ strays from traditional sound

Special to The Prospector

After a yearlong break from social media, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran finally returned March 3, with the release of his third album, “÷ (Divide).”

In a more upbeat premise, “Divide” is a slight departure from Sheeran’s usual mellow material. 

Sheeran mixes pop songs with similar-toned ballads fans have grown to know and love.

His new tracks “Happier,” “Perfect” and “How Would You Feel” are as strong as his previous hits such as chart-topper “Thinking Out Loud” because of the passion that Sheeran evokes through the songs. Longtime fans will be pleased with the familiar sounds now accompanied by Sheeran’s new musical discoveries.

In his song “Happier,” Sheeran declares his emotions after seeing his ex-girlfriend in someone else’s arms. He doesn’t talk about his jealousy of the other man. Although he feels miserable without her, and it hurts him seeing her with someone else, he’s just happy she can move on and be happy even if it’s not with him.

The warm soothing melody of “Perfect,” could possibly become the new ideal song for couples to share their first dance to at their wedding. The song describes his perfect relationship with the perfect girl. He’s in complete disbelief that something so wonderful could have happened to him. Lyrics in the song, such as “dancing in the dark with you between my arms, barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song,” will remind you it’s the little things in a relationship that matter.

In “How would you feel (Paean),” Sheeran talks about how he’s not rushing his relationship. The easy sound goes well with the message that Sheeran is trying to convey. He’s just relaxed, going with it, knowing that it is going to last. “I’ll be taking my time, spending my life, falling deeper in love with you,” Sheeran sings.

While most of Sheeran’s hit songs have been ballads about being or falling in love, he adds in a couple more upbeat songs talking about his grandparents’ love and traveling. The tracks may feel a bit unnatural from what fans are used to.

His Irish influence can be heard in the last couple of songs of the album where Sheeran continues experimenting. In the tracks “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan,” he adds instruments that shine a light on his Irish roots. Sheeran uses other influences such as African harmonizing in “Bibia BeYe Ye” and uses Spanish lyrics in “Barcelona.”

Overall this album is bittersweet for Sheeran fans, who weren’t ready for a sudden change; they can still enjoy some of his new romantic ballads that stay true to who he is as an artist.

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Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ strays from traditional sound