Divided: Divide Album Review


Divide Album Cover/Rolling Stone

The album ÷ (Divide) finally came out on March 3rd after Ed Sheeran fans have been patiently waiting three years for its arrival. This album continues the theme of mathematics in his title, with his past albums being named + (Plus) and X (Multiply). Although it has been a hit on charts and has achieved great sales numbers, the quality of the record isn’t great; in fact, it is substandard . As the record goes on, Sheeran’s methods of delivery become repetitive and the boring lyrics leave a bad taste in your mouth, holding you from listening to any other Sheeran work. This has unfortunately defeated the high expectations of such a long-awaited album.

“Eraser,” the first track of the album, is different from his past works. His past works include themes such as his homelessness, which is featured in Drunk from Plus, as well as him being hurt because of love as featured in Grade 8 also from Plus. His voice is not mixed well with the acoustic and bass guitar, keyboard, drums, etc. Lyrically, it can be compared to styles with more edgy lyrics such as grunge music from the 90’s with lines such as, “I used to think that nothing could be better than touring the world with my songs I chased the pictured perfect life, I think they painted it wrong I think that money is the root of all evil, and fame is hell. Relationships, and hearts you fixed, they break as well.”  It also continues as Pitchfork said, “His shtick is aspirational. All you need is free will, a little song in your heart, and perhaps you too could one day be playing for 270,000 people across three nights at Wembley Stadium.” The quote gives the best description about the rest of the album.

“Castle on the Hill.” was one of two singles to premiere before the album. This song is more guitar-driven than “Shape of You” which creates a peaceful air but becomes boring during the end of the track due to the track’s 4 and a half minute length.  Musically, this is a much better mixed song than the previous track and continues his signature sound.

“Shape of You,” the second single that was released before the album is the most popular seeing its 5 week reign as #1 from the Genius charts. It is one of the better songs on the album. Its use of the melody from TLC’s “No Scrubs” and its electro-pop sound separates itself from the rest of the album. In this track, Sheeran’s singing can be compared to a post-NSYNC Justin Timberlake. Although the production value is better, lyrically it still suffers from the repetitive theme Sheeran continues of trying to constantly bounce back from being hurt in love.

“New Man” is the eighth track on the Sheeran album, and this is where Sheeran becomes outright jealous and becomes what he has shown disdain for. This song is the least appealing song on the track for him acting as a hypocrite as well as a stalker with his first verse consiting of him describing his  ex girlfriend’s new lover such as, “I heard he spent five hundred pounds on jeans goes to the gym at least six times a week. Wears boat shoes with no socks on his feet and I hear he’s on a new diet and watches what he eats” and having something bad to say about everybody in this situation without realizing that he too is part of the problem. He is a complete hypocrite in this song for reasons as such. The line “I don’t want to know about your new man.” he seemingly forgets about this line thorought the song because of how much he knows about his ex’s new man. He also acts as if she misses him so much that she is just yearning to come back to him in the final line of the chorus “I know you’re missin’ all this kind of love”.

“Barcelona” is one of the better songs on the album for its quick tempo and lyrics. This song differs by having a different topic than Sheeran overcoming his obstancles in life. The instruments used in the song made it more vibrant as if he really was dancing in Barcelona. Sheeran singing in Spanish in the third verse is a nice touch to a good song.

Ultimately, Ed Sheeran’s Divide was underwhelming. On certain tracks, there is a  quicker tempo and more creative styles such as “Barcelona”. It made a listener come back from the tracks that are lacking lyrically and doesn’t sound well such as “New Man” can leave you in. The album would have been better if certain tracks were cut due to lack of lyrical creativity. I give Ed Sheeran’s Divide a 4/10.