British singer Ed Sheeran has released a new album entitled “=.” The themes are love, heartbreak, and personal stories.
The music is Pop/Brit Pop, mixed with some Rock, and it parallels sounds from the 70s and 80s. The vibe is eclectic and bold, and there’s a richness in the rhythm and the tonalities. The compositions are fantastic. Ed Sheeran combines contemporary musical style with something similar to his previous album, such as the track First Times is parallel to his single A-Team from 2011. The guitar throughout the album gives it a dynamic edge. An impressive piece is Bad Habits, which starts slow, then gradually increases into a fast rhythm. It reminds me of the techno sounds of the late 90s. The record has a lovely psychedelic beat that complements the old-school sound nicely. Examples include Overpass Graffiti, Collide and Tides. There are touching ballads, for example, the song The Joker and The Queen, which combines the two most romantic instruments: the piano and the guitar. It has a classical feel that parallels what one hears at a Concert Hall. Another one is entitled Leave Your Life that has a beat parallel to Chicago’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry, but with a slightly faster tempo. The end of the album was interesting, with a nice fade-out with the track Be Right Now. The range of musical beats is fantastic.
Ed Sheeran’s voice is terrific, full of heart and soul. He sings with passion and depth. He has a tremendous vocal range that has gotten more and more impressive.
The lyrics are personal, profound, and at times romantic. The songs are well-written with beautiful poetry. The album has an extensive range of subject matter, from love to personal stories about Ed Sheeran’s life (i.e. his wife and daughter).
The romantic songs are Shivers, First Times, The Joker And The Queen Collide and Love In Slow Motion. When Ed Sheeran writes love songs, he always has a personal touch, and in this case, he refers to his relationship with his wife or gets inspired by his friends’ relationship stories.
The songs about heartbreak are Overpass Graffiti and Leave Your Life. There are interesting personal songs Tides, 2step, Stop The Rain, Visiting Hours and Sandman. These pieces describe various moments in Ed Sheeran’s life that are either joyful or sad. The tunes 2step and Stop The Rain talk about challenging times in life, and the piece Tides represents the ups and downs of life. The vulnerability in some of these tunes is relatable and genuine.
Then two songs have a uniqueness to them: Bad Habits and Be Right Now. Both tell stories – one is about the “Bad Habits” impacting each decision one makes, and the other is about living in the present moment and appreciating every little moment.
The album is incredible, diverse subject matter, telling personal stories from the heart, giving the songs depth and meaning.
The album = (Equal) is available.