**** Ich bin eigentlich kein Fan von Ed Sheeran, außer "The A-Team" und "Photograph (Felix Jaehn Remix)" hatte ich vor diesem Album kaum Lieder von ihm, die mir wirklich gefallen haben. Aber es hat sich für mich definitiv gelohnt, mal das gesamte Album durchzuhören.
Eraser: 5,5* Castle on the Hill: 4,5* Dive: 3* Shape of You: 5,5* Perfect: 4* Galway Girl: 6* Happier: 3* Hearts Don't Break Around Here: 3,5* New Man: 4* What Do I Know?: 5* How Would You Feel (Paean): 3,5* Supermarket Flowers: 4* Barcelona: 4,5* Bibia Be Ye Ye: 4* Nancy Mulligan: 5* Save Myself: 4*
4,31 = 4*
Vor allem die für Sheeran eher ungewöhnlichen Songs haben mir sehr gefallen. Zweimal Folk, einmal Rap und einmal Dance. Das Standardmaterial ist eher nicht mein Geschmack.
***** Absolutely love some of the tracks on this album. The singles 'Shape of you' and 'Castle on the hill' are already massive hits and clearly a few of the highlights on this album. Other highlights for me included the opening song 'Eraser' and the highly emotional 'Supermarket Flowers' which had my crying almost from the instant it started. Overall a great album from Ed. 👏🏻
** There's no doubting that Ed sure knows how to win people over with simple pop compositions. I have no issue with some of these traits because many of these songs have nice transitions and structures to them which can make listening to the whole album from start to finish not such a challenge. I would at least say this for the first half of the record, after which it goes south in quality relatively quickly. The first three tracks are rather nice but I don't care much for the rest, of course in varying degrees. The poor little me image becomes increasingly difficult to digest with this record, which not only makes most of the songs sound less genuine but also gives rise to some super cringeworthy moments. 2.5
**** Grundsätzlich nicht schlecht, natürlich mit Höhen und Tiefen. Versteh den Hype um Ed nicht so recht - er liefert gut und das was man von ihm erwarten kann - nicht mehr und nicht weniger. PS: unbeding Deluxe-CD kaufen - ist bei Media Markt sogar günstiger als die normale CD, weiss der Kuckuck wieso.
*** Ein maßlos überschätztes Album eines ebensolchen Künstlers. Er ist der erste überhaupt, der ALLE Titel, also das gesamte Album, gleichzeitig in der Hitparade hält. Nur einer von vielen Rekorden, während seines momentanen Hypes um ihn. Für mich stechen 2 Songs raus: Einerseits "Dive", weil es wirklich der gelungenste ist und zweitens "Galway Girl" weil er eindeutig der schlechteste ist. 3,15*
**** Insgesamt ein gutes Album, ich habe es mir auch gekauft. Generell ist Sheeran aber ein überschätzter Künstler, auch wenn er dank Spotify-Streaming im Moment die britischen Charts beherrscht. Gute Hintergrundmusik, finde ich!
** If you had asked me during 2015-2016 what my thoughts were on Ed Sheeran, you would have gotten a negative response from me, and that probably would have been unfair. After all, I would say that before that point, I enjoyed much more of his music than I hadn’t, but one song sent his likability stocks plummeting down for me – “Thinking Out Loud”. It was one of my most hated songs of 2014, not only because of his terminally dull it is, but also because of how people seemed to be buying into it.
With the hit it became, it is always the song that I think of first whenever Sheeran’s name is brought up, and that’s why I had a sort-of allergic reaction to him.
And while that was clearly his worst song before the release of this album, the following singles weren’t particularly inspiring. “Bloodstream”, “Photograph” and “Lay It All On Me” were also incredibly uninteresting too.
So when a Facebook video of Ed Sheeran popped up in my feed of him holding up a sign saying “New Music Coming Friday!!”, I can’t say I was all that enthused.
This made it all the more surprising when the first two singles filled me with a fair bit of promise.
“Shape Of You” tackles a lyrical theme that I thought I would never hear from Sheeran – going to the bar, picking up a chick and having sex with her. Yes, this is the Ed Sheeran that exists now. What made this a surprise though is that it was a completely different sound to what I was expecting as well, so I thought maybe Ed was moving in a new direction, even if it totally sounded like a Sia song.
And as a side note, with the international juggernaut that “Shape Of You” has become, even with all its omnipresence, it still hasn’t tired on me, which it really should have by now ;)
“Castle On The Hill”, while a bit more like his typical style, kind-of worked for me as well. The lyrics have a vividly nostalgic element to it, and the constant strumming going on in the background was different to the simple acoustic guitar chords that I had come to expect from Sheeran, giving me hope that I wouldn’t be subjected to another tedious ballad that commercial radio would be sure to spam.
Unfortunately though, any promise I thought was there just never existed. Put simply, I did not like this album.
We get a different variety of sounds. We get an earful of Ed Sheeran’s rap side straight up with “Eraser”. It’s not a side I’m particularly fond of, but at the very least it’s a change-up for a musician that can get very boring very quickly.
Of course there is still a fair share of boring ballads here – “Perfect”, “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here”, “How Would You Feel (Paean)” (the worst of the bunch) and “Save Myself”. There isn’t a memorable second between these four songs.
“Galway Girl” expresses his Celtic roots, which I’m perfectly fine with, and it shows his attempts at variation, but it isn’t my thing at all, and the singing/mumbling in the background towards the close of the song just sounds crap. We also get another taste of this sound later in the album through “Nancy Mulligan”, and this track is probably even worse, and I have no desire to listen to it again.
And it is still so telling that even when he tries with these different sounds, they still sounds so predictable, as he finds a way to fit them in to this simple pop formula somehow. As a result, there are no surprises whatsoever.
And I still haven’t even mentioned the worst track on the album yet. “New Man” is still unfathomably awful, and pretty much undoes years of having built up this “nice guy” persona in three minutes. It’s hard not to see him as full of shit now after having heard this song.
If I had to mention a positive, which are still here despite the overwhelming negatives, “Supermarket Flowers” is a really nice moment actually, and is quite sincere and tender.
Also, “Barcelona” was a fairly enjoyable moment too, and surprisingly only made it in as an extra cut in the Deluxe Edition of the album. It doesn’t hurt that Barcelona is one of my favourite European cities as well ;) “Bibia Be Ye Ye” is slightly catchy as well, but any joy I might get from it is snuffed out just because of how tacky it sounds.
I like to follow music criticism, and Pitchfork’s review of the album was particularly of interest to me. I didn’t agree with the review in its entirety, but I agreed with the general sentiment – He’s the kind of guy that appears humble and down-to-earth, which means that any criticism, as fair as it may be, that is levelled at him can simply be rebuffed just because of how nice he is, and how he can use this position to create a bunch of humble-brags so that he can appear morally right in every situation, when that really isn’t the case.
I mean, he’s the sort-of guy that tries to appear so nice, but then in an interview makes a humble-brag about having slept with multiple members of Taylor Swift’s posse (look it up). Good on him I suppose, but this just doesn’t mesh well with the vibe he generally tries to give off, and makes his personality incredibly grating.
Fortunately enough for him, Ed has stated that he doesn’t care about critical opinions on his music, and I believe him – after all, this album has been unavoidable and will undoubtedly be the biggest album of 2017 worldwide. The amount of streams and sales this is racking up is staggering, and just looking at the charts, especially the UK Charts, I’m almost certain how well every single track on this album is doing is unprecedented (ahem, http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/singles-chart/20170310/7501/).
But then again, this kind of indifference towards critical opinion and ways to improve his music will just mean that he will continue churning out the same crap.
At the very least, I liked the artwork a little.
All in all, I’m happy to have that album in my rear-vision mirror now, and maybe I’ll be able to enjoy Ed’s next album more. I won’t be holding my breath though.
FAV TRACKS: CASTLE ON THE HILL, SHAPE OF YOU, SUPERMARKET FLOWERS, BARCELONA
***** Eraser *** ** Castle On The Hill *** ** Dive *** ** Shape Of You *** *** Perfect *** ** Galway Girl *** *** Happier *** ** New Man *** ** Hearts Don't Break Around Here *** * What Do I Know? *** * How Would You Feel (Paean) *** * Supermarket Flowers *** ** Barcelona *** ** Bibia Be Ye Ye *** ** Nancy Mulligan *** *** Save Myself *** **
5.0 - 5*
Zeit, mich auch endlich über das neue und dritte Album von Ed Sheeran zu äussern, welches immerhin eines der Alben war, die ich dieses Jahr am meisten erwartet habe. Während ich bei den ersten paar Durchgängen noch recht enttäuscht war, entpuppten sich viele Songs als Grower, und nach ca. 30 Durchgängen muss ich nun festhalten, dass "÷" mein bisher liebstes Album des Rotschopfs ist.
Besonders ins Auge stechen die beiden irisch-folkig angehauchten Songs "Galway Girl" und "Nancy Mulligan". Vor allem "Nancy", welches leider nur auf der Deluxe-Edition landete, mag ich sehr und ist mein absolutes Highlight von "÷". Auch stark sind die Balladen wie "Happier", "Dive" und "Perfect". Das auch der Chartssmash "Shape Of You" eines der Highlights werden würde war zu erwarten, zudem beinhaltet das Album noch weitere typische Ed-Tracks wie der Opener "Eraser", auf welchem Ed mal wieder rappt, oder die akustischeren "Supermarket Flowers" und "Save Myself". Einzig drei Songs im Mittelteil - "Hearts Don't Break...", "What Do I Know?" und "How Would You Feel" - könnte man als solide Füller bezeichnen. Der Rest ist sehr gut gemachter Mainstream-Sound. Man möge ihm nun den Vorwurf bringen, dass alles aber wohl etwas zu kalkuliert für den Erfolg sein könnte, aber darüber schaue ich nun mal hinweg und geniesse die gute Musik...
Klare Highlights: "Nancy Mulligan", "Galway Girl", "Shape Of You" ...sein bisher bester Track ist und bleibt jedoch das unangefochtene "I See Fire".