By Tim Vixay
It’s been nearly three years, but the wait is finally over. Ed Sheeran’s much anticipated third studio album, “Divide,” was released on March 3. Sheeran is back in action after a year long hiatus and absence from social media.
The first two singles released simultaneously by Sheeran were, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill.” Both singles shot straight to No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the U.K. Singles Chart, the first time in history an artist has taken the top two spots of the U.K. charts with new songs. “Shape of You” debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, while “Castle on the Hill” entered at No. 6.
Sheeran’s artistic diversity as a musician and a songwriter presents itself throughout the album, from the hasty folk rapping on the opening track “Eraser,” to “Perfect,” a ballad that is sure to be a slow dance favorite during prom and wedding season. Sheeran is not afraid to take risks and make bold artistic decisions such as the use of Irish fiddles on “Galway Girl,” a track Sheeran reportedly had to argue with his label to keep on the album.
Perhaps one of the most comical tracks on the new album is “New Man,” where Sheeran goes on about an ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. “I heard he spent 500 pounds on jeans, goes to the gym at least six times a week, wears boat shoes with no socks on his feet, and I heard he’s on a new diet and watches what he eats, he’s got his eyebrows plucked and his arsehole bleached.”
“Dive” is a guitar-driven ballad full of stops and pauses, a strong chorus, and a ripping guitar solo. The lyrics are powerful and allow Sheeran to show off his amazing vocal abilities.
Sheeran has announced tour dates for “Divide” from March 17 to June 14 in countries in Europe and Latin America. No dates have been announced for the United States, but that’s not to say Sheeran has ruled it out. His 2014-2015 “Multiply” tour was wildly successful in the U.S.