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'Divide' brings people together: Ed Sheeran displays talent and versatility on new album



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Ed Sheeran arrives to 102.7 KIIS FM's 2014 Wango Tango in Los Angeles, May 10, 2014. (Krista Kennell/Abaca Press/MCT) Krista Kennell and Krista Kennell

With a voice that is the human equivalent of a delicious, warm cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, Ed Sheeran returns from his year-and-a-half hiatus with ”÷,” or “Divide,” a 16-track EP filled with raw emotion and great beats.

Longtime Ed fans and newcomers to the “Sheerio” family, as Sheeran fans call themselves, will be delighted by this layered and heartfelt compilation of songs. From the very first track “Eraser,” a bold tell-all about his rise to fame and fortune to “Perfect,” an angelic love letter that lives up to its name. Returning listeners will find it reminiscent of Ed’s past work.

But with the addition of more piano and background singers, Ed has changed up his sound a bit. One of the album’s first singles, “Shape of You,” still sets itself apart with its dance beat vibes.

Ed had clear Irish 
influences on both “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan,” two tracks that will definitely be on many St. Patrick’s Day playlists due to their fast guitars and clapping choruses. Both play out vivid storylines of love, which Ed is known for mastering in his songs. His voice is inviting and his sound is familiar, but never overdone or unoriginal.

“Divide” is truly a rollercoaster of emotions. His tune “New Man” has hilarious lyrics and at least a few lines that will definitely make you say “OMG.” “What Do I Know?” is a plea for peace in the world without making a grand political statement, and with the most gorgeous piano-driven melody, he dedicates “Supermarket Flowers” to his late grandmother.

One of the best moments on the album has to be during the last chorus of “Barcelona” where Ed shows off his Spanish-speaking ability. I never knew I needed that in my life, but now I can’t live without it.

“Divide” truly has something for everyone. It’s a perfect mixture of ballads and dance tunes, showing Ed’s exponential progression as an artist. Even though he’s grown rich and famous, he is still humble and grounded, and this album is a perfect example of that.

He tells real stories about his past, his family, his love life and his status as an A-list celebrity. Although most listeners can only relate to a few of those, Ed still makes you feel like you’re right there in a London pub watching him perform to you and only you.

He grabs people’s attention with his silky voice, fast fingers and that trusty ol’ loop pedal. He’s insanely talented, no one can deny that.

With worldly influences and notes from his real life experiences, “Divide” stuns. It’s a triumphant return for everyone’s favorite ginger.

Now we just have to figure out whether his album names mean anything or if he just really likes math.

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