Five years and three albums ago, Ed Sheeran revealed his heart was just as fiery as his hair with love song anthems “Lego House” and “Give Me Love” from his debut album “+,” followed by 2014 fan favorites “Thinking Out Loud” and “Photograph.”
As Sheeran made a habit of outdoing himself with each new release, it is no shock that many fans could barely control their excitement and anticipation for what he could possibly bring to the table with “÷.”
Sheeran teased fans with singles “Castle on a Hill” and “Shape of You” in early January to leave them with something to curb their hunger until they finally received their full fill Friday. While two months was an excruciating amount of time for die-hard Sheeran fans to wait, for many, this record-breaking album was well worth the wait.
According to Forbes, “÷” broke Spotify’s record for the album with the most plays in a single day, with 56.73 million plays on March 3. The record was previously held by The Weeknd’s “Starboy,” with 29 million daily plays.
Sheeran is also the first artist in U.S. history to debut two songs to simultaneously make the Billboard Top 10 with “Castle On The Hill” and “Shape of You.”
His latest album’s booming popularity may not come as a shock because of the large and dedicated fan base Sheeran is known to have. However, some of the album’s craze is likely linked to the fact that Sheeran stepped out of his comfort zone of mellow love songs with “÷” to explore new sounds.
It is almost like when you go to a restaurant and have no idea what to get, so you order a sampler because you are bound to like at least one thing on the plate. Sheeran gives fans a lot of variety to choose from with “÷,” and you will end up liking at least one song from the album.
Sheeran steps outside of the box by incorporating rap with a folky beat for a unique sound in songs “Eraser” and “Galway Girl.” The song “Biba Be Ye Ye” switches it up yet again with a Mediterranean meets pop and dance sound that makes it hard to resist the urge to dance when listening to it.
But for those who are drawn to Sheeran for his love songs, he did not forget about his roots. “Perfect” will likely become a first dance favorite like “Thinking Out Loud,” with lyrics that breathe life into love.
The musical diversity that pieces together “÷” is an eye-opener for fans and even those who were not previously fans, as it shows Sheeran is more than just a love-struck musician. Sheeran took a risk with this album, but one that proved to be rewarding in its success.