By Clare Driscoll ’19
“Divide” By Ed Sheeran is the cathartic album we all hoped for after the singer’s one year break. The new group of 16 songs helped the singer/songwriter break the record for most streamed album within the week of its release.
Not only was this album more than I could have ever hoped for after the two ground-breaking hits that were x and +, but each song tells a new story that simultaneously lets you look into the life of Sheeran while connecting to everything you’re going through.
Because of how unique each song is, it would be a disservice to group them under one review. That’s why I’m going to review each song individually on a scale of one to five ÷ and a synopsis of each song.
Eraser is your typical “singer coming back from a break” song that talks about how Sheeran feels fame has changed him and while he has achieved his dream, he still feels incomplete. When I first heard this song I didn’t enjoy it that much because I felt that the song just didn’t flow together well but after listening to Eraser many times it grew on me.
Castle on the Hill
This song appeals to everyone’s nostalgic side and is about Sheeran returning home during his one year break from social media. It can make anyone long to go back to their childhood home (even if you’re still living in it)
This is by far my favorite song on the new album. Dive narrates all the insecurities that people go through when starting a new relationship and uses Sheeran’s master songwriting to really make you remember every time you’ve been anxious expressing your feelings for someone.
Shape of you
It is safe to say that most of us have heard this song countless times on the radio since its release as the first single from Device. At first I was as obsessed with it as everyone else. But, after hearing it played so many times it has lost a little of its appeal. Shape of you, though it is a good song, feels more like a typical song that most artists have put out recently than one of Sheeran’s more unique hits.
Perfect can be seen as almost two songs. One can be as a response to the insecurities expressed in dive (one of the first lines is dive right in) and the other can be an example of how Sheeran is the best boyfriend ever. Perfect was written for his girlfriend Cherry Seaborn and is what everyone would love to hear from their significant other.
This song masterfully combines modern pop beats with classic Irish melodies and can make anyone want to dance a jig. This song is also about Sheeran’s girlfriend and tells the story of the night that they met.
While Sheeran has made most of his career off of break up songs, he somehow has found a way to make a unique one every time and Happier is no exception. This song starts with what some (author included) would find as a nightmare. Seeing your ex with a new person. It goes on to tell how even though it was inevitable they would move on, it doesn’t hurt any less.
New Man is what happens right after Happier. When you find out your ex is with someone else it’s inevitable that you are going you are going to stalk their social media and find every flaw this person has to convince yourself that your ex was better with you. Personally, I believe this song would have made a better single than Shape of You because it has the catchy lyrics that most singles need combined with the inability to get old after listening to it over and over.
Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
Because of this song’s constant repetitiveness of the same lyrics it definitely was not my favorite in the beginning. Though the lyrics haven’t really grown on me, the guitar accompaniment makes the song worth listening to
What Do I Know?
After the political mess that was 2016, many were left really assessing the world we live in and wondered what we could be done to help things. What Do I Know? answers that question my saying that we really just need to love everyone and be positive and it will all work out. It’s a really uplifting song that may not be completely realistic but is definitely something to listen to when you’re mad about the state of our government
How Would You Feel (Paean)
This song gives me the same vibe as Hearts Don’t Break Around Here but, isn’t as repetitive and it sounds like the kind of song a teen would write for their boyfriend/girlfriend. The little personal anecdotes make the song worth listening on repeat.
At first I’ll admit that I didn’t really get this song but once I read that Supermarket Flowers is about Sheeran’s grandmother who died while the album was in production, it really spoke to me. The deeper meaning makes this song more relatable as losing a loved one is something many people go through.