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Ed Sheeran's Appeal Multiplied with His New Album, Divide 
   2017-03-10 10:18:45    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang Ling

  

Anchor: Hello and welcome to Music+, a weekly show where we explore music and more. I'm Wang Ling. The British singer and songwriter, Ed Sheeran's hotly anticipated new album has finally arrived. The artist's third studio album continues the singer's embrace of mathematical titles as it is named after the division symbol. His 2011 debut was named "+" and the 2014 blockbuster follow up was named "x".

With the album's opening track, Eraser, Sheeran takes on bold new directions. The singer raps on this snappy folk number reflecting on his musical career that started off with him singing in church as a child and eventually saw him winning international awards. It also touches on his father encouraging him to chase his dreams and what it feels like to play in front of thousands of fans. Sheeran also manages to moan about superstardom as he sings "I think money is the root of all evil and fame is hell". Yet he manages to avoid falling into lonely-at-the-top clich¨¦s; Sheeran keeps his trademark positivity and makes a mantra out of turning adversity into opportunity.

That was Eraser, the opening track off Ed Sheeran's 2017 album, "Divide". Introduced as a sensitive folkie on his 2011 hit debut, "+", Sheeran became a superstar with 2014's more expansive "x." The record sold millions of copies, and spawned the hit "Thinking Out Loud," which won the Grammy Award for song of the year.

By the end of 2015, Sheeran's longed-for success was pushing him toward burnout. He spent the next year mostly out of sight, traveling the world as well as crafting his third album, which he considers "the best thing he has ever made thus far."

Earlier this year, Sheeran ended his hiatus and released two singles off the album. "Shape of You", one of the lead singles, is a slinky electro-pop number with traces of tropical-house and strummy acoustics. In the song, Sheeran sings about a budding romance over marimba-fueled percussion.

That was Shape of You, one of the two lead singles from Ed Sheeran's newest album, "Divide". "Shape of You" has proved to be a huge success for Ed. The single debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, selling 227,000 copies in its first week; and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, topping 240,000 downloads and gaining 20 million streams in its debut week. It also debuted at number one in France, and was certified gold there.

The other single is "Castle on the Hill", a soaring, euphoric ballad about coming back to the place he grew up. On this track, Sheeran is confident as he sings "running from the lawn through the backfields and getting drunk with my friends," and reminisces with an audible lump in his throat; "had my first kiss on a Friday night / I don't reckon that I did it right."

What we just heard is "Castle on the Hill", fresh off Ed Sheeran's latest release, "Divide". The album received mostly positive reviews from critics. Roisin O'Connor of The Independent gave it a four-star rating, claiming the album" leans on little asides from Sheeran's own talent" and that it was "astonishing for its sheer ambition alone". Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press said in his review that it "is certain to add listeners, subtract a few weary of his inconsistency, but definitely multiply his bank account," and ultimately called Sheeran "a special talent."

The album sold 232,000 physical and digital copies in the UK in its first day of release without the inclusion of streaming data, more than the sales of Sheeran's previous album x in its first week. The tracks on the album also achieved more than 56 million streams worldwide on Spotify in a single day. In total, all tracks by Sheeran were streamed 68 million times that day, with the single "Shape of You" receiving 10 million streams.

The 12-song work may be the most diverse in Sheeran's discography, with the artist trying out many new sounds. From misty ballads to hip-hop, each track has its own vibe and is calculated to find a happy fan somewhere.

"Perfect" is a classic Sheeran ballad about his current girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn and is described by Ed as his favorite. The song looks forward to a future filled with children and family, happiness and growing old together and showcases Sheeran's powerful voice.

That was 'Perfect' from Ed Sheeran's third studio album, Divide, a single dedicated to the singer's current girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn. Sheeran has openly admitted that that all the love songs on the album are about Seaborn.

On another heartfelt romantic ballad, "How Would You Feel " Sheeran pulls out a John Mayer-like solo about two-thirds of the way through this song and shows the full extent of his craft.

What we are hearing is "How Would You Feel" off Ed Sheeran's newest album, 'Divide'. The 12-track project is a set is filled with direct, melodic, catchy, and meaningful songs that are beautifully delivered with charisma and emotional honesty. Divide has multiplied Sheeran's appeal, establishing the acoustic singer-songwriter as one of the biggest stars in contemporary pop.

To wrap up the show here is another track off the album, 'New Man'. For more recent releases and tour information, you can visit our weibo page: weibo.com/crimusicplus. This is Wang Ling saying goodbye from Beijing; hope you will join me again same time next week.

 
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