Pop heavyweight Ed Sheeran has finally released his follow-up to worldwide smash debut, ‘+’. The eagerly anticipated ‘X’ has most of the music scene on edge, and thankfully doesn’t disappoint. The record boasts a more confident Ed Sheeran playing to his many strengths, and ready to take the world by storm for a second time in his hardworking relatable manner.
Opening number, ‘One’, sees a gentle acoustic guitar covered by a brutally honest, heartfelt delivery of lyrics, before ‘I’m A Mess’ shows more of the fire within Sheeran, being very articulate and putting emotion behind the words so as to not just describe unfortunate situations. During this track, Sheeran pushes his vocals to their most powerful showing just what he’s capable of, hitting notes that aren’t usually in his repertoire.
Already huge first release, ‘Sing’, shows Sheeran enforcing what his fans love, with rapping interjected with some well-timed falsetto makes for a great sound which features on other tracks, such as ‘Photograph’ and ‘Nina’. What’s also apparent across ‘X’ is a soulful influence on tracks like ‘Don’t’ and ‘Runaway’, featuring some gang vocals.
Keeping with what has worked so well for him previously, Sheeran includes some heartfelt numbers in various forms, ‘Thinking Out Loud’ sees the soloist produce a classic love song that will no doubt be a feature of weddings for years to come. Closer, ‘Afire In Love’, tells of a deeply personal loss and the tragedy around it, whilst ‘The Man’ is an almost resentful look at an ex, still very personal but changing the focus. The lyrics shine through as truly genuine when Sheeran‘s accent is more noticeable, sounding like you’re sat next to him rather than hearing him through headphones.
There’s a reason Ed Sheeran has had a meteoric rise to fame. It’s not because his genre is all the rage at the minute, and it’s not because he’s playing off of a gimmick. The man is genuinely talented and deserves all of the success that he earns. This album proves that ‘+’ wasn’t a one-off success and that the music industry is his to conquer. Well done, Ed Sheeran. Run riot!
Written by Jonathon Barlow