Album review: Ed Sheeran’s long-awaited “X”

After three years, Ed Sheeran’s long-awaited “X” album was released on June 23, 2014. I’m not sure if I can say it went above and beyond my expectations, but it was certainly unexpected.

“X,” also known as “Multiply,” features a diverse collection of tracks. It includes some “classic” Sheeran songs such as “Photograph,” “One” and “Even my Dad Does Sometimes.” It also shows an unfamiliar side of him with upbeat songs, such as “Don’t,” “Runaway,” “Sing” and “Nina.” Many of the songs are a hybrid between his mellower songs and his faster songs, such as “I’m a Mess,” “Thinking Out Loud” and “Bloodstream.”

The special thing about Sheeran’s music in his last album,“+,” was the vulnerability he managed to show in every song. There was a certain honesty, and even pain, in all of his songs. I was happy to find that this hadn’t been lost in his new album. Except for “Sing,” he hasn’t commercialized his compositions at all, and all of his songs feel authentic.

I thought “X” had more of one thing than “+”: passion. There’s one line from “I’m a Mess” that I think encompasses the album as a whole: “See the flames inside my eyes, they burn so bright.” You can feel the fire in every one of his songs, even the slower ones. It seems that he wasn’t afraid to show more than just sadness in this album.

Overall, “Multiply” was worth the wait. At first, I was disappointed not to find more of the “Old Ed.” But after listening to the rest of the album, I realized that his new music wasn’t bad at all. Artists change, and if their music is a reflection of who they are, then their music should change, as well. I’m already awaiting the next album to see the next stage in the evolution of Ed Sheeran. But in the meantime, “Multiply” should be enough to tide me over for the next three years.

 

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