Friday, 16 March 2012

Ed Sheeran - + [CD] [QUICK&SHORT]

What Is It?
The latest album from Ed Sheeran, read simply as "plus", was released in September 2009. The album has so far produced 4 major hit singles: The A Team, You Need Me, Lego House, and Drunk. It was released to great critical and commercial success, coming a few months after the first single from the album, The A Team, debuted at number 3 on the UK charts and has since become the high-selling and the highest charting debut of 2011. Ed has also won big at the Brit awards this year, claiming "Best British Male Solo Act" and "British Breakthrough Act".

So What Do I Think Of It?
Lyrically Lovely - the words sung by Ed are well thought-out, often being both wonderfully witty and craftily contemporary. The whole album has a thoughtful elegance that only comes from spending a long time thinking through each line carefully. To complement the great wordsmithery, there is a brilliant use of pace and tone to give a lot of variety in Ed's voice - swiftly swooping between small segments of rap and slow crooning - and it actually works reasonably well. Even though the latter few tracks do use some of the same words a bit too frequently (love, never, miss you, hold you) they are mixed in well so it doesn't ever stagnate. Tracks like U.N.I. are a good example of how Ed can just be singing about day-to-day things and still make it sound damn good. 

Deep Themes - To top add to that, Ed actually covers some darker topics and still does it eloquently and gracefully. The A Team, Small Bump, and Drunk take a look at the more serious sides of life - but it is done so sensitively and compassionately that it makes me listen to what Ed is saying even more. Just take a listen to these three and I'm sure you'll be bowled over too. Don't be put off by the big videos involving Rupert Grint and a clubbing cat - the songs underneath are still pop gems.

Reliable Source - You know, about the only criticism that I could level at "Plus" is that I was quite inclined to like this album anyway! I really like British acoustic singer-songwriters, with a preference for smart lyrics and varied music. Ed used to be a guitar technician for the band Nizlopi, and listening to some of Ed's songs you really can hear the influence - try You Need Me, I Don't Need You. If you like British acoustic guitar pop, especially if you like a dash of creative musical stylings too - you probably won't go wrong here.

Closing Remarks
It's a great album that deserves the praise it has received. Both well thought-through and well produced - this is a slick modern gem.

The singles stand out on their own but really the album can just be left to play through.

You might get sick of the words "Love You" and "Miss You" by the end, but he's actually offering more than just soppy love songs. 

Then again, I like soppy love songs - so don't take my opinion - have a listen and let me know what you think!

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Lindsay Mitchell said...

I listened to the whole album while cooking earlier and I have to admit I do really like it, I have got into much more acoustic music lately and he fits into the Brit acoustic club with the likes of Nizlopi and Gary dunne very well and the fact that he had rupert grint and a clubbing cat in his videos makes me like him that little bit more

Matt Tiernan said...

I was put-off at first when I heard about the Rupert Grint video - it sounded a bit tacky.

When I actually sat down and gave it a listen, I realised I had underestimated it - great tunes, great sound, very pleasant to listen to.