Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: X (pronounced “multiply”)
Produced by: Benny Blanco, Jeff Bhasker, Peter Cobbin, Ed Sheeran, Jake Gosling, Rick Rubin, Johnny McDaid, Kirsty Whalley, Pharrell Williams
Released: June 20, 2014
This album starts off with immediate goosebumps. You have to credit Ed Sheeran that at the bare bones he is at his best, which means that with full orchestration he’s thebomb[dot]com. To create beautiful sounds with just voice and guitar is no easy feat. He’s a master at the loop pedal, a master at layering, and getting all your feels to the forefront of your sensory perceptions feel they’re bursting from your own skin. And although there are subtle orchestrations throughout, both ballads (“Thinking Out Loud”) and stadium powerhouses (“Sing”) shine through.
What I love so much about Ed Sheeran is that he marries a clear Damien Rice influence, pop sensibilities, and spitfire hip-hop lyricism; He combines them all quite wonderfully that it’s simply refreshing, and yet makes perfect sense in a post-everything world. X is an update from + and is rich with harmonies, gospel choir moments, and trademark Ed Sheeran acoustic ditties. We get to hear about Ed’s life on the road, past trysts with past loves, and a frequent discord between a father and son.
I had the pleasure of seeing Ed live in Brooklyn a few summers ago and boy, was it worth it! Sold out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the crowd went bananas! You would have thought The Beatles came back to life. It’s just him, his guitar, a microphone, and his loop pedal. He’s a natural entertainer and a pleasure to watch.
There are moments that this album reminds me of late ‘N SYNC, so if you hold that point in time in high regard and fangirled as hard as me and some of my friends, I think you’d appreciate the production value of X and all it has to offer. And if by chance ‘N SYNC wasn’t your thing, you should still give this album a listen; If you love lyrics and appreciate the craft of songwriting, Ed’s got it all here.