By Jalyn Bolyard, Online Editor
After a leave of absence from social media for a year, Ed Sheeran returned Dec. 12 with a Tweet that had only a picture of the color blue. This was his first hint of his upcoming album, “Divide” stylized as ÷, which was released on March 3. Before the entire album release, the songs “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” were also released as singles and have been played on the radio constantly since.
The album comes after Sheeran’s albums of “Plus,” stylized as +, and “Multiply,” stylized as x. Those albums’ color themes were orange and green, respectively. One can only guess the next album will be named “Minus.”
“Divide” reached one million sales in just 16 days, counting physical, digital and streaming, according to Billboard. It’s easy to see that the album resonates with people from all over, rightly so.
The normal album has 12 songs, while the deluxe version has 16. If you buy the CD or stream it, I highly recommend the deluxe version. The songs “Save Myself” and “Nancy Mulligan” definitely make up for the extra cost.
“Nancy Mulligan” is a cheerful, catchy tune about Ed Sheeran’s grandparents’ love story. Even though “Shape of You” is catchy, I would argue that “Nancy Mulligan” is way catchier. It’s a tune you listen to once and it’ll be stuck in your head all day. Not only that, but it’s one of those songs one can really visualize a story with. “Save Myself” is also a powerful, moving song about feeling down after being there for others yet being taken for granted.
Although “Save Myself” is emotional, the saddest song on the album has to go to “Supermarket Flowers.” I don’t usually cry when I listen to music, unless it’s some old sappy country song that tells a story just perfectly. Well, this isn’t old country, but once again Sheeran delivers a song that paints a story in your head, one of grieving and loss. The first time I heard it, I couldn’t stop the tears. It’s a song that definitely reminds you to hug your family members.
All in all, I love this album. If you’re a fan of Sheeran, it’s hard to be disappointed by it. It’s easy to put it on repeat. It contains not just the typical sad songs, but also the lovey-dovey songs, dancing songs and more. After Sheeran’s hiatus, it was a well-received gift. According to the BBC, in the U.K. “Divide” is still the number one album for the fourth week in a row.
As of April 8, “Shape of You” has also been sitting on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 list for eight consecutive weeks at number one, while on the chart altogether for 11 weeks. He also currently has three other songs on the chart for the week of April 8: “Castle on the Hill” at 72, “Galway Girl” at 89 and “Perfect” at 94. However, these ones have been declining.
If you haven’t given “Divide” a listen yet, please trust me and do so. Its popularity is happening for a reason. “Divide” has an array of different songs, and you will be likely to find several that are relatable. I have to admit that it can be an emotional roller coaster, but it is definitely worth the ride.
Photo credit: Jalyn Bolyard