+ - Ed Sheeran
Rock & Pop - StudioRecording - 1 CD(s) - Label: Asylum - Distributor: Arvato Services - Released: 21/11/2011, 12/09/2011 - 5052498646555, 505249864652...
7 reviews from the community
Review of "+ - Ed Sheeran"
Due to time constraints, I am unlikely to be able to find the time to rate members that have received 3 times as many rates as they have given, apologies.
Well, it has to be said that Ed Sheeran can still be classed as a rising star of the music industry. I suppose you could say his big break came after the release of 'The A Team' in June 2011. The digital download single was the start of something big for Ed, as the album entitled '+' followed in September 2011. 'The A Team' hit the chart with a bang, entering at number three and catapulted Ed into the public eye. This has to be said as Ed Sheeran worked tirelessly in the years before the album release, working with Just Jack, Cee Lo Green and Jamie Foxx to name but a few.
Ed Sheeran is another of a new breed of artist that initially built up a reputation through social media. Ed had a large following on Youtube the year before his latest album release, and although '+' is the first album most have heard from him, it certainly wasn't the beginning of the road for Ed Sheeran.
+, Plus, Positive, Addition?
I recall an interview with Ed, which I am sure he suggested it is a matter of opinion as to what you call the title of his album. Unlike a lot of music albums where the title reflects the name of a main track, this is not the case with '+'.
Released in September 2011 '+' sold over 102,000 copies in its first week, quite incredible considering that although there were media attention before the release, he still wasn't widely known to many. The success of 'The A Team' probably accounted for most of the sales, though the reason I were eagerly awaiting the release of this album were that Ed were quite unique in his style and vocals.
Ed Sheeran had achieved a lot before the release of '+', but this was all down to his talent. It is no longer a fairytale story that such a talented youngster is signed after their achievements through social media. The success of Ed Sheeran is completely down to his talent and although the discovery of this isn't unheard of his image is alternative.
Whenever I imagine Ed Sheeran he always has his trusty guitar with him. This does portray an image that he perhaps began his career with just his voice and his guitar, and this is something that appeals to a lot of aspiring musicians. This is very much reflected in the nature of a lot of the tracks on this album. Ed has a unique rap style and the tracks carry a lot of emotion and strong motives. More about the tracks themselves shortly.
The cover and back of the album artwork is predominantly orange, with an image of Ed's face on the front cover. Perhaps this is due to Ed being relatively unknown at the release of this album, and he is maybe familiarising people with his face? Ed isn't smiling on this image, though he does have a fairly 'positive' look about him. The rear of the album lists the dozen tracks on this album in white text on the orange background. Inside the album is fairly plain, with the orange back of the album cover, along with the black CD and small orange '+' sign on one edge of the CD.
This album is very easy to get hold of, as it is such a popular album. Most supermarkets will stock the album, aswell as record stores and online. I paid around £9 for the album, so i can imagine it is obtainable for less than that as it has been around a few months now.
The A Team
This is probably the most recognisable track on the entire album. The video for the track is quite emotional, but I find the track alone does enough on its own to tell the story of a homeless young drug addict who begs on the streets and sells her body at night. Ed's vocals are most sympathetic to the young girl, who is the typical stereotype of a homeless youngster. Although Ed's vocals are gentle and sensitive to the subject they are still strong and powerful. The message is quite relevant to those suffering any form of addiction. Whether this be drink, drugs, gambling, the feeling is that life can't get any worse. Although the lyrics are very sad I still find it quite upbeat and I enjoy the song, however wrong that may seem.
I suppose we can all relate to this title at some point in our life. The track is about dealing with the aftermath of a break up by getting drunk. I suppose the message is that Ed feels drink is the only solution to his problems, but it is just a temporary fix. The tempo is quite fast, with Ed's lyrics coming across in rap style. This particular track has positive and negative moments, which shows the difference of how he feels when he is drunk or sober.
This track isn't one of my favourites and is usually one I skip when I am listening to the album. Perhaps this is because I never went to U.N.I?! Ed's vocals really do come to fore in this track, again with his unique rap style way of singing the lyrics. U.N.I has two seperate meanings in this track, 'You and I' and 'Uni'. He switches between the two through the song and again there are slower moments when he sings the lyrics clearly and softly, alternatively he raps some sections.
Grade 8 is a love song which is based around Ed and the guitar. The instrumental backing is minimal, though I think Ed's vocals do excel in a more stripped back track. Even though I don't find this track particularly outstanding from some of the tracks on the album his vocals have a warm and naked feel to them in this acoustic style track.
Wake Me Up
Wake Me Up is another love song but in a different style from the previous track. This love song is quite forward and intense, cotaining a lot of references to Ed's personal experiences. He mentions watching Shrek twelve times, never owning a Blu-Ray, being s**t at computer games and chucking the controllers at the TV. The tempo here is a lot slower than I am used to from Ed, and although the lyrics are clear and hold a personal message they don't do anything for me.
This is a track reflecting a real-life experience when one of Ed's friends suffered miscarriage. Although this isn't the first 'negative' track of the album it is one of few 'downbeat' tracks and as it is an acoustic track it sowcases Ed's talent in a moment of sadness.
The first verse goes 'This is the start of something beautiful, this is the start of something new', which very much sums up the message behind this track. Although 'This' is the start of something new this track is about Ed falling in love and is another love song. Here, Ed's vocals are again very distinctive and he sings with real character and emotion. The track isn't pedestrian but it is quite slow and this allows each of the lyrics to be considered and overall I find this track one of the better ones.
This track covers some of Ed's beginnings, living in London and how 'the sirens bleed through my windowsill'. I can just imagine this track being written as Ed watches life go by as he stands there. This track has a faster tempo to it and is quite catchy, though not my favourite.
This is one track that many of you will have heard of. When I saw the video for this track I actually thought Ed looked very much like Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies) until I realised Ed has actually used Rupert Grint in the video. They both have ginger hair and perhaps reference has been made between the two in the past? This is a love song and in the video Rupert mimes Ed's voice and it is revealed he is a fan of Ed Sheeran, or perhaps stalking him? When listening to this track it does lift me and for once this is a love song with a positive message.
You Need Me, I Don't Need You
The video for this track attracted a lot of attention as the video is simply of a boy signing the lyrics to the track. This track is certainly very upbeat and positive and showcases Ed's rap style. References are made to various artists such as Damien Rice and Gabriella Cilmi. I think this song is terrific and not only is it very catchy it is very well-known. Some of the lyrics are quite funny too. One of the more memorable lines is 'They say I'm up and coming like im f*****g in an elevator' which led to this becoming the status of many friends of mine on facebook, twitter and other social media outlets.
Another emotional track about love and again quite a gentle tempo and vocals to follow. Here, Ed shows lots of emotion about being in love and wanting to be loved. Again you can hear Ed's unique voice and although it isn't one of his stronger tracks it is quite unique.
Give Me Love
I would have preferred 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You' to end the album, but he chose 'Give Me Love' instead. However, this track is still very strong and carries Sheeran's emotion as the tracks have done throughout the album. This track begins with just the acoustic guitar and Ed's voice, before building up with more instrumental intervention and stronger vocals. Here we feel the presence of Ed's high notes and this track completes an album that must have stretched every element of his vocal range and diversity of talent.
It would be very easy to just say Ed Sheeran is unique and that he is an outstanding musician. I think Ed offers more than that, not only through the emotion he shows in his tracks, but backed up by the personal experiences he tells the story of and some of the references along the way are not just personal to Ed they also relate to the listeners' life, too. Critics will say that Ed's unique style will wear off, but even now I suspect those doubters that appeared upon the release of '+' are beginning to regret those suggestions. Ed does have a very different approach to every element of each track on this album. This is smething which can never be emulated by any manufactured pop act and is ultimately what makes his music so attractive.
Finally, I have to recommend you listen to a few of the tracks on Ed's album. I understand that as his style is quite different and unique that it won't suit all tastes, but as his lyrics relate so well to many fans I am sure you can find something in '+' for you.
Product Information : + - Ed Sheeran
Manufacturer's product descriptionRock & Pop - StudioRecording - 1 CD(s) - Label: Asylum - Distributor: Arvato Services - Released: 21/11/2011, 12/09/2011 - 5052498646555, 5052498646524
EAN: 5052498646555, 5052498646524
Listed on Ciao since: 02/11/2011