Ed Sheeran – ÷ (Atlantic Records, 2017)
After taking a break from social media for a year to travel the world, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is back with his third studio album, ÷. From incorporating the Irish fiddle in “Galway Girl,” to the high-energy afrobeats in “Bibia Be Ye Ye”—where he also sings in Twi, a common dialect in Ghana—it’s evident his time away inspired him. While some tracks feature Sheeran singing with just a guitar or piano, such as the emotional closing track “Save Myself,” overall, the album is more instrumentally dynamic when compared to his first two albums. “Perfect” is the ultimate love ballad, and is sure to be the first dance song at every wedding this summer. The sassiness in “New Man” is humorous, as Sheeran sing-raps about an ex lover who’s now with someone who’s the opposite of him: “He wears sunglasses indoors, in winter, at nighttime, and every time a rap song comes on, he makes a gun sign.” ÷ is sure to please the bulk of Sheeran fans—it’s dynamic, but he doesn’t stray too far from the acoustic style that makes him so popular.
Trial Track: “Galway Girl”