Ed Sheeran - X (Album Review)

English singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran’s new album X (pronounced Multiply) is an interesting listen. Like his debut album + the title is simple and the album artwork has a color as a main focus. For + the color was orange. For X the color is green. I really like the simplistic approach. It's interesting how the color sort of represents and influences the mood of the music. I was a fan of + so I was interested to hear if Sheeran could follow-up that album with another strong album.

First off, X is filled with a ton of great pop singer/songwriter tunes. It's kind of a mixture of alternative easy listening rock and R&B with some hip hop elements. When I hear an album like this I always feel like it screams: "anyone who listens to alternative radio will probably hear at least one song from this multiple times on whatever station they listen to a lot this year." Sheeran's vocals anchor the entire album. He tackles a lot of different vocal styles to compliment the various musical elements and for the most part he does a pretty good job. As a whole X comes off as a lot better written and to me has an overall stronger set of songs than his debut album. It's super catchy and infectious. The lead single "Sing" is a great representation of the sound as a whole and is one of the better songs on the album. "Nina" is also a great tune and holds more of the "hip-hop" vibe I was talking about as Sheeran sings the choruses but uses more of a fast paced sort of rapping style on the verses. "The Man" is in the same vein. The verses on it are more straight rapping. I like the song, but in a way it feels weird where it's placed on the album as it kind of disrupts the flow of the album. The album also has some pretty good slow songs like "Photograph".

I really like the instrumentation on the album. There's no doubt Sheeran's vocals are important to this album and are a major focal point, but the musical backdrops created have to be good and on this album they are pretty darn strong. I like a lot of the rhythm the album has. The drum and beat work are really nice. Some of the little sounds and additional beats added in here and there just add a ton. 

Overall I think Ed Sheeran followed up a pretty good debut with an album that is probably superior to its predecessor. I definitely think fans will enjoy this album. They should find a few songs that casual music fans enjoy. It tackles a lot of styles and blends a lot of different musical elements and Sheeran is able to pull them all together and make a pretty cohesive strong album.

No comments: