Album In Review: Divide – Ed Sheeran

Scroll down to content


It’s been nearly three years since Ed Sheeran’s second album Multiply grabbed us by the collar and slapped us in the face of reality that pale ginger boys from England can have swag. Radio stations have been a major support for this album, still playing hits like Sing, Thinking Out Loud, and Don’t on the air waves.

But it’s time for 2017 Ed Sheeran. You ready?

On January 6th this year, Ed released his first two tracks from his upcoming third album, Divide. Shape Of You and Castle On The Hill immediately flew up to the top of the charts and people were hopeful and excited for what the rest of the record would entail.

Divide has a bit of everything for everyone, genre wise and lyrically. It’s a bit Divided… but united in Ed’s glorious voice and talent.

Plunge into my song analysis below if you’re so inclined.

1. Eraser

“Welcome to the new show. I guess you know I’ve been away.”

Welcome back Ed! Our first dive into the album opens with Eraser. Sheeran reflects on all that has changed in his life since making it big in the industry. He discusses the doubts he feels with people in his life thinking he’s going to change and live a certain way well-off musicians stereotypically live. But in truth, he’s still the same Ed with the same old jeans and guitar… Just with a better cash flow now.

Along his journey to fame, Sheeran has learned success and fame can be hell and money isn’t everything. He recalls a memory from age 12 of his dad saying, ‘you’ve got to chase those dreams.’ In Ed’s song The Man from his second album, there’s a lyric that says:

‘Got advice from my dad and he told me that family is all I’ll ever have and need. I guess I’m unaware of it. Success is nothing if you have no one left to share it with.’

It seems as Ed’s dad has always been good for advice and has helped keep him grounded which translates easily in this song. It nice to see this theme re-introduced in his third album.

There’s another shoutout to Ed’s idol, Damien Rice, in this tune. Ed sings that he hopes Damien is proud of him playing stadiums. On his debut album, the track You Need Me, I Don’t Need You, Ed raps a verse saying ‘I won’t stop ’til my name’s in lights, at stadium heights with Damien Rice.’  It’s a nice acknowledgment to his musical inspiration and an acknowledgement to his success of selling out major stadium shows during his last world tour. Perhaps these two will tour together sometime…


2. Castle On The Hill

Track 2 was a single released before the album debut and people fell in love with Ed’s recollection of growing up on the country side of England and sharing memories of his younger school mates and times as a young teen.

Smoking cigs, first kisses, weekend jobs, and getting drunk with his friends are some topics discussed. The video for this one is pretty sweet as younger actors that go to the school Ed grew up going to, portray Ed and his friends and at the end in the distance, you can see Ed and his real mates gathered just like the good ole’ days watching the ‘sunset over the castle on the hill.

3. Dive

‘Don’t call me baby, unless you mean it.’

Ed has previously described his music as something girls cry and eat ice cream to. Ladies, this is that song.

In Dive, Ed tells the tale of a male falling too hard into a relationship and not really having feelings reciprocated on the other end. He knows he can come on too strong and wears his heart on his sleeve but doesn’t want to Dive in too early and be heartbroken.

Tissues, please pass the tissues… someone…

4. Shape Of You

The other single Ed released early in January was Shape Of You. Originally written for Rihanna, this song’s club and Caribbean groove really surprised fans who are used to a more singer/songwriter vibe from Ed.

The story follows a young man falling in love with a girl who he meets at a bar, dances with, takes on a date to a buffet, and goes home with and is ultimately ‘in love with {her} body’. It’s a fun dance number and is definitely one of Ed’s sexiest songs.

Also… if you haven’t seen the amazing choreography from Kyle Hanagami to this song, please do yourself a favor and watch this video.

5. Perfect

Ed found a girl. Their romance blossomed when they were just kids and has grown into something he didn’t expect. But we learn he’s so in love and she’s so perfect.

You’ll probably be hearing this a lot at wedding receptions in 2017.

One can only hope this is about Ed’s girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn, who he’s been with for 2 years. The two met in school growing up and recently reunited and began dating.

‘Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know. She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home.’

6. Galway Girl

Love this shoutout to Galway, Ireland. Fun storytelling about a night out at a pub with lots of beer, dancing, darts, and a fiddle. It’s a fun, upbeat tune that spiked to number one in Ireland upon its release. Only fitting, right?

‘She played the fiddle in an Irish band, but she fell in love with an English man.’

Ed recently announced he was looking for traditional Irish dancers to be a part of this music video, so look forward to that one!

7. Happier

Welp ladies, go grab that second pint of ice cream…

Happier is a vulnerable number that relates to the feelings that may arise again when you see your ex walking down the street in another’s arms looking Happier than when they were with you. He recognizes that he hurt her and he accepts she’s moved on with someone new. But he still loves her.

‘I know that there’s others that deserve you, but my darling, I am still in love with you.’

God Ed… so sad. Brb crying…

8. New Man

There’s a bit of of a more humorous Ed in this one. New Man tells the story of still being hung up on your ex and trying to stalk them on Instagram, when you know you shouldn’t. The principal character in this song doesn’t want to know about his ex’s New Man, and by how he’s described… I wouldn’t want to either. Sounds like a player.

She’s changed though too.

‘You were the type of girl that sat beside the water reading. Eating a packet of crisps but you will never find you cheating. Now you’re eating kale, hitting the gym, keeping up with Kylie & Kim. In the back of the club kissing a boy that ain’t him.’

He wants to tell her she’s changed, she’s young and impressionable, yet, he still wants to be with her.


9. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here

Ed’s back in love on this track. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here follows two lovers in a relationship of comfort, solidarity and so much love that there isn’t even room to think about not being together.

‘She is the flint that sparks the lights, and the fuel that will hold the flame.’

An undying flame.

10. What Do I Know?

Ed’s got something to say and has the platform to do so.  A lot of people are going to relate to this song, especially now. Love, understanding and positivity are what this world needs.

Though he notes he lacks a college education or a degree, it’s simple to understand what the world needs.

‘Love could change the world in a moment. But what do I know?’

11. How Would You Feel (Paean)

This song will give you butterflies.

How Would You Feel observes a couple falling in love, and one person telling the other they’re falling in love with them.

‘How would you feel, if I told you I loved you? It’s just something that I want to do.’

Sweet and simple lyrics, really just a beautiful song.

12. Supermarket Flowers

*Warning: Grab tissues before listening

Clearing out the home of someone you lose is one of the hardest things to do in life. Supermarket Flowers is a tear jerker and follows Ed’s personal experience in losing his grandma.

Heartbreak comes along with the loss of a family member but Ed knows he has an angel to watch over him and his family and will have someone to welcome him home to heaven.

13. Barcelona

Total 180 from the last song… strap your dancing shoes back on and kick up that Spanish flair. Ed’s seems to be singing a lot more about love and dancing on this album, thinking that’s reflecting off his real life love right now. I  dig it.

Good vibes, Barcelona inspired cha cha, get grooving to this song. I’d say this is the spanish inspired version of Shape Of You. Sheeran even spits a few bars in Español.

‘Las Ramblas, I’ll meet ya, come on and dance with me, in Barcelona. Drinking Sangria, I just want to be in Barcelona.’

14. Bibia Be Ye Ye

Bibia Be Ye Ye meaning ‘All Will Be Well’ sounds like a fun drunken night and then waking up trying to realize what’s happened. Sometimes you have to learn lessons the hard way but know everything will turn right okay. It’s kind of a modern day Hakuna Matata.

Fuse ODG co-wrote this song with Ed in Ghana and the culture is definitely reflected stylistically. Really fun and catchy lyrically as well. This might be favorite track at the moment.

15. Nancy Mulligan

Nancy Mulligan is Ed’s grandma and this Irish folk song tells the story of her and her husband’s love story, told from William Sheeran’s point of view.

Disregarding parental approval and religious differences, love conquers all in this story. After meeting in the war, it was love at first sight. 60 years, 8 children and 22 grandchildren later, the couple was still very much in love when William passed in 2013.

‘She and I went on the run, don’t care about religion. I’m gonna marry the woman I love, down by the Wexford border.’

16. Save Myself

Save Myself sounds like a lesson Ed has learned along his musical journey. Sometimes you have to recognize that you have to help yourself before being there for someone else. You have to learn to recognize people that genuinely care for you and those just using you.

A bit of a darker side for Sheeran but people who can understand feeling used in a relationship will be able to relate to these lyrics.

‘And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell. So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself.’

My goodness Sir Ed Sheeran…

I danced, I laughed, I cried. Divide… I get it. Love, heartbreak, family, and a good time. A bit of something for everyone.

What do you think of Divide? Have a favorite song? Let me know in the comments below-

2 Replies to “Album In Review: Divide – Ed Sheeran”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: