British artist Ed Sheeran’s debut album as good as its title: ‘+’

Ed Sheeran, a 21-year-old British artist, melted many hearts with his debut song “The A Team,” which is now sold in the U.S. on his new album entitled “+.” Recently, the Brit recorded a duet called “Everything Has Changed” on Taylor Swift’s new album “Red” and is scheduled as Swift’s opening act for her next tour. With an intense passion for music that rivals the fiery hue of his red hair, Sheeran’s music is a concoction of John Mayer’s mellowness and Jason Mraz’s acoustic talent. His songs appeal to a younger demographic and speak about relationships, break-ups, drugs and pregnancy.
The first song on the album is entitled “The A Team,” which is based on a girl named Angel who Sheeran met at a homeless shelter while volunteering. On the surface, the song sounds like catchy, whimsical lullaby, but the lyrics tell a heart-wrenching story about a girl who suffers with an addiction to crack.
The song “U.N.I.” needs only two instruments: a guitar and Sheeran’s voice. The rap-style delivery of the lyrics accompanied with the guitar makes the song sound like hip-hop with a touch of softness. “U.N.I.” also follows along with the theme of heartbreak as Sheeran pours out his feelings of frustration with a girl whose life is pulling her in a different direction.
Once again, Sheeran shows his knack for stringing lyrics together to tell a beautiful story in the song “Small Bump.” The rawness and simplicity of Sheeran’s voice coupled with the guitar heightens the emotional message. In the song, Sheeran talks about an unborn baby and emphasizes the beauty of human life. However, the last line reveals how quickly human life can end: “You were just a small bump, unborn / for four months then torn from life. / Maybe you were needed up there / but we’re still unaware as why.”
The songs “This” and “The City” may leave the listener feeling underwhelmed. Although the song “The City” is a brave venture into hip-hop, it doesn’t follow the flow of Sheeran’s soft melodies. The song “This” has a nice minute-long guitar introduction, but it fails to leave a lasting impression.
Sheeran makes up for the previous tracks with the next few songs: “Lego House” and “Kiss Me.” In the song “Lego House,” Sheeran effectively uses hip-hop influences to create a catchy song that also stays true to his style. The song is about his old manager who tried to mold the artist into a pop star. However, some interpret the lyrics as Sheeran venting and stirring controversy.
Last but certainly not least is “Give Me Love.” The song has an African tribal influence accompanied by the elegance of a violin. Towards the end of the song, the listener feels that behind the beauty is someone who is earnestly seeking for love.
Overall, Sheeran’s album is a provoking piece of musical work. The album “+” is truly focused on the music and the songs are more focused on telling a story.