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I am a big fan of Ed Sheerans most recent album named +. I recently wrote a review on it on here and another member, Daisy told me that she actually preferred his older stuff. I thought well if his older stuffs half as good as + then I'm onto a winner so I decided to look into some of his older material.
==Who is Ed Sheeran?==
Ed Sheeran is commonly referred to as the flame haired singer/songwriter, beatboxer and guitarist. He was born in 1991 which actually makes me feel quite old as I was born 2 years earlier... But considering his age he's achieved a lot so far and he has an extremely wonderful talent, both being able to sing effortlessly and also to piece together these wonderful songs of his.
Loose Change was released in 2010. There seems to be two different editions of this EP which is what it is formally known as but I think it can be called an album because it is longer than most EP's. There is the 2010 album with another being released in 2011 with a different song replacing A Team as the first track. The album is a relatively short album with only 8 songs but I think as an introduction to Ed or simply to top up your Ed needs its perfect! I am reviewing the version of this with Let It Out as the first track rather than A Team but I am going to give a quick opinion on A Team now so that both editions are covered.
A Team - This is the song that really got Ed noticed. It was released in 2011 and was quite different to other music around at the time as it had a soulful vibe yet Ed is accompanied by various instruments making it a ballad yet a little more upbeat. The song refers to a girl who used to be very successful and popular now going downhill rapidly. It's a fabulous song which is very catchy and I guarantee everyone has heard it even if they aren't sure who Ed is.
Favourite Lyric: "The worst things in life come free to us" 10/10
Now I am going to review the version that I have.
Let It Out - The album begins with guitar strings which are shortly accompanied by Ed's wonderful voice. As soon as I heard Ed's first few lines I thought to myself, yes this is going to be great! More instruments are included into the song but the chorus is just Ed's voice with the guitar which I think sounds absolutely fantastic because I love his voice and think it really hits home when his voice can be heard so clearly. The lyrics refer to Ed missing a girl that he has been seeing which initially was supposed to just be about the physical side of the relationship. I think that this song is a brilliant opener for the album, it puts across exactly what Ed is about and gives a brilliant idea about what is to follow.
Favourite Lyric: "It seemed perfect, the concept, free from any regret" 10/10
Homeless - This is probably my favourite song on the album because I love both the lyrics and the rhythm and it's got a great beat that I just can't help but nod my head along to! I also think that the lyrics are really clever with a play on words when he speaks about being homeless. This song could have easily been on + and fitted right in. Its brilliant! The song refers to Ed always being out and about and rushed off his feet, but he would really like to find someone to share his life with. I've got a couple of favourite lyrics...
Favourite Lyrics: "It's not a homeless life for me, it's just that I'm home less than I'd like to be"
"Gonna live past 22, done everything I need to, except get a 2: 1" 10/10
Little Bird - This song begins with Ed and a girl finding an injured bird and them taking it inside to care for it and one thing leading to another. In the song Ed is reminding himself not to jump in too deep and he's saying that the bird is responsible for all this and how thankful he is. I thought this was a nice little song and quite cute. I liked the rhythm of the song as it was quite upbeat and had a sort of folk vibe to it.
Favourite Lyric: "And it's not complete yet, mustn't get our feet wet, cause that leads to regret, diving in too soon." 9/10
Sofa - Another one of my favourites. This song has a really laid back feel to it and the opening lyrics brought a smile to my face making me pay more attention. I love this song as it has quite a happy feel to it and it does make my mood improve because its got a good beat and tune. The song refers to how much he could do and where he could take his girlfriend across the globe... but he'd rather stay on the sofa.
Favourite Lyric: "She's reinventing loving me, When we're resembling cutlery on the sofa" 10/10
One Night - Another brilliant song. The lyrics refer to Ed telling a girl how he really feels and how fond he is of her. Initially I thought he was just telling her what she wanted to hear but I'm actually really unsure! I love the song and the lyrics are fabulous and fit in with the music so so well. It is a really catchy song and I think this could be on par with Homeless for my favourite song on the album.
Favourite Lyric: "Tell me you have a toothbrush, you don't mind sharing" 10/10
Firefly - This is a slightly more mellow song and is a bit more like a ballad than a lot of the album. Ed's voice is accompanied by guitar and it's a relaxing song which is great for helping me chill out, especially as I don't feel the need to nod my head to this one quite so much! The lyrics tell us how Ed finds someone completing him and how he thinks that their lives fit together perfectly.
Favourite Lyric: "Heart to heart, melt me down" 8/10
The City (Live) - This song is on + so I had heard it before and I have to admit, its not one of my favourites however I do really really like all of Ed's music. This live version is fab and Ed's voice sounds absolutely perfect, I didn't actually realise this was live the first few times I heard it because its so strong. It is slightly different than the version on + as it includes a rap. I absolutely adore the addition of this rap and think that its great! I wish this was included in the + version. The lyrics are about how Ed fits in with the city.
Favourite Lyric: "What I do isnt up to you and if the city never sleeps then that makes two" 9/10
Firefly (Bravado Dubstep Remix) - This is a remix of Firefly and it definitely ups the beat and tempo and it sounds like a completely different song to be honest so it doesn't matter too much that there is only one song in between the two on the album. The verses are still laid back and relaxing but underlying bass tones are introduced into the bridge and chorus which makes the song sound really good as its sort of like a dubstep ballad - two words that wouldn't ordinarily go together!
Favourite Lyric: "Heart to heart, melt me down" 9/10
==My opinion of the album==
As you can probably tell I was really impressed by this previous album from Ed Sheeran. I'm so pleased his earlier stuff was recommended as its very strong and its an album that I know will become as popular in my collection as + (I've had + for about 8 or 9 months and its never left my CD multichanger!)
I find Ed Sheeran's music really different to anything else out there at the moment because he tackles real issues but he also plays his own instruments and isn't afraid to showcase his wonderful vocal skills. I haven't actually come across anyone who says they don't like Ed Sheerans music so it really does please most people.
This album did not disappoint me in the slightest and I'm a bit annoyed that I didn't come across it earlier. It is a typical showcase of Ed's talents and although there are only 8 songs on the album, I think it is as good as +. I knew I loved it on first listen which is unusual for me as it usually takes a good few listens for me to really like an album.
The lyrics are clever, witty and relevant which allows me as a listener to really identify with Ed and understand his situations. I also like the fact that he does talk about things that people are genuinely going through - I know a lot of artists do but Ed tackles different issues such as financial hardship etc which tend to go unrecognised.
Another quick point to add is that I love the albums artwork. The cover is made up of what looks like a felt tip pen drawing of all different coloured shapes linked together a bit like a tetris game. You then have coins drawn onto the page with 2p pieces spelling out Ed Sheeran, a 20p chucked in for a space and Loose Change written on 50p's. I love the cover as I think its really fun and its certainly different to most album artworks around at the moment.
This EP is absolutely fantastic. There are 8 songs on this and 8 out of 8 I would listen to time and time again. The songs are consistently strong, fun, thought provoking and clever. Definitely worth a listen if you like Ed Sheeran or even if you don't know if you do, fabulous EP which really helps showcase his talents - singing, songwriting, beatboxing and playing guitar!
Ed Sheeran is a 20 year old music artist. He is honestly amazing and has such a versatile voice. His music genre hugely varies - from folk, acoustic and rock to hip hop, rap and grime. Ed also writes his songs himself, which I love as I know that every word that comes out of his mouth is personal and means something, rather than him blurting stuff out for the sake of it. Ed is classed as a rising star and despite been on the music scene for five years and playing at numerous gigs (over 300!), releasing several extended plays and producing & directing a music video all on his own, he only recently became a well known name, thanks to his single The A team.
He released Loose Change, his critically acclaimed Extended Play in February 2010, which features his debut single The A Team as well as 7 other songs which all vary in topics - from homelessness, relationships, the feelings of loneliness, paranoia and infactuation, to drug addiction and prostitution. A majority of the songs tell a story, whether it be about Ed and his past experiences with living on the streets and busking, or telling the story of someone else but in a way that we connect with that person through Ed's voice and lyrics.
My favourite song on the album is most definetly The A Team. This song is the most well known out of the 30 odd songs that Ed has produced, with this been the one that got lucky and made it onto the radio, therefor making Ed a new found star. The song, I must admit, is brilliant and i'm not sick of it even after the amount of hype it has gained over the past few months, but I think that it has been sort of 'rushed' into the spotlight, and has been a little overplayed. People are acting like Ed is 'the new kid on the block' after hearing this song, when in fact he has been writing & performing songs for the past five years.
The song tells the story of an un named, young, homeless drug addicted girl who begs on the street for spare change during the day and sells her body at night. She became addicted to drugs at eighteen, slowly deteriorating into your typical portrait of a homeless person which is demonstrated in Ed's lyrics - "Ripped gloves, raincoat", "But lately her face seems slowly sinking, wasting" and "White lips, pale face". We get the portrait of this girl in our heads, imagining her as a waif and stray, and I was intrigued to see what she would look like on the video as I had imagined her to look so ill and for her to look like a blatant drug addict. The girl on the video portrays her character brilliantly, and looks suprisingly normal despite the smudged eye makeup. Considering the video cost Ed just £20 to make, I do think they did a good job getting her looking 'roughed up' and it also reminded me that you can't always tell that someone is a drug addict. Ed Sheeran sings about the shame and desperation that the unnamed girl feels, and the video portrays the feeling that she is a nobody/ignored etc really well.
Ed's voice in the song is absolutely amazing, it oozes emotion and the build up is amazing. He has such a gentle but powerful voice that is just makes me slow down and listen whenever I hear it on the radio. I know this sounds a little wrong, but it is actually a song that cheers me up when I hear it, as it's such a recognizeable and easy to sing along to song, and it's also really relatable. I don't mean the bit about drug addiction, but the part where he sort of merges in 'everybody' with the girl; the chorus throughout brings the audience into the story;
The worst things in life come free to us
And we're all under the upperhand
Go mad for a couple of grams
I think there is more to this than meets the eye (or ear!) He is not accusing us of been drug addicts, but in my opinion this demonstrates how everyone is so under the influence of some sort of addiction in there life, whether it be alchohol, drugs, shopping, sex, etc, and the feeling that things can't get any worse. Despite the dark content, it is a very touching and suprisingly relatable song, which has definetly got Ed recognised much more widely than his other work, which is all amazing so that definetly says something about this song. The video is equally as good as the song and I would highly reccomend checking it out on Youtube. I like the fact that he doesn't emphasize that the girl dies from a drug overdose, subtly telling us softly in the song that "This time, we'll fade out tonight. Straight down the line." I thought it was very subtle and whenever this song is on the radio I don't cover my stepson or young neice's ears, as it isn't graphic unless you know the meaning of the song.
The overall sound is very mixed; there's some folk, indie, acoustic and some lovely instrumentals mixed in there. Despite how depressing it sounds from my review, it is actually a rather uplifting song, which really does make you think. I also think that the title of the song is genius, with 'A Team' reffering to people who are addicted to class A drugs, which is quite disturbing when you think about it rather than it been comedic like the well know TV show the A team. I love the fact that Ed doesn't glorify drugs or women selling themselves like alot of rappers do, and seeing as he is only 20 years old, he handles the subject with care. Overall, I highly reccomend this song and it will be staying a favourite on my playlist for atleast the next year!
Another favourite of mine is Sofa, which is track 4. Apart from The A Team, this is my favourite on the album and actually is probably my favourite out of Ed's other work as it is the most relateable in my eyes. The song is 3 minutes and 22 seconds long. It starts out with soft instrumentals and Ed's gorgeous soft voice singing about laying on the sofa with an unamed person (presumably a girl/his girlfriend). They're laid next to eachother at 5.01am after enjoying a night out at the beach bonfire, which Ed's hoodie still smells of. They're sat watching friends on E4, because that's how they 'kick off the day' which made me laugh because all couples have there little routine. Ed then makes a cup of tea for his girlfriend, knowing excactly how she likes it. The song isn't as boring as it sounds. Ed is singing about how they're young and free and could go wherever they want as they're carefree and in love "We can go where you want, say the word, and I'll take ya" but he is content with just sitting next to her on the sofa so it can just be him and her, shut off from the world and in there own little bubble together which is really cute and I know the feeling of wanting to just curl up with my boyfriend on the sofa watching TV and acting like idiots together in our own little world.
Ed's voice in this song is oozing emotion and love and you can just tell he is infactuated with the person he's singing about. You can tell that when he is with her, in her company, he feels amazing ("And it feels like i'm flying") The song is not the sort that I stick on when i'm going out for a run or when I want to dance, and I usually listen to it when I want something to relax to as his voice is so relaxing and the emotion in the song just makes me think and smile - it brings back memories. The instrumentals merge in well with the song and make it that bit more softer and meaningful. I especially love this song because compared to his other songs (rap, hip hop etc) it is so much more softer and shows his vulnerable/soft side and I love that he is not ashamed of his feelings - some rappers just rap about sex when it comes to women, yet Ed is gushing all over his girlfriend in the song which I love.
Sofa is a really sweet song that alot of people, especially those in relationships will be able to relate to. Other songs on the album include:
- Little Bird
- One Night
- The City
Overall this is a brilliant album and I highly reccomend it! It is only available for digital download and can be purchased from a variety of websites including Amazon.