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Not many artists can produce such a high quality debut album that the nation really takes to their hearts, but Ed Sheeran certainly does this. '+' (pronounced 'plus') can be categorized as a folk/indie pop/hip hop soul genre, and let me tell you the diversity of the tracks on here doesn't disappoint.
This was the singers first commercial success, releasing the album with Atlantic Records, and Asylum Records, it out did all of his previous EP's (5 of them, released independently). The album peaked at #1 in the UK in it's first week, with over 100,000 sales, and also debuted in the US at #5. However, Sheeran did not just manage album success. In the UK, 6 separate tracks were released, all of which peaked within the top 25 singles, with three of those peaking within the top 5.
These figures really speak volumes about this album. With fantastic vocals, great music and meaningful lyrics, there's a song that can please any music lover at some point. Critics also agree, with 4/5 stars on reviews by the London Evening Standard and The Independent, both of which well deserved.
I have chosen to talk briefly about some of the standout songs on the album that are definitely worth a listen if you are still unsure about purchasing.
Firstly, I wouldn't be able to not mention 'The A Team' the first single from the album, and emotional song about the struggles of drug abusers. It's a pretty deep topic, and only goes to show the meaning that has been put into the production of this album. The gentle guitar creates a melody that sticks in your head, yet the sad tone to the track keeps you thinking about the real life struggles people still face today.
Sheeran also explores more upbeat territory with the likes of 'Grade 8' and 'You Need me, I Don't Need You'. In these songs, the choruses are catchy and the beat never feels to get you moving. In particular 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You' dips into the more urban genre, with Sheeran showcasing his rapping ability which, to someone who doesn't rate rap very much, is pretty impressive.
This is then slowed down with 'Wake Me Up' an achingly sweet song, utilizing the piano sound to really get across the emotion of the track, celebrating the love for another. There are many other songs worth mentioning, for example 'Small Bump' which never fails to get your tear ducks jerking and 'Lego House' another track that went straight to the public's hearts and into the top 5 UK singles.
The album ends on 'Give Me Love' which samples a more gospel and soul sound in the climax of the song, which even has a hidden song at the end, a rendition of an old folk song which is a great listen to fully appreciate his voice.
Overall, this is a great album, and for a debut really sets Sheeran in good steed for future releases.
Ed Sheeran's album is a bit old now, assuming everyone has their twenty minutes of fame his twenty minutes looking like they might well be up for now, but this debut album still has a lot going for it.
Acoustically brilliant, marvelously melodic, sensual and soothing are all words that could be used to describe this album that features a nice selection of songs from this former aspiring busker who only ever wanted to get his songs heard.
Everyone knows the hits from this album- A-Team was everywhere upon release and follow-up, Lego House, did likewise as well. And with good reason. These are two of the strongest, catchiest songs on the album with very different, subtle messages hidden in their vocals that resonate inside of you long after the album is finished!
In fact, A-Team opens this album and is a very moving piece about a homeless girl; not normally anything to sing about but it helps get across a message of desperation, hope and encapsulates the loneliness that people forced to live on the streets must feel.
Drunk that follows it is much more uplifting but equally as catchy. This song grew on me as I wasn't sure about it at first but then I caught myself singing it in the shower and was like "hey, I actually like this!" As different as it is from A-Team, it helps show off Sheeran's expressive style and is a perfect example of how you can expect every song on this album to contain something a little bit different; a hidden gem of the sort not normally so consistently found in many of today's mainstream artists!
Wake Me Up, which comes two songs later, is another of my favourites. Whilst U.NI. and Grade 8 ate both good, it is not until this song that Sheeran once again starts to excel. It is like the previous two tracks lull you into a false sense of security and then Sheeran hits you with something totally catchy and unique again that throws you totally for a curve ball. This is another toe-tappingly pleasant tune that you will find yourself singing along to and is beautiful acoustically!
Small Bump, I'm never sure about. I kind of like it but the lyrics and gentle melody are a bit of a downer if you are in the wrong mood. Much better are the songs that follow- This, The City, and Lego House - the latter of which I consider his best song to date!
Finally, Sheeran brings it all down a notch for his last three songs - still brilliant but starting to wind the album down. You Need Me More Than I Need You is catchy still and very upbeat but Give Me Love, his last number, is very Damien Rice-esque and might have been better a bit earlier on in the track listing for my liking.
Overall, this is a nice album that is a very good debut and promises more fresher and bigger and better things to come. Sheeran is a real British talent and is taking it back for the Gingers too! Seriously, there are few artists as accomplished as this at such a young age, he is only in his very early twenties, and though I like some of the songs here more than others, as a whole this album is one of the best to emerge from new talent in the last few years!
Ed sheeran is a singer as well as a songwriter and he released his debut album in 2011.
Why I wanted this CD?
I wanted this CD after I had heard it is my fiancé, at the time my boyfriends car and fell in love with it.
A basic cd case. A very orange cover with the face of Ed himself and tracks on the back.
1. The A Team
4. Grade 8
5. Wake Me Up
6. Small Bump
8. The City
9. Lego House
10. You Need Me I Don't Need You
11. Kiss Me
12. Give Me love
You can get this CD from any music store and online.
The price differs in stores you can now get it on certain deals for about £5, online possibly the same.
What it sounds like....
I have loved Ed ever since the A team. I think he has the voice of an angel as well as being amazing on the guitar. The cd flows perfectly and tracks throughout suit every mood imaginable
Why I wanted it?....
I first heard the CD in my fiancés, at the time boyfriends car when we first got together. I am very sentimental about this cd anyway as we are having it played at our wedding. When he left to go back to Germany he took the cd with him so I needed a new one, I bought this and after balling my eyes out I listened to it again. I adore this CD.
Very sentimental to me,
Ed has a beautiful voice when singing, he really makes you feel that he believes in the words he is singing.
The cd is amazingly cheap.
A beautifully wonderful singing voice, made onto a cd.
Would I recommend?
Without a doubt!
Being very ill towards the end of last year I wasn't particularly as up to date with music as I would have been six months before. I had heard Ed Sheeran's 'The A team' a few times on the radio but had no idea who he was and I hadn't even really paid much attention either. However, I sat up and noticed the song when Frankie Cocozza performed it for his X Factor audition and me and my best friend both went out and bought the CD album of Ed's the very next day!
Who is Ed Sheeran?
Ed Sheeran was born in 1991 in Halifax. He began playing the guitar at a very young age and by the age of 14 he was already writing and recording his own songs. He released his first extended play at this age which he named 'The Orange Room'. He released another two albums over the next four years.
In 2009, Ed toured with one of his idols - Just Jack. This was the real kick start to his career and in early 2010 he was asked to tour with Example. In 2010 he shifted his attentions to America and had his first taste of success. He was offered to play at 'The Foxxhole' owned by Jamie Foxx. Foxx himself gave Ed a standing ovation and offered for him to stay with him whilst in the country! Whilst staying with Foxx he became more and more well known with even Elton John noticing him.
On 12th September 2011 he signed a deal with Atlantic Records and he was propelled to fame, with this album selling fast and a budding fanbase forming quickly. This album reached number 1 in the UK.
Ed plays guitar on his tracks and he is a wonderful guitar player. When singing live he also has his guitar with him which I believe displays his talent beautifully. Ed's voice is soft and reassuring but he really manages to put across his raw emotions. A lovely voice which is ever so slightly husky at times and is an absolute joy to listen to.
Track 1 - The A Team:
This was, in my opinion the song that really got Britain to sit up and listen. It is a lovely ballad and also very catchy. It's a great summer tune and very chilled out and relaxed. The lyrics refer to a girl who had dreams but recently has become more and more separated from them. Favourite lyric from the song has to be 'The worst things in life come free to us'. 10/10.
Track 2 - Drunk:
This song refers to a relationship coming to an end and trying to block out the pain primarily through alcohol. It is quite a sad song when listening to the lyrics as you realise his problems are bigger than just this break-up - money struggles etc. I would call this a ballad but it is quite upbeat. Favourite lyric from the song is 'I wanna hold your heart in both hands, Not watch it fizzle at the bottom of a coke can'. 8/10.
Track 3 - U.N.I
In this song, a break up has occurred because one of them has moved away to uni. I was quite pleased when I heard the content of the song because it is a common issue with students and it was nice to hear it addressed. This again is a ballad and Ed's voice in this song is brilliant, he has a slightly grave voice at times which I love and this really does make me as a listener feel that Ed really believes this song. Favourite line from the song is probably 'I don't drink like everybody else I do it to forget things about myself, Stumble and fall with the head spin I got, My mind's with you but my heart's just not'. 9/10.
Track 4 - Grade 8
This song is more upbeat which I believe is a good point for it in the album as the first three had been slower and calmer. The song talks about how he feels for a girl and how he will not let her down. Quite a feel good song and a good one to drive to. Favourite lyric is 'My eyes are a river filler, This drink is a liver killer'. 8/10.
Track 5 - Wake Me Up
Without a doubt one of my favourite songs on the album. The rhythm is very slow and Ed's voice is clear and crisp over the gentle music and the lyrics are so moving, infact it often brings me to tears! The song talks about how much he really loves this girl and it has such lovely content it really makes me think about those I love. Favourite lyric is hard to choose because there are so many beautiful lyrics to choose from but I am going to say 'See I could do without a tan on my left hand where my fourth finger meets my knuckle'. 10/10.
Track 6 - Small Bump
This is a heartbreaking song and also quite chilling. The lyrics talk about a miscarriage and the things that Ed thought he would do that he now cannot. The song to me was a bit of a shock because I don't think I have heard a song with this as a focus before but it really is an astounding piece of music and Ed gets his feelings across so well. My sister had a miscarriage and I know how difficult it can be so can relate to this song to an extent. It seems a bit insensitive to say 'favourite' song so I'm going to say the most touching line is ''Cos 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'. 10/10.
Track 7 - This
Another ballad but this one has a bit more of a positive content which I think is needed after the previous song, especially if you are an emotional wreck like me. The song talks about the start of a new relationship and how everything feels so wonderful and how he thinks it will stay this way. Favourite lyric is 'You are the earth that I will stand upon, You are the words that I will sing'. 8/10.
Track 8 - The City
This is more upbeat but does show off Ed's vocal skills at the same time. The song is about where he lives and what goes on around him. Its nice to have a bit more of a cheerful song at this point I think. Favourite line is 'I find it trips me up and puts me down, This is not what I'm used to'. 7/10.
Track 9 - Lego House
Definitely another favourite of mine. This song is quite well known and most of you have probably heard it. I love the fact that its slightly quirky - how many singers can you name who sing about lego? But I also love the lyrics and they do have meaning. He talks about a relationship where things haven't been easy but they both love each other a lot and are determined to make things work though they are aware that there might be a few hiccups along the way. Rupert Grint actually starred in the video for this which is pretty cool! Favourite line is difficult as theres lots of great ones but will probably have to be 'I'm gonna pick up the pieces and build a Lego house, If things go wrong we can knock it down'. 10/10.
Track 10 - You need me, I don't need you
This is another well known song of Ed's and is more upbeat and talks about how another artist isn't true - doesn't write their own songs and how Ed feels that it is now time to be free of them. A good song to drive to, lots of attitude and great to sing along to. Favourite line is 'I'm not you, now that would be disastrous'. 8/10.
Track 11 - Kiss Me
Back to a beautiful ballad here where the lyrics describe a relationship that is quickly turning into love. The words describe falling wonderfully and it takes me back to the early days of relationships. Favourite line is 'Yeah I've been feeling everything from hate to love from love to lust from lust to truth I guess that's how I know you'. 9/10.
Track 12 - Give Me Love
A strong close to the album. Another ballad during which Ed sings about a break up and really wanting to turn things around and get things back to how they were. A relaxed song and I think it is the perfect end to the album. Favourite line is 'Give a little time to me, or burn this out, We'll play hide and seek to turn this around'. 9/10.
Overall opinion of the album
Incase you haven't already realised, I adore this album and go back to it time and time again. It is always in my multi changer in my car and of course I know every song word for word. The songs are all so strong and it is a lovely album to just listen to the whole way through. I find the album quite relaxing and like to listen to it when I am a little worked up or when I have a long drive.
For me, the lyrics are absolutely outstanding and they are some of the best lyrics I have heard. Ed puts his feelings and thoughts across brilliantly and I really feel as though I understand exactly what he is trying to say. A lot of the situations he talks about are recognisable to most people which is nice as it gives people something to relate to. I believe Ed has really put his heart on the table with this album. He is singing about things that many men would not want to because of embarrassment but he handles these situations so well.
I think this really will be an album that I am still listening to in five years time. It is a modern classic which I believe is timeless and although Ed has finally got his recognition, I still don't believe that Britain recognise quite how talented he really is.
Its hard for me to pick a favourite song as I have a few that are definitely firm favourites and my favourite favourite seems to vary depending on how things are going in my life at that particular time. At the moment, I think Small Bump is probably the most strong song on the album for me because Ed exposes his feelings so wonderfully and beautifully and he really captures how prospective parents feel when a tragedy like this happens. Its heartbreaking to hear what he would have done but now cant and I really feel for Ed in this song. I often have a couple of moments silence when this song comes to an end just to think about other people in that situation.
This album is absolutely fantastic in my opinion and I am disappointed I didn't come across him before. As a result of this album, I will be tracking down some of his earlier music when my bank balance allows but, for now I know this album will keep me going and will still amaze me with every hearing.
Why Should You Buy It?
I believe that Ed's style will appeal to a large percentage of people. Fans of ballads, pop and RnB would enjoy this album and even if you are not a particular fan of these genres then I would still recommend looking this album up as it is a wonderful piece of work which is a brilliant listen. It has reached number one in the UK charts which also proves to me that many other people also appreciate his talent.
The album was released in September 2011.
The album is available from iTunes currently for £7.99.
To find out more about Ed, please visit www.edsheeran.co.uk
Without a doubt, one of my favourite albums. A real tear-jerker and thought provoker which provides me with inspiration and makes me appreciative for what I do have and determined to strive for things that I haven't quite managed to achieve yet.
100% wholeheartedly recommended - an amazing album from someone expressing extreme talent.
Ed Sheeran is one of my favourite artists at the moment, he is a singer/songwriter with an amazing, mellow voice that makes for really easy listening. His first album was released in September 2009 and was called +.
The Track list for this album is as follows:
1. The A Team
4. Grade 8
5. Wake Me Up
6. Small Bump
8. The City
9. Lego House
10. You Need Me I Don't Need You
11. Kiss Me
12. Give Me Love
The A Team
This is a song about a prostitute who is addicted to class A drugs, it is a really sad song about how hard life can be for addicts and people in the sex industry. This song is really slow and sad and has a really sad message to it, to be honest it makes me feel lucky for every opportunity I have been given in life. Ed Sheerans voice is amazing and he sings this song flawlessly in my opinion.
This is a slower song about losing a loved one and using alcohol to get rid of the pain. This song is really sad song about dealing with being alone but also knowing that you can't change the way you are as a person. I really love this song and think its sung really well.
You Need Me, I Don't Need You
This is one of the faster paced songs on the album. It has a really cool beat to it and is a confident song about not needing someone. In this song he sings about his life as a singer/songwriter and how he is now doing better for himself, I am guessing this song is aimed at the people in his life who tried to hold him back from his dreams. I really like this song as it is a little different to anything else on the album.
The Other Tracks
There are no tracks on this album that I dislike, they are all very easy listened to and have their own little unique twists to them. There are more slower songs on this album and it has a really mellow vibe to it. I really love the poetry that he uses in his lyrics, they have real meaning to them. I think that this is a great album to just chill out with or to have on in the background when you are driving.
Price and Availability
I bought this album in HMV for around £10 at Christmas time, this was a really great price for such a high quality and recent album. I would definitely recommend buying this album as I have got loads of listening from it and have got my money's worth in my opinion.
I think that this is a fantastic album and that Ed Sheeran is a very talented singer and song writer. This is a lovely album with a really cool feeling to it. I find it very hard to flaw this album. Overall I would give this album 5 out of 5 songs.
*also on ciao under lorrainek90
I love this album.
The reason why I like this album so much is that it's full of emotion and Ed really does put his heart and soul into the album. He's clearly based it on personal experiences and the songs are all very honest and meaningful. I do enjoying listening to the stories in the songs as they are all different. The songs are about friendship, relationships and life experiences. They are very well produced and executed.
The songs are what I would describe as "soft indie". There's a slow tempo feel to this album without it coming across as boring. It's similar to David Gray in terms of style and production. I can put this album on after work and it helps me to wind down. It has a very calming feel to it and it makes me happy, even if some of the songs are quite sad. It's "happy yet sad" music, however I personally enjoy it.
The singles "Lego House" and "The A Team" are on here, as well as a few other numbers. There are no fillers - the album is full of quality songs that you can't help but sway along to. You will already be familiar with a few of the songs as they have already been played on the radio, mainly radio 1.
Would I recommend this album? Oh yes, it's a musical masterpiece.
After releasing a bag of EPs off his own back, Ed Sheeran was signed towards the end of 2010. Once Atlantic had in, they blew his underground hype up into an uncontrollable mainstream buzz which everyone saw coming. "You Need Me" sealed it for him, but after showing that he can deliver by collaborating with the UK's best MC talent (Wiley, Dot Rotten, P Money etc.) it was time to secure his career advancements with a full body of work. "+" is its name, it came out in 2011, it sold extremely well, but does the content deserve such praise?
Primarily, it's "The A Team" which scores him points. The track shows what strong capabilities he has as a vocalist and songwriter and how effectively he puts melancholy subject matter. As a starting point to introduce you to the artist, it will engage you. Later down the line, "Small Bump" shows promise too and stands up well within the tracklist, but there's a sense than he tries too hard to recreate a lot of what goes on in these songs (with "U.N.I.", "Kiss Me" etc.) which many may find to be offputting.
Much of the album revolves too much on his range of influences. At its heart, Ed Sheeran is just a young man with a guitar, yet many forget this - due to his ties with 'urban' artists. In a way, it overshadows the project, so he has to forcefully incorporate such elements into the "+" release. Things like the breaks underlining "Grade 8" come across as jarring and are just put in there to uphold expectation. Further into it and the splashes of Rock and Hip Hop are just irritating and make the song cringe-worthy, as he tries to appeal to a crowd who simply wouldn't listen to his music otherwise. When it's not musical aspects pulling him down, it's his need to over-emphasise the emotional side to his songwriting. It's not something which all can relate to and often sounds as though he's putting on an act.
When weighing everything up, Ed Sheeran's debut album is a bit too careful and obvious. It's recorded as a beginner's guide to Pop-Folk (as it's been a while since the last artist of his kind found a young crowd) and little more. While it might have a few songs which are very catchy and will stay in your head, but it's probably more down to the amount of radio play such tracks received. It's a bit too soppy and over-emotional for most, which is why such a young crowd are gravitating towards it, but some older listeners might see something more in it. He's got the hitmaking formula and has (strangely) managed to wrangle an 'urban' crowd in, but it's far too messy to be viewed as anything but an average debut album.
I very rarely listen to music I don't like. I hear things in passing I'm not keen on and will have an minor outburst as to why it's awful, but these days if it's no good I just don't pay attention.
I haven't been able to escape Ed Sheeran in 2011 - with his music being everywhere for the past 12 months, but specifically due to the fact I work with a few obsessives that insist on playing him whenever possible. At first I was really dismissive - citing other artists that make good acoustic music that they should be listening to. Nike Drake, Elliot Smith and I even took a punt with Daniel Johnston - all to deaf ears. Its was Sheeran or nothing.
I didn't see the lure, infact I found it irritating. It was too polite, way too nice and just a bit sickly. I never paid attention to what I was being subjected too - this guy everyone was raving about just seemed to be making background music to me.
I grew up in a pre-X factor music scene, and I'm very skeptical about of modern music. I can never escape the idea music is being sold to me rather than someone is making honest music and just hopes I like it. If it's in the charts I can't simply like it, I'm rubbish like that. It needs to not be obviously a 'product' and there needs to be some honesty behind it.
That I think was the hurdle for me infront of Ed Sheeran. I couldn't escape the stories about he was homeless or so young - or, shock horror - A GINGER! Just as much was being made about his back ground than his music. He is often compared to Damien Rice. Try and give me some info about Damien Rice. No?
So, upon to arrival of his debut album '+' towards the later part of last year - he had some real work to do in winning me over. The album was played a lot but nothing stuck out and nothing really grabbed me, so I left it to the kids to scream over.
However, I was digging around on Youtube and ended up on a video of him performing the album track 'This' and was slightly blown away. For the first time ever the music was speaking and saw a glimpse of this guys talent. So, last week I fired up Spotify and have since given the album a few digital spins, and I can say its pretty good. I can't quite see the hype, but its not a bad listen.
Always in the background of Sheerans music is a slight Hip Hop sensibility - be it in beat or rhyme, its in his musical DNA. Only the really tender moments being void of a certain hip hop rhythm, the majority of the record has for want of a better work, 'urban' undertone. This is most apparent on 'You Don't Need Me' and 'This City', both have an broken beat tapping alongside his recognizable plonky pluck and vocally its energetic without being aggressive. Lyrically neither of these songs are that cutting or have much of a punch, but do carry a decent amount of knowing swagger. Not arrogantly so, but he sounds confident and is ready to answer his critics.
The album is littered with highlights in quieter moments - 'Kiss Me' having a nice little throb under pinned with some lifting orchestral, with Sheeran giving the vocals a little passion and ooomph when it builds just before the chorus. This real trick of this song being how well everything is placed in the mix, a nice little guitar solo dripping with distortion way in the back ground when the song strips down. Its a nice romantic number, being both passionate and tender and only just a bit soppy.
When the record isn't 'urban' or romantic, the songs are laced with a slight folk sound - mostly heard on 'Give Me Love' - this is where he sounds most like Damien Rice, and for me the highlight. A song carried with no instrumentals - just many layered vocal and a real choir vibe. Its a little dark and melancholic and void of the obvious lure his musical stylings have.
The record is actually good. I won't tell anyone I listen to it, keep this between you and me. It feels something of a guilty pleasure, and I'm quite glad I came round to it rather than just leaving it as part of the musical scenery that I was put off getting to know.
The record has no surprises. All the big songs have been played to death somewhere by someone - 'A-Team' being the big one. A song that mixes well together all his musical skills, his vocal styling in the fore and its him at is most social political. Rather than revelations he makes a solid record that has hints of the many directions he could go in if he wanted to.
I think the biggest problem I have with modern music is how fleeting everything is. Careers come and go like that and this years biggest artist could be gone this time next year. I totally blame X Factor, but thats another rant. I like artists that are allowed to make music at their own pace and build a reputation over the years rather then explode then vanish. I just can't get behind a musical culture that goes just as quick as it came. And although Sheeran has put in the years (hes only 20, but been plying his trade for years) you can't help see this record as part of the machine - but strip away as much as you can and there is a nice record underneath.
This album is available on Amazon for about £6 on CD, roughly the same digitally on iTUNES - or free on Spotify. Its worth a go on Spotify for sure, a nice little listen. (as long as you can stand 'HI I'M ED FROM SPOTIFY' every 3 songs...)
** Ed Sheeran**
Ed Sheeran, full name Edward Christopher Sheeran is a twenty year old singer song writer from Halifax, West Yorkshire. Despite having being on the music scene for around five years and having played at numerous gigs (over 300!), releasing several indepenant 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, which was the first of his songs that got lucky and made it onto the radio. Ed definetly isn't the most well known of singers and is classed as a 'rising star' however he is slowly but surely getting there and he well and truly deserves every ounce of fame he can get. I honestly think that Ed is an amazing music artist, he is incredibly talented with a highly versatile voice. He is able to sing, rap, beat box and also plays the guitar.
His music genre also hugely varies, ranging from folk, acoustic and rock to hip hop, rap and grime. Ed also writes all of 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. He also has numerous songs that are cover versions available for purchase on iTunes. Some of these covers include Skinny Love originally by Bon Iver, and Wayfaring Stranger by Johnny Cash. He is able to put his own twist on these songs though and even adds a bit of beat boxing to Wayfaring Stranger which works suprisingly well!
Plus is Ed Sheeran's debut album, it was released in early September 2011 through the recording company Warner Music. The album sold over 102,000 copies within its first week of release which I think is amazing considering he is not the type of artist who is hugely hyped up on tv or on the radio. The album has twelve full lenth songs on it, most of these songs are 'new' and only a couple of of them have been released on any of his previous releases (he has five extended plays) however these songs have been slightly changed anyway so they do actually sound new and different apart from having the same lyrics. The only songs on here that I was familiar with before buying the album were The A Team, The City and Lego House. This is because they've been on the radio so much recently so I think most people will recognise atleast one song on the album, but apart from that it feels like a new and fresh album full of brand new material.
I think that this album brings out alot more of Ed's pop song side, as most of his previous work has been very grimey and rap orientated where as most of the songs on this album are about love, break ups and generally things of a more sensetive and touching nature, there's a few more rnb type songs though so I think this album will appeal to most people due to the mix of genres throughout the album. Most of the songs on this album tell a story, and you can just tell how much thought and emotion has gone into it. In some of the songs you can hear the hurt in his voice and it's just pure, raw emotion. I also like that there's a bit more of a range of instruments in this album as his previous EP's have mostly consisted of guitars, where as in this album there's more variety. "Wake Me Up" really shows how versatile Ed's voice is as he sings beside a grand piano.
There is nothing really very special about the album artwork in my opinion, it is simply a picture of Ed's face with a small plus (+) sign in the right hand corner. The colour scheme is predominantly orange which I think reflects Ed's hair colour (ginger). The album does stand out from the other cd's purely because of the bright colour, and I don't think the picture is very exciting or 'differen't' howevever I don't mind because it's the music that counts and the music is blimmin' amazing!
**Price and Availability**
This album is really widely available, i've seen it in music shops such as CEX, HMV etc and even supermarkets. It is also avalable on websites such as Amazon, Play, eBay and iTunes. Prices seem to vary quite a bit, with the most expensive i've seen being £12. I got my copy from iTunes and paid £6.99 which I think is a bargain! Individual tracks from the album can be purchased seperately for 99p each.
Track 1 - The A Team
Track 2 - Drunk
Track 3 - U.N.I.
Track 4 - Grade 8
Track 5 - Wake Me Up
Track 6 - Small Bump
Track 7 - This
Track 8 - The City
Track 9 - Lego House
Track 10 - You Need Me, I Don't Need You
Track 11 - Kiss Me
Track 12 - Give Me Love
**My Favourite Songs**
My first favourite song on the album is track 1, which is titled 'The A Team'. This song is probably one most people will of heard of due to it becoming so overplayed on the radio during the summer of 2011. 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". Ed's voice in the song is absolutely amazing, it oozes emotion and the build up is brilliant. He has such a gentle, sensetive 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, despite the subject matter, 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 and it demonstrates how everyone is 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 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. 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.
Another favourite of mine is Small Bump (track 6). This song was written by Ed for his friend, who had a miscarriage when she was around four months pregnant. Ed sings the song as if the child was his own, which may sound a bit odd but I just think he put himself in those shoes to make the song more touching - which is it. Had he not added alot of personal lyrics in there I don't think it'd be as touching and because of the lyrics it adds more emotion to the song. He talks about holding the baby in his arms after its birth as well as different scenarios of if the baby had being born, for example he talks about the baby wrapping its fingers around his thumb, and sitting with the baby on his lap. He sings about what the baby might look like, hoping it would have its mums' eyes and the same dimple that she has on her chin.
It's a very sad and touching song. The guitar in this song is flawless, it's very strong and goes amazingly well with the lyrics. I am pregnant and also lost a baby in my early teens and the song just hits all kind of emotional points for me, so maybe I am a bit biased in my love for this song. I was quite confused at first as the song sounds like Ed is singing to his child but it all makes sense at the end of the song with the ending lines being "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 of why."
All of the other songs are equally as brilliant, each tells a story and keeps the listener entertained, some are a little depressing but they all have depth and meaning to them, even the serious songs which are about break ups etc are amusing at times with little references that everyone will be aware of such as Shrek. The only disadvantage I can think of is that there's the odd swear word here and there, nothing too bad but the F word is used a couple of times in a more comedic way than anything. I think this is a shame though as Ed's voice and clever lyrics are good enough without swear words and I do think they're unnecessary, the fact there's a few swear words definetly doesn't effect my overall opinion though.
I highly reccomend this album, each song is in a league of its own and it's incredibly easy to listen to the whole of the 49 minute album without for a second getting bored. All of the songs tell a story and are incredibly catchy, they all have meaning and I didn't get the impression that any of the songs were overdone or too try hard. I like that Ed doesn't use auto tune in any of his songs and most actually sound acoustic. I also like that the album will appeal to so many people - fans of rap, indie, folk, pop or r&b will all love this album. It is a very affordable album too and I highly reccomend it.
+ by Ed Sheeran.
Ed Sheeran is one of the hottest UK music artists out there right now. He completely came out of nowhere and won the hearts of music lovers up and down the country with his acoustic style and his incredible voice. Ed, full name Edward Christopher, was born in 1991 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. He then moved to Suffolk where he began playing the guitar and song writing at a very early age. In his early music career Sheeran released a few EPs but none of them really took off. His determination and love of music led him to play hundreds of gigs per year to try and get recognised. Finally he thought he would try his luck over the pond and flew to LA to play any open mic nights he could. He was spotted by singer and actor Jamie Foxx who helped him out while he was in America and subsequently his popularity as a music artist started to grow. Through Youtube and word of mouth Ed Sheeran started to take off and his final EP reached number 2 in the iTunes chart without any backing from a record company. Sheeran's talent and song writing capability led him to be signed by Atlantic Records and soon after he was appearing on Later...with Jools Holland, promoting his first single The A Team.
+ is Ed's debut album, released on the 9th September 2011. Despite Sheeran having released 5 EPs previous to this album, this was his first commercial release. The album went straight to number 1 in the UK album charts and has sold over half a million copies. The album is currently number 1 again in the charts which shows a great start to the year for Sheeran. The album has had a lot of positive critical acclaim, mainly due to the singles that Sheeran has released off the album. The album had 12 songs on it and plays for a total of 49 minutes and 55 seconds. The album cover shows a head shot of Ed Sheeran with a rusty coloured effect. The sound of the album is very distinctive and refreshing, Sheeran is a very talented song writer and his voice is divine. Overall, the songs on his album are thought-provoking, sincere and beautiful.
The album opens with the track The A Team. This was the first single to be released from the album, back in May 2011. The song tells the story of a girl who is addicted to drugs and who has to 'sell love' to men to fund her habit. The song has an acoustic feel to it and is very beautiful. The lyrics are a little bit depressing but the song is so catchy and definitely unique. The true meaning of the song is disguised behind the genius sound of the track and it is only when you really listen to it and pay attention to the lyrics that you hear what it is trying to say. The video follows the life of a homeless prostitute played by actress Selina MacDonanld. 'Angels to fly' is a very prominent line in this song as it represents the girl being free and safe.
Track number 2 is called Drunk, a song about being drunk in the aftermath of a break up to feel some love. The song is quite upbeat with a fast drum beat, the lyrics are sung very quickly too. The lyrics are very clever, like in a lot of Ed Sheeran songs, and are very real. Sheeran even sings about central heating in this song which I don't think a lot of people could do and make it sound so good. I do like this song however it is not one of my favourites on the album, Ed's voice is stunning but I personally love songs with positive messages and this one is a bit depressing.
U.N.I is one of my favourite tracks on this album, I love it because right from the beginning of the song all the emphasis is put onto Sheerans vocals. His voice is incredible on this track! I love how clever the lyrics are too. The song is about a couple breaking up over one of them going to University and the chorus consists of Ed using the letters U, N and I to represent two different meanings; 'You and I' and 'Uni'. Ed raps the verses, at some points very quickly and then he sings beautifully on the chorus. This song is a pleasure to listen to.
The fourth track on the album is called Grade 8 and is a guitar based love song. The song is very easy to listen to and enjoyable but for me nothing really stands out for it to be a great song. It is a lot more upbeat than some of the other songs on the album which is refreshing and I like its acoustic style.
Wake Me Up is the fifth track on the album and is another love song, possibly the most intense song on the album. This track is different to others because it has a lot of personal references in it like favourite films, games and family members. It is quite interesting to listen to but I find it boring after a while because it is so personal that it is impossible to relate to. There is one line in this song that I think is really beautiful though and that is 'Maybe you're my snowflake'.
Small Bump is a very emotional track based on one of Sheeran's friends who sadly suffered a miscarriage. The song is very beautifully done but I find it quite upsetting to listen to. It is an acoustic ballad and Ed's voice is beautiful on it.
Track number 7 is called This. 'This' being the start of something beautiful and new. The song is about falling in love, it isn't one of the most distinctive songs on the album but the vocals don't get much better than on this song. It is a very relaxed song and is quite sad even though the lyrics are lovely.
The City is the next track on the album. It is a song about you guessed it London which introduces beat boxing and beautiful and strong guitar playing. It is definitely one of the best songs I have ever heard about London. It is a fast paced track which covers various areas of Ed's life in London, including the shop across the road and how much sleep he gets.
Lego House is a phenomenal track and for me it really makes this album great. It is the third and most recent single to be released from the album and if you have seen the music video for it then you might recognise a familiar face in it. Ed Sheeran is very similar looking to Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and therefore there has been a lot of comparisons made between the two. For this video Ed Recruits Rupert to mime along to the song whilst acting out that he is a huge Ed Sheeran fan/stalker. The video is really entertaining and when you listen to the song it really is beautiful. It is about love and lyrics are perfect. I have seen Ed perform this song acoustically on various television programmes and it is just stunning. I have listened to this song a lot and have not yet got bored of it.
You Need Me, I Don't Need You was the second single to be released from this album back in August 2011. I think that it was one of the first ever Ed Sheeran songs that I heard and I loved it. It is upbeat and quite repetitive but once again Ed delivers with his witty lyrics and boasts about how people need him, not the other way round. I find this song really enjoyable to listen to and I love Ed's lyric about not having to go to Brit school.
Kiss Me is the eleventh track on the album. Ed's vocal is stunning on this song, it is very intimate and he sings it so softly making it a beautiful love song. There is a lot of soul and emotion in Ed's voice and this song enables the listener to hear all these amazing qualities that he has.
The twelfth and final track on the album is called Give Me Love. It is an incredible song to end the album with. The song starts off with quite a long guitar intro and the vocal by Ed is very intimate and controlled. Towards the chorus the song gets more instrumental and then he really sings it out on the chorus. It is quite an emotional song and I love his voice on it. The repetition of 'Give Me Love' on the bridge is really amazing and then the high notes which Ed reaches as a strong guitar comes in are incredible.
Overall I really like this album, I enjoy listening to it but I have to be in the mood for it. It is not an uplifting album by any means and there are a few tracks that I always skip. My favourite songs on the album is Lego House and U.N.I, I think these are beautiful love songs and the lyrics are stunning. The songs that I always skip are Drunk and Small Bump. I think that Ed Sheeran is a very talented artist and I don't think that we have seen the best of him yet. I will be looking forward to hearing what music he brings out in the future as I think that he will only keep on getting better. I love how Ed's songs tell a story and are interesting to listen to as well as sounding great.
I would recommend this album to anyone who likes acoustic music with a modern twist and who likes a few depressing lyrics. I would have given the album 5 stars but as I don't always feel like listening to it I give it 4 stars.
+ is available to download on iTunes for £6.99
Thank you for reading : )
Review also on Ciao under luceey.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The A Team
4 Grade 8
5 Wake Me Up
6 Small Bump
8 The City
9 Lego House
10 You Need Me, I Donâ??t Need You
11 Kiss Me
12 Give Me Love