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Ed Sheeran – + (2011)

Ed Sheeran – + (2011)
Birth name: Edward Christopher Sheeran
Born: 17 February 1991
Origin: Halifax, UK  
Album released: 12 September 2011, (UK) / 9 September 2011, (IRL)
Genre: Folk soul, Acoustihop
Record Label: Atlantic / Warner Music UK
Producer: Jake Gosling, No I.D.
No.- Title-        Writer(s)-    Length-
01. "The A Team"   Ed Sheeran 4:18
02. "Drunk"   Ed Sheeran, Gosling 3:20
03. "U.N.I."   Ed Sheeran, Gosling 3:48
04. "Grade 8"   Ed Sheeran 2:59
05. "Wake Me Up"   Ed Sheeran, Gosling 3:49
06. "Small Bump"   Ed Sheeran 4:19
07. "This"   Ed Sheeran, Gordon Mills jnr 3:15
08. "The City"   Sheeran, Gosling 3:54
09. "Lego House"   Sheeran, Gosling, Chris Leonard 3:05
10. "You Need Me, I Don't Need You"   Ed Sheeran 3:40
11. "Kiss Me"   Ed Sheeran, Julie Frost 4:40
12. "Give Me Love" (includes hidden track "The Parting Glass": starts at 5:49 "Paralyzed": starts at 8:13) Sheeran, Gosling, Leonard 8:46
13. "Autumn Leaves"   Sheeran, Gosling 3:20
14. "Little Bird"   Ed Sheeran 3:44
15. "Gold Rush"   Ed Sheeran, Wadge 4:03
16. "Sunburn"   Ed Sheeran 4:35
Chart performance:
Irish Albums Chart: #2
UK Albums Chart: #1
Website: http://edsheeran.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/edsheeran
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EdSheeranMusic?sk=app_190322544333196
Ed Sheeran has been working and touring hard since recording his first EP in 2005. Sheeran toured relentlessly, in 2009 alone he played 312 gigs throughout the year, showing just how driven he is. On top of that, Ed Sheeran can definitely write a great song. The release of ‘The A Team’ was probably the defining moment of his career so far, peaking at number 3 in the UK charts, and being an excellent song at that. However, it must be said that this song, a sobering number written about a drug-addicted prostitute, is probably the highlight of the album. Another highlight, ‘Grade 8’, is fast-paced, loveable, and accessible showing why he is starting to make it to the top, and is making his claim to stay there.
Nevertheless, there are moments, such as ‘Wake Me Up’ where I wonder if it is still being written by the same person that was telling me the heart-breaking story of the homeless drug addict. Lyrics including the less than inspiring, ‘And I’ve always been shit at computer games, and your brother always beats me’, as well as Sheeran mentioning how many times the girl he’s singing to has seen Shrek, and crucially that he doesn’t own a blu-ray player. The song gives the impression that he’s trying to imitate Mike Skinner, but ends up being more Kate Nash. Listening to this genuinely disappointed me, as before this point in the album, there had been 2 or 3 songs that suggest that Sheeran could be an impressive songwriter.
It seems Ed Sheeran is targeting a clear demographic of late teens to early twenties with the subjects touched upon throughout. ‘U.N.I’ for example, discusses relationships breaking up due to the distance of university, a subject that will apply or at least be recognisable to most of his target audience.
Overall, the album certainly has its ups and downs, and if anything can be taken from this effort it’s that Ed Sheeran has a lot of potential to work with. I just hope that when it comes to making a follow-up album, Sheeran moves naturally in a more mature direction in which he created some music he can really be proud of, as opposed to certain songs on + that haven’t managed to strike a meaningful chord.

Reading and Leeds Festivals

BBC Radio 1
Broadcast: 08 Sep 11
Ed Sheeran performs his single "You Need Me, I Don't Need You" and a cover of Emeli Sande's "Heaven" in the Live Lounge

File:Halifax view from Beacon Hill.jpg

View of Halifax, West Yorkshire. Looking westwards from the summit of Beacon Hill. Taken 25 July 2009. Author: Mr. Barndoor

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