+ – Ed Sheeran (2011); Track-by-Track review

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We’ve looked at records spanning 1992-2005 so far and I want to push things forward today to a modern, very modern record…

Sleeve tatts and dishevelled red hair, Gabriella Cilmi references and Coldplays on words from a divisive 20-year-old…

It’s the Gen Y opus and ‘symbolic’ debut, +, from One Direction and Taylor Swift songwriter Ed Sheeran…

+ by Ed Sheeran

+ by Ed Sheeran?

(song titles in caps)

THE A TEAM is a graceful reflection on the failings of the War on Drugs and the descent it engenders in common folk. Terrific titular irony.

Self medication of separation anxiety is the cause and symptom in DRUNK. Jolting, melodic, painful and resisting platitudes. Great lyrics.

U.N.I (pr. ‘You and I’) and just like the abstract reference to collegiate love, this track doesn’t quite convince. Hint of off key singing.

Indian-infused dub step pioneers True Tiger contribute to the stringy, catchy GRADE 8. You really UD open to understand Ed’s song titles.

1. Sit at piano hitting keys randomly. 2. Make up trite lyrics about girl. Congratulations! You’ve just written and recorded WAKE ME UP!

The gentle infusion of heartbeats lifts up the heartbreakingly sentimental SMALL BUMP. A major highlight and an oft misunderstood track.

THIS sounds like a song that was written in half an hour, probably shortly after watching Casablanca. Probably goes off at live shows.

Boy moves from Suffolk to London, has a few drinks, falls over and finds himself in THE CITY. Good singalong in need of a catchier sample.

Poor old Ron Weasley tries to win Hermione back in the outstanding LEGO HOUSE. Perfect song for a lovelorn pity party and great video.

YOU NEED ME, I DON’T NEED YOU? Beg to differ.

Remember German Eurovision winner Satellite (Lena)? Well, same person wrote that work of art wrote KISS ME and it tells. 1D should cover.

Take That meets Hillsong on the irrepressible GIVE ME LOVE. Chanting and clapping add a saccharine dose of optimism to an uneven record.

Celtic friends can sing along to THE PARTING GLASS, a hidden track that is only slightly less necessary than Los Del Rio’s Auld Lang Syne.

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