Ed Sheeran- Divide
The typical nice-guys-finish-last music that Ed Sheeran puts out usually makes me want to roll my eyes so hard that the sheer g-forces will remove my head from my body and send it spinning into the cold, unfeeling universe. That is to say, he’s a bit of a whiner overall. This poor-me, rich, white, Ron-Weasley-lookin’-motherfucker over here often plays the songs that my 7th grade Creative Writing class would call trite and a little sanctimonious.
Tl;dr- Calm the fuck down, Sheeran.
Which is why, it almost pains me to admit that I find myself constantly listening to his new album “Divide” in my daily life. While Im a long way from joining the -utterly insane- fandom on his tumblr sites, I will always admit when I’ve been wrong about a musician. Even if its only the one time.
Buckle up, buttercup. This is a long one.
Im not the kind of person that usually gets excited when I see a debut single from a songwriter who works with the likes of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez, but in an attempt to branch out from the more aggressive songs I decided to give this one a listen.
Julia Michaels is a 23 year old song writer who writes for many musicians I wouldnt give the time of day to, so I would be lying if I said I had high expectations. I would be continuing to lie if I didnt say- emphatically and without a hint of irony- that this single is amazing.
Julia (we’re, in no way, on a first name basis) writes from a place that I think a lot of us can identify with in this song. The whole song calls out what its like to be a little weird, a little crazy, and attracted to those who share this weird and crazy world with us. She openly owns the idea that she might be unhinged, and the guy in the story might be jealous or intense, but unlike a lot of pop songs it never feels like she’s glorifying abuse. Just glorifying what its like to be young and in crazy, stupid, ill advised love.
Maybe its me reading too much in to it, but there also seems to be a sense of realization that this might just be dumb and young love towards the end of the last verse. Which is exactly the kind of self-reflection that we so often assume that the younger generation is incapable of (largely because we incapable of self-reflection at her age). Any song that lets the paint peel away slightly is always a joy to me, and something that shows why she has been such a hard working songwriter.
I suppose if you take anything away from this review, let it be not to judge a book by its cover and give the song a listen. If nothing else, the nostalgia hit for those of us over 27 might be worth the ride. It can be found on both Youtube and Spotify.
The Score: 7/10