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.
I wasn’t aware that it was 1999 and Incubus was, once again, making me want to drive around all night tonelessly singing along with their new song. Get it? Because that song was also called “Drive”?
God, I’m funny.
In all seriousness, Incubus has always been a band known for their ability to transcend genres and for expertly crafted lyrics; this new single is no exception to that rule. The song hits hard with metal guitar riffs and a frenetic energy that is reminiscent of albums like “S.C.I.E.N.C.E”. However, that fact may also be the biggest flaw.
Once, in a great long while, an album comes out that speaks to a generation. Every track, a master class in prose and lyrical ingenuity. An album with music so powerful it makes the great masters- Chopin, Mozart, Mercury, Bowie – spin in their graves so hard, the friction causes a tectonic shift that would bring the Titans to their knees.
This is not that album.
“Is it finally true that we’re not getting any younger?” – “Boy Blue”, Track 8
Honestly? I kinda hate reviewing another album as impressive as this one. I’ve kinda become accustomed to tearing things down and yet, here we are: Listening to another master class in modern day Punk Rock that you should all start listening to right away.
The Menzingers knock it out of the park with their newest release “After The Party”, reaching deep into the nostalgia center of my brain while simultaneously forcing me to take a long look at my position in life; being forced to grow out of late nights, booze, and leather jackets. Like re-reading yearbook comments from friends you haven’t seen in a decade, just before walking in to your high school reunion.
It is as wonderful as it is heartbreaking.
Hey gang, as it turns out: Punk is not dead! Despite all evidence to the contrary; here we have one of the bands that is bringing it back in full force. Priests’ first official LP hits you with all the grace and subtlety of a chainsaw to the kneecap, and you’ll love it. Seriously, if you’ve ever had one punk rock bone in your body you should stop what you are doing and find a way to listen to this album. Maybe you could even click here and give it a listen? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.
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
Its weird to think that the last time I listened to AFI- with any regularity- was over 10 years ago. Id like to think that in that time I’ve grown into a fully formed adult and am not the kind of person who kills an evening listening to sad music and drawing. Then I noticed that (The Blood Album) showed up on my Spotify and decided to spend the evening regressing rapidly.
Now the eyeliner has taken over.
I am one with the darkness.