“Ed Sheeran sells trite innocence by the pound. He uses bland wisdom and unimaginative music to ponder the basic good and bad in people around him, without once looking inward.”
And that’s just how Pitchfork’s review of Ed Sheeran’s newest album, ÷ (Divide), begins.
The highly respected music review publication Pitchfork has ethered Ed Sheeran, even though Sheeran’s album is atop the charts and he is set up to have the largest opening sales week since Adele’s 25, many, including Pitchfork writer Laura Snapes, see right through his charade. In her review, Snapes gave the album an overall score of 2.8 / 10 on top of an absolutely dismal attack on Ed Sheeran and his sad excuse of an album.
The review touches on Sheeran’s transition to more pop oriented music and catchy hooks as well as his countless tracks about his ex lovers and flings. Pitchfork acknowledges how most of his music is directed towards women but in a somewhat offensive way, saying; “This is not to say that anyone should expect Sheeran—who is popular at weddings and funerals for a reason—to present a nuanced interpretation of gender politics within his songs (though his fans deserve more than depictions of women as angels or traitors).”
Pitchfork digs deeper into his consistently repeated songwriting structure and topics acknowledging that every song he writes is “about meeting a great gal (who is definitely real) on a boozy night out.” When he is not following this pattern and trying to play the cool guy as well as the totally-not-cool guy, he is stealing music. Sheeran has already been sued several times for copying music, once by the Marvin Gaye estate for his most popular song “Thinking Out Loud”, and Divide is ridden with blatant copying.
The album’s first single, “Shape Of You” strikes a shockingly similar tone to Sia’s “Cheap Thrills”, released last year. You can hear the two songs compared directly, piece by piece, thanks to Genius.
Whether it is due to the copying, misogynistic undertones, or just outright bad music, many people on Twitter agreed with Pitchfork:
— Joni Roome (@Joni_Roome) March 10, 2017
You had me at 'Ed Sheeran sells trite innocence by the pound'. This is a savage but ENTIRELY FAIR review of Ed Sheeran & I love it. https://t.co/rf2KdkmV6r
— Laura Stanley (@LauraStans) March 10, 2017
— Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) March 10, 2017