From adding and multiplying to dividing, Ed Sheeran’s third studio album ÷ is finally here.
It took about three years to drop, but time hasn’t dulled Sheeran’s shine. Instead, Divide arrives to much fanfare, preceded by the album’s first two singles — “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” — which helped the British crooner become the first artist ever to debut two singles simultaneously in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A 16-track project, Divide opens with “Eraser” and closes with “Save Myself.” In between is the Celtic folk song “Galway Girl,” which Ed is particularly proud of. “[The label was] really, really against ‘Galway Girl’, because apparently folk music isn’t cool,” he told The Guardian. “But there’s 400m people in the world that say they’re Irish, even if they’re not Irish. You meet them in America all the time: ‘I’m a quarter Irish and I’m from Donegal.’ And those type of people are going to fucking love it.”
“Galway Girl” is just one example of Sheeran’s musical freedom on Divide. Now, with the album out, Ed says he isn’t worried about how critics receive it. “I was self-conscious about it on my first album, because I’d never had any success, I’d never sold any records, never sold a ticket, and I was terrified that it would be over in an instant,” he said. “The album got panned by the critics and I was like: ‘Fuck, this is it.’ But now I’m at a point where, even if I get a one-star review for every album I release for the rest of my life, I’ll still be able to play music.”
Stream Sheeran’s third LP ÷ below.