Released: March 3, 2017
Charted: March 10, 2017
Peak: 12 US, 120 UK, 19 CN, 127 AU
Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 3.71 UK, 13.28 world (includes US and UK)
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 46:14
3.607 out of 5.00 (average of 33 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
With his sophomore album, X, Sheeran soared to new heights any pop star would envy. In his native UK, every song from the album either charted or sold 200,000 copies. With Divide (÷), a Grammy winner for Pop Vocal Album, Sheeran replicated that feat in the UK, but also pulled it off in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. All 16 songs from the deluxe edition hit the top 20 in the UK. Sheeran set a record by landing 9 songs in the top 10 simultaneously when the album debuted. WK His dominance on the UK chart was so prevalent, the Official Charts Company changed their rules for streaming songs to hit the charts. WK
“Sheeran long ago perfected his rapping busker schtick, which frees him to fulfill his destiny as an adult alternative troubadour.” AMG He blends “acoustic sensitive-guy vibes with digital-age craft” RS to help “make over pop’s sound.” RS “Like its predecessors, …[it] is colorful and lithe, casually hopscotching from style to style without ever drawing attention to its range.” AMGIt all helps to make this “his easiest album to enjoy.” AMG
Rolling Stone’s Maura Johnston noted that on Divide “Ed is still showcasing pop savvy.” WK Rosie O’Connor of The Independent praised it as “astonishing for its sheer ambition alone.” WK NME’s Jordan Bassett said the album “somehow adheres to his perfect pop template while also being quietly weird.” WK Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press said the album would “definitely multiple [Sheeran’s] bank account.” WK
His biggest hit from X was “Thinking Out Loud,” a ballad which hit #2 on the US charts and would, for most artists, be their career song. Sheeran, however, topped that feat in the US with two #1 hits from Divide: the “beat-heavy, body-focused track” RS Shape of You and Perfect, “a lushly arranged love song that evokes golden-age pop.” RS
The former was one of two lead singles to support the album. Castle on the Hill was released simultaneously. “Castle” “balances jittery guitars and a massive chorus” RS as it “strives for a Glastonbury-ready rock grandeur à la U2, Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons.” RS
Galway Girl was the official follow-up single to the one-two punch of “Shape” and “Castle.” Sheeran puts “his own spin on the Irish drinking song to the present-day pop world in a modern-day jig that recalls a synthesis of Justin Timberlake meets the Pogues.” RS The song “pays tribute to a fiddle-playing Irish lass who isn’t above chowing down on Doritos when bringing a guy home – and it even brings some Emerald Isle-inspired bounce into the mix.” RS
“Dive finds Sheeran easing into old-fashioned Memphis soul.” AMG “The deceptively breezy alt-acoustic New Man is an acidic rebuke of an ex’s new boyfriend’s faults.” RS “The album closer, Supermarket Flowers, is a wispy ballad Sheeran wrote as a tribute to his late grandmother, a retelling of the aftermath of her funeral from the perspective of his mother.” RS
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First posted 3/7/2019; last updated 4/30/2022.
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