Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Madaboutmusic, Dec 19, 2020.
The best Phil interpolation:
Screaming at this thread being hijacked by Phil Collins stans. We love to see it. E* found irrelevant!
It's bad but I can think of several Ed Sheeran songs that are worse and more sexist too. His lyrics are nauseating and although I hate Pitchfork, their takedown of him was pretty satisfying.
If only he gave it to Little Mix as promised
Hun Galway girl was right there
'Shape Of You' as a song is objectively fine (obviously it makes me nauseous now). It might have sparkled a bit with a better vocalist.
'Galway Girl' is sonically his very worst.
'Beautiful People' is lyrically his very worst.
'Lay it All On Me' is is best.
Against All Odds is such an obvious and overplayed choice but still his best song.
Bloodstream still slaps tbh. But I still don’t want him back.
Barcelona is even worse than Galway Girl, but it was a bonus track so I assume most people never made it that far.
Shape Of You is a smash but most of the Divide album was just full of horrible or (at best) pointless songs. I'm still kinda shocked that he felt it was acceptable to put that out and that the public lapped it up like that.
The only saving grace of the album for me was Save Myself, which I thought was absolutely beautiful and delivers on what the promise of X suggested. So of course it was relegated to a deluxe edition bonus track ddd.
Oof, the cover looks even worse as an icon. Flop!
Agree that Barcelona is 100% his worst lyric, the amount of cliches he managed to put into a 3-minute song is unbelievable.
Sorry to get back on the Phil train so suddenly, but how did I not know that there was a Neptunified Kelis cover of I Don’t Care Anymore???
I know Phil had the bops, but I didn’t know his band Genesis also delivered, those old Now albums have been a game changer.
The POWER that has etc
Oh yes, I'm off to read the Pitchfork review of ÷.
That was a classic.
÷ | Pitchfork
Ed Sheeran needs you to know that he did not go to university. Instead, he spent his teens slogging around the UK pub circuit, and by the age of 20, he was on his way to becoming Britain’s biggest male pop star. Still, he likes to come back to the uni thing. He sings about not having a degree twice on his new album, ÷, after at least three earlier instances in his catalog. He’s fashioned this weighty chip on his shoulder into an arrow in his quiver, using it to shore up his everyman image and personable nature, while distinguishing himself as a bit of a cheeky system-shunning maverick who’s made it this far on chops alone. His shtick is aspirational: All you need is free will, a little song in your heart, and perhaps you too could one day be playing for 270,000 people across three nights at Wembley Stadium.
Innocence is key to the Ed Sheeran brand. His self-proclaimed uncoolness is what makes him both cool and impervious to bad-tempered criticism. He regularly describes his true love as an angel, refers to his father—a perpetually lingering prophet—as “daddy,” and sings tenderly about his grandparents. On ÷’s release day, he sold copies of his record in an HMV superstore, and looked indistinguishable from the full-time staff. There’s no doubt that Sheeran is calculating, but then he told you as much in his album titles (÷, 2014’s x, and 2011’s +). Like Sia, the Chainsmokers, and Charli XCX, he marvels at his ability to turn out generic hooks like nobody’s business—so many, he doesn’t even remember writing them when they hit No. 1 in 17 countries.
This is the genial, antiseptic frame through which we’re to view Ed Sheeran. But considering he is among the most successful songwriters in the world, a lot of his lyrics do not even scan. “I’m just a boy with a one-man show, no un-er-ver-si-tee..., just a song I wrote,” he sings in “What Do I Know?” like a teenage boy trying to knot a cherry stem with his tongue. When he raps, as he does on “Eraser,” his words fit together with the elegance of Stickle Bricks. Good taste is of no concern: He lets John Mayer sleaze all over the tender ode to his girlfriend “How Would You Feel? (Paean)” with his guitar. Although you can practically hear Rihanna’s laugh after being offered the tropical house concession “Shape of You,” the song generally fares fine until Sheeran, the seventh richest British musician under the age of 30, admits to his dating style: “You and me are thrifty so go all you can eat/Fill up your bag and I fill up a plate/We talk for hours and hours about the sweet and the sour.”
There is no greater evidence of Sheeran’s commercial power than his label acquiescing to keep Corrs tribute “Galway Girl” on this album. Set to bodhrán and uileann pipes, it’s the latest of many Sheeran barnstormers about meeting a great gal (who is definitely real) on a boozy night out. A check from the Irish tourist board for him name-dropping Guinness, Jameson, John Powers, and Van Morrison may be forthcoming, which would certainly cover any forthcoming lawsuit from B*Witched for infringing on their 1998 hit “C’est La Vie.” Sheeran traveled the world for a year before making this record, and considering his cultural takeaway from County Galway, we should be thankful his travels didn’t also inspire him to write a song about lassoing une mademoiselle with a string of onions beneath the Eiffel Tower, or how love sprang eternal with a girl in a dirndl in Austria.
On his past records, Sheeran often painted himself as a drunken mess, at the mercy of bad girls and dark situations. Whatever you made of them, they felt, to use a dirty word, honest. Here, “Eraser” feels like the only true reflection of his psyche, where he acknowledges his unrelatable predicament (“Ain’t nobody wanna see you down in the dumps/Because you’re living your dream, man/This shit should be fun”). For the rest of the record, he switches to a mode of bland wisdom that allows him to ponder the good and bad in people around him rather than look inwards. The lack of honesty doesn’t really matter—nobody’s going to Sheeran for gritty soul-searching. But the lack of imagination does. As with Adele, who was also told by Rick Rubin to go back to the drawing board, you suspect that more interesting songs may have been left off the record for commercial reasons.
If there’s a personal touch to Sheeran’s generic sentiments, it’s his unwavering belief in love. He’s often burned for it, he’s desperate for kids, he sees the future in his girlfriend’s eyes. Over the simpering groove of “What Do I Know?” he talks about how his “daddy” told him, “Son, don’t you get involved in politics, religion or other people’s quarrel.” Instead, like a Disney woodland creature, he just wants to pass on “the things my family’s given to me: just love and understanding, positivity.” His feeble message falls apart when the self-confessed careerist sighs at someone surely in his same tax bracket for talking “‘bout exponential growth, and the stock market crashing and their portfolios/While I’ll be sitting here with a song that I wrote.” Sheeran’s conditional optimism flashes back into view, and shows his judgmental ass: “I’m all for people following their dreams/Just remember life is more than fit-tin’ in your jeans,” he sings, in a chummy, winking dig at the basic, vapid women who do not share his own basic, vapid worldview.
It’s one of several striking lyrics about appearances on ÷, which is where the Nice Guy façade comes undone. Sheeran has always loved to neg and to position himself as an innocent victim. If you thought he’d got all that out of his system when he co-wrote Bieber’s risible “Love Yourself,” you were wrong. “Perfect” is “Unchained Melody” by way of Westlife, and a tender assurance to his beloved that she’s not a mess, but a beauty. The barely suppressed creepiness of “Happier” is his attempt at post-breakup maturity, but it doesn’t even last into the next track, “New Man,” a wounded sketch of his ex’s new boyfriend who has “his eyebrows plucked and his arsehole bleached,” and “wears a man bag on his shoulder but I call it a purse.” One nil, Sheeran. He turns his attentions to his ex. What happened to that sweet, sylvan girl who used to read and eat crisps by the river? “Now she’s eatin’ kale/Hittin’ the gym/Keepin’ up with Kylie and Kim.” You mean, when she could be listening to Sheeran rap about his daddy?
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). But more than his weak balladry, it's this disingenuous side that rankles. In the nostalgic vein of Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” and Drake’s “Weston Road Flows,” Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” yearns for a childhood idyll. It’s pure sentimentality, another key to how he uses humblebraggadocio and innocence to shore up his moral high ground over shallow girls and unfair beauty standards. On “Eraser,” Sheeran sings, “I’m well aware of certain things that will befall a man like me.” He means booze and drugs, but it’s his inability to reconcile his early underdog status with his titanic popularity that’ll ensnare him. Sheeran wants it both ways: artist and celebrity, nice guy who doesn’t want to alienate his fans with political convictions, anti-consumerist while gagging to dominate pop’s arms race. He’s the guy she told you not to worry about, and he’s wearing your clothes.
I’m still a bit mortified that gay icon Jessie Ware contributed to a song that embodies toxic masculinity as much as New Man.
It's from Urban Renewal, one of the strangest albums ever released dd. It was later included as a hidden track on most editions of Wanderland. It was the first version I heard of the song oop
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