Is Ed Sheeran's New Single "Sing" THE SHIT Or Just Shit?



I was one of the first folks in America to jump on the Ed Sheeran bandwagon, same as I had with a young band called Coldplay a decade prior.  In both cases, there was a It's funny watching a great song like "The A Team" or "Yellow" spread from the fringe to the artier radio stations and on to the big modern rock stations and then, boom, it's everywhere.  People from India to Indiana are now hearing it at the market.

Such widespread acceptance must be an exhilarating thing for such a young kid.  After two years of playing those songs, though, I've been curious to see what his next move would be.  My hunch was that he'd get that first powdery snort of worldwide adulation and completely chuck everything that got him there out the window in favor of some auto-tuned Maroon 5 nonsense.  

So when Spotify taunted me with an invitation to stream Sheeran's new single, I just had to click.
Having spent the last hour listening to the song, I remain convinced that Sheeran's best days are still ahead of him, but that if he continues "playing ball" with the likes of Pharrell Williams, he'll end up the next Nelly Furtado, who, herself, traded in her popular acoustic-based style for a hugely popular, but generic dance style that completely marginalized her talents.  Truth is, this song exists for no other purpose than to be co-opted by "American Idol" next season.  Sadly, that's what artists have to do these days, as radio is playing less and less a role in how people find new music.

Beyond that, it swipes just enough of the Doobies' "Long Train Comin'" that I found myself singing "Where would we be now" after the first chorus.  The second verse saw Sheeran slip into his "British Jason Mraz" schtrick, which is fine, but we've already got a guy doing that.

To remind myself of the musical heights Sheeran is capable of, I spin the elegiac, anthemic, monolithic "Give Me Love", with its effortless transition from vulnerable longing to joyous euphoria and back again.  And when the choir comes in?  Check please!

It makes me want to write Ed a letter that reads as follows:

Dear Ed,

I know it's great to make money writing songs for One Direction, but you don't need to play ball with anybody.  You have the power to singlehandedly make these acts obsolete overnight the way Nirvana neutered bands like Warrant, Trixter, and Motley Crue in one fell swoop.

For most artists, that first album is like having sex for the first time.  Second time around, you think you have everything to gain by being a team player when it was YOUR WRITING and YOUR VOICE that made "+" such a great debut.

I mean, you can go ahead selling out if you want, become a trivia question like James Blunt and Daniel Powter, but I don't think you want that...do you?


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