Divide by Ed Sheeran

Music CD – I’m a longtime fan of Ed Sheeran, and was pretty stoked for the release of his newest album, Divide.  Overall, I think this is a really strong album.  I love classic Ed Sheeran songs like “Photography” and “A Team,” in X and + [Plus sign], easy listening tracks that are perfect for zoning out to.  In Divide, we get a good mixture of soft-spoken Ed as well as a collection of more powerful, intense tracks that I think really show off Ed’s full vocal range.  You can hear him rising from his comfort zone, reaching out for those higher pitches and playing around with his vocals.

There are some great pumped-up beats for your morning drive to work, my favorite being “Castle on the Hill”. On the other hand we also get some good ‘ole smooth-talking Ed Sheeran in “Happier” and “Perfect”, songs for when you need some music but have a headache looming. Ed is a folky kind of musician in general, but I can’t stop obsessing about the swingy, Irish jig feel of “Galway Girl” and especially “*Nancy Mulligan” (*Unfortunately this track is only available on the Deluxe Version).  The acoustics are just beautiful and the music makes you want to get up and dance.  It’s a nice compilation of music.  I also just adore “Castle on the Hill;” it’s about missing where you’re from, and returning home to all the places and people you’ve missed.  It can sound like a love story, even romantic depending on the mood you are in whilst listening, but overall it’s a feel good, nostalgic song. You really get to hear the full range the artist has to offer in this album and those high notes are a real treat.

 

 

All the Little Lights by Passenger

All-the-little-lightsMusic– I’ve recently begun expanding my collection of folky-alternative, easy listening music.  My first soft-spoken love was The Fray, followed by Coldplay, and the sweet acoustics of Mumford and Sons I’d been binging on the beautiful angst of  Ed Sheeran for awhile and knew it was time for a fresh sound.

Enter: All the Little Lights by Passenger.

Singer Michael David Rosenberg hails from Brighton, England and All the Little Lights is his third solo album.  His music has an indie-pop vibe mixed with a mellowing dose of acoustic folk (At least, that’s how I would describe it).  There is a certain intimacy about his music, a solo singer who produces his own acoustics, and for this reason (I’ve been told), his live performances are incredible.

Passenger is probably best known for the hit single, “Let Her Go,” but feel like his  other tracks are often overlooked due to the popularity of this one song.  A few of my favorite tracks on this album are: “Things That Stop You Dreaming” and “Holes.”  “Things that Stop You Dreaming” is about dealing with the difficulties in life, learning to appreciate what you have and continuing to pursue the things you love.  It’s a bit melancholy but also uplifting.

“Holes” is a quick paced  song with a strong beat that shows Passenger’s inclination towards lyrical songwriting.  There are two storylines introduced in “Holes”: man who has lost everything, left with no money in his pocket, and a woman abandoned by her husband, left to care for four young children.  The song talks about the holes we bear in our own lives–things we’ve lost, struggles we deal with, hardships–but ends on an uplifting note, that through all the troubles we experience, life goes on, and we carry on.

The Lumineers by The Lumineers

41ZsWDiEvfLMusic–It took me a few listens to really get into the music of The Lumineers.  Their self-titled album, The Lumineers is a blood-pumping anthem of songs that requires a higher volume for listeners to truly appreciate.   To me, the singer’s voice tends to fluctuate between soft and loud, creating a kind of high-low echoing effect.  I believe that the band is best enjoyed at high volumes, preferably played loudly whilst one sings along on the open road.  It’s also worth noting for this artist that the more you listen to the songs, the clearer their meanings become.

The Lumineers top hit single, “Ho Hey,” is one of the bands most well-known hits, but there are so many other songs deserving of love.  My favorite tracks on this album are “Submarine,” “Stubborn Love,” and “Charlie Boy.”

“Submarine” and “Charlie Boy” both make references to war in their lyrics.  The former is about a boy who spots a Japanese Submarine.  He rushes home to tell the townspeople, who laugh and say he’s seeing things.  This storyline may be addressing the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII.  In “Charlie Boy,” references to the Vietnam war appear in the lyrical  heartbreak of watching a loved one go off to war.  These are just a few interpretations of these lyrics.  Though sharing somber themes, “Submarine” has a powerful force that makes you want to jump up and dance, while the sweet, slow melody of “Charlie Boy” is great for winding down after a long day

“Stubborn Love” follows a man who can’t stop loving the woman who keeps letting him down and breaking his heart.  It’s a love song, but the story creates a relatable experience of the ups and downs of love.  Ironically, this is one of my favorite feel-good love songs.