I thought Ed Sheeran was a pretty nice addition to the singing boy brigade in the music scene when he first appeared on the scene a few years back. His version of The Parting Glass from his debut effort was one of my favorite versions of that song. However, by the time his second album X comes out, he has somehow mutated into this hideous amalgamation of Taylor Swift’s Pepto-Bismol personality and Debbie Gibson’s brand of vapid songwriting. Worse, he comes to think that he’s such a cool white guy, he starts rapping and doing things that make him look like some frat boy who tries way too hard to be street.
The lead single Sing, for example, is pretty hilarious in how bad it is, as it has this awkward and cheesy half-rapped style that only showcases how daft the words are. The song is about this hot chick approaches him for sex while they are on the road together, and naturally, sensitive Ed Sheeran not only gives her the best sex of her life, he also shows her the softer side of love like eating pizza in his hotel room. But alas, while they both do not want commitment – he specifies this very clearly – she sleeps with another guy, making him all hurt and jealous. He breaks it off, and now she’s crying because she’s missing the best sex she’s ever had from him. I mean, can you write a song like this and put yourself in that guy’s shoes without coming off like an egoistical wannabe who thinks he’s god’s gift to women? And I don’t think he knows what the concept of no-strings attached really means. Maybe this song came when he wanted to sleep with some hot chick he opened for only to have her laugh at his face?
And then he tries so hard to be romantic. Thinking Out Loud, for example, has him talking about how his sweetheart will never change for the rest of their relationship and that’s awesome. I don’t know, I think he just exposed how little he knows of actual relationships if he can sing such things without dying a little from shame inside. And why would he love her only until he’s seventy? Does he envision himself as those moneyed old coots who would then trade this woman off for a younger replacement?
When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don’t remember my name
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way
I know you will still love me the same
Is this love or ego in motion?
Not to mention, he strains his voice most unattractively during the chorus of that song.
In Photograph, an otherwise passable ballad:
Loving can hurt
Loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard
You know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive
Please tell me he’s singing about his erection. Otherwise, I’ve lost all hope in humanity.
It’s the same everywhere else on X. The album is full of anemic mid-tempo tracks and ballads, all full of trippy, drippy absolutely wretched efforts at love coos. I know, with a face only a mother can love, Mr Sheeran can’t get away with singing about taking drugs, playing with himself while watching pornography on the Internet, and other things homely boys do in their free time, not without creeping people out with the images he would put inside their heads. But there’s no reason why he has to be so vapid in what he is doing, is there?