I need to preface this article by saying that every song on Divide is truly great. Ed Sheeran put together a beautiful album that almost made making this list impossible. However, on every album, there are songs you tend to skip and songs you don’t. So let’s rank!
16. “Heart’s Don’t Break Around Here”
“Hearts Don’t Break Around Here” is a good song. It’s got everything that you’d want in an Ed Sheeran song. You can check off the beautiful lyrics and delicate guitar strumming, however, that’s what puts it last on the list. It really isn’t anything special compared to some of the other risks Sheeran takes on the album.
15.”How Would You Feel (Paean)”
Sheeran stays in his comfort zone yet again with “How Would You Feel.” The instrument combination and vocals are on point, however, nothing about the song really stands out.
14. “Bibia Be Ye Ye”
If you’re like me, you probably related to a lot of the lyrics in this song. The downside to “Bibia Be Ye Ye” is that you have to be in a really perky mood to get through this entire song. It’s fun, but it can be a little much.
Yes, Ed Sheeran found love and we area all so happy for him. “Perfect” was written for Sheeran’s girlfriend and while I am sure she loves it, it’s just a tad too cliche. I predict this will probably be a popular wedding song!
12. “New Man”
While it’s more upbeat than some, “New Man” as a whole seems like a weird choice for the album and doesn’t mesh all that well with the other songs. However, I do love the part when he calls out his ex for still calling him even though she’s dating someone. Tell her, Ed!
There is no shortage of slow songs on Divide. They aren’t my favorite, but Ed’s vulnerability and ability to completely belts this song out is magnificent.
10. “Shape of You”
Welcome to the top 10! This first single off of Divide has been severely overplayed. People love this song, but it never really resonated with me. However, the fact that this song brought us new Ed Sheeran music is one that cannot be overlooked. So, thank you “Shape of You” for getting Ed back on the radio.
While the title of the song does not necessarily match the tone, “Happier” is still a beautiful piece of music. It’s honest in it’s reflection of the feeling you have when seeing someone you loved move on. It’s relatable and it’s a perfect song to put on while you stare out a rainy window.
You can go ahead and add “Barcelona” to your pool playlist. Is it the biggest risk that Sheeran has ever taken? No. But, it’s different and it’s fun and it makes you want to dance, which sometimes can be a rarity for Sheeran jams.
7. “Save Myself“
The message behind “Save Myself” and Sheeran’s touching performance are what really make this song shine. On a radio full of love songs, it’s always a good reminder that sometimes you need to put yourself and your well-being first.
6. “Supermarket Flowers”
“Supermarket Flowers” made my cry. Sheeran wrote this haunting song about the death of his grandmother from the perspective of his mother. It’s poignant and heart-wrenching, and that’s all I have to say about that.
5. “What Do I Know?”
Bringing in the top 5 is “What Do I know?” Sure, it’s probably the closest Sheeran will ever get to touching politics, but the message is sweet and the foot-tapping beat carries it through.
Having “Eraser” in the top 5 is probably a bold choice, but I find it to be one of the more powerful songs on the album. People may not like to hear a celebrity complaining about life after they’ve achieved their dreams, but Sheeran’s lyrics prove that he is pretty self-aware of that. Sheeran picked “Eraser” as the first track and it truly sets the tone for the whole album. Not to mention it’s chorus is extremely catchy and Sheeran’s rapping never gets old.
3. “Nancy Mulligan”
What’s not to love about the romantic retelling of Sheeran’s grandparent’s love story? The song is fun, it’s adorable and it vividly tells the story that Ed intended. The Irish and Folk influences may seem jarring compared to the rest of the album at first, but by the end of “Nancy Mulligan” you will find yourself saying “relationship goals.”
2. “Galway Girl”
“Galway Girl” was the song that everyone was talking about when the album came out. Similar to “Nancy Mulligan,” it was Ed finally digging into his Irish roots and giving us a great song to just belt the hell out. He fought for the song to be on the album, and thank goodness he did as it’s one of the biggest successes to come from it.
1. “Castle on the Hill”
“Castle on the Hill” embodies everything that is Ed Sheeran’s Divide album. The narrative of his years of growing up in England is visual storytelling at it’s finest. The catchy beat and his personal ties to it make this song the ultimate jam from the album. It’s moving and just has that “play this during my life montage” feel to it.
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.