Track Review: Ed Sheeran, ‘Shape of You’
Lovable British pop singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran returns after nearly a three-year hiatus with fun new single, “Shape of You.”
Ed Sheeran has established himself as one everybody’s favorite musicians. Face it – the Brit singer/songwriter is cool AF. It’s been two-and-a-half years since X won critics and fans’ hearts alike. Finally, Sheeran returns with two new singles: “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You.” “Shape of You” doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Both singles are expected to appear on his forthcoming album, Divide.
From the jump, “Shape of You” sounds like Sia. There are similarities to “The Greatest” and “Cheap Thrills.” Interestingly, the single wasn’t written by Sia, despite having similar characteristics. An article on Genius, penned by Chris Mench, analyzes the similarities to Sia, specifically “Cheap Thrills.” Despite the similarities, “Shape of You” is slickly produced, never over-produced. It has a danceable, tropical sensibility normally not associated with Sheeran, but surprisingly effective. “Shape of You” is a successful, different look for Ed.
Vocally, Sheeran sounds like a champ, particularly when his upper register contrasts his lower and middle register. The melody showcases an excellent rhythmic approach throughout the song. The verses in particular, are quick, with a hip-hop-driven approach.
The pre-chorus sets the tone for a catchy forthcoming chorus:
“Girl, you know I want your love / Your love was handmade for somebody like me / Come on now, follow my lead / I may be crazy, don’t mind me / Say, boy, let’s not talk too much / Grab on my waist and put that body on me / Come on now, follow my lead / Come come on now, follow my lead.”
On the catchy, if repetitive chorus, swagger is on the “Up&Up”:
“I’m in love with the shape of you/ We push and pull like a magnet do / Although my heart is falling too / I’m in love with your body / And last night you were in my room / And now my bedsheets smell like you / Every day discovering something brand new / I’m in love with your body.”
Worth noting, the use of acoustic guitar in this song is thoughtful, particularly how it contrasts the “plugged-in” sound of this record.
“Shape of You” is a fun, well-performed and produced song. It is something of a departure for the pop singer-songwriter. 2017 should be a great year for Sheeran.