Ciara’s Music Library #1

I’ve decided that in an attempt to keep my blog updated weekly, I’m going to focus on one thing I love – music. So most Tuesdays (and I stress the most, because we all know when the time comes that my bog is actually updated every week, the apocalypse is surely near), I’ll do a sort of mini-review on what songs I’m listening to that week, or a band whose album I’ve recently… uh… ‘bought’.

So this, week, I’m going to start with Ed Sheeran’s newest album, X. As you probably know from one of my previous blog posts where I talked about his gig in Vicar Street in May 2014, I am a huge Ed Sheeran fan, and as a result, I was extremely excited for the release of the album. I wasn’t disappointed – but then again, after waiting almost 3 years for a new album, my initial reaction was always going to be extreme excitement!

The album itself was released on June 23rd worldwide, but the big hype for the album began over 2 months earlier, when the first single, ‘Sing‘ was released on April 7th. It gave Sheeran his first #1 single in the UK. The song was positively received by both critics and fans alike, with many complimenting the new change of sound – Sing was certainly more upbeat than any of the material from Sheeran’s previous album, +. Critics such as Time Magazine, The Guardianand The Hollywood Reporter all praised the single. I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan when I first heard it, but it quickly grew on me and it’s one of my favourites from the album.

Sing was followed by One on May 16th, which was followed by Don’t on June 13th, released straight to iTunes. It’s actually being released again today in America as the second official single from the album. It was originally meant to be the lead single, but Sheeran felt it was ‘a bit personal’, and it nearly didn’t make it on to the album at all.

These singles were followed by Afire Love, Bloodstream, Thinking Out Loud, The Manand Photograph, which were released consecutively, one day after the other, from June 16th to June 20th.

After listening to the album all the way through a few times, my clear favourites emerged, and the ones I wasn’t so fond of began to be skipped with each subsequent play of the album. As I said already, Sing  is one of my favourites, along with Thinking Out LoudOne, Afire Love, and Tenerife Sea – they’re my top 5 favourites.

Admittedly, I love the majority of the album. I actually ordered the deluxe version from the website, so it included I See Fire from the The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug soundtrack, and All of the Stars, from the The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack (which is AMAZING, and even if you haven’t watched the film, I would seriously recommend that you check it out.)

Now, the things I didn’t like. Firstly, (and this is more a personal preference, I suppose, than an actual criticism) – I much preferred the ‘Live’ version of One which was released in May, as opposed to the studio recorded version which was included on the album. Secondly, I’m not a fan of The Man at all. Like, at all. I really dislike it. I find myself constantly skipping over it when I listen to the album. I’m just not a huge fan of the rapping I suppose – at least not when it makes up the majority of the song, because I don’t mind Take It Back, and I really loved it in You Need Me, I Don’t Need You on the first album. I think part of the reason I like Take It Back is  because I heard it performed live at the gig back in May, and while I’m not really keen on the album version, it was fantastic live.

Overall, I think it was an excellent follow-up album for Ed Sheeran. I’d give it 4/5 – most of the songs were wonderful, but there’s a few that just don’t really have the same energy as the other tracks. Regardless, I am very excited and looking forward to seeing him perform all of these tracks live when I go to see him in October!

Bye for now!

 

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