Am I an Ed Head? Am I going to review Ed Sheeran’s new album as soon as it comes out? You’re goddamn right I am! The ginger prince himself has just dropped his latest musical creation, which he has said is a collection of songs that are a slight departure from his previous work. It is all of the stuff that he has wanted to do and people he has wanted to sing with for a while now.
This new album is a fairly long one, totalling 15 tracks, but I think that’s a win-win situation. I get more Ed Sheeran goodness to listen to and you get to read more about what I think (which we all know is just as exhilarating, if not more). So let’s jump into this review of Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project.
Track 1: Beautiful People (feat Khalid)
I’m sure we’re all familiar with this track by now, since it first dropped over two weeks ago, with the music video for it being released over a week ago as well. Therefore, I’ll just give a brief summary of this one. From a music standpoint, it’s a very good song. I wish I could give it higher praise than that, but sadly it seems to simply hover around the good level and never really rises above that. I think a lot of that can be attributed to the lulling beat and rhythm in the song. But from a vocal standpoint, both Ed and Khalid do a fantastic job. This song also gets bonus points for having a humorous video for it.
Track 2: South of the Border (feat Camila Cabello & Cardi B)
Now this is what I’m talking about! I knew even before first listening to this song that it’d be good thanks to combo of Ed and Camila. These are two of the most talented vocalists on the planet right now and coming together like this is just what the world needed right now. And they definitely delivered. The beat, music, vocals, lyrics, it all works perfectly. This song would quite literally be perfect if it wasn’t for the inclusion of Cardi B. Seriously, get the fuck off of my favorite track. I guess I could also deduct minor points for making me translate lyrics, but I’m willing to forgive that cause the rest of the track is so fantastic. For anyone who is interested, the line used in the pre chorus “te amo mami” means “I love you mommy” and Camila’s spanish verse translates (according to Google translate) as “Oh come here I want to dance. Take my hand I want to feel your body in me. You’re shaking.”
Track 3: Cross Me (feat Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock)
I feel like it’s hard to objectively judge this track because it was first track to be released after the I Don’t Care single which was just awful (but we’ll get to that). So really anything else would have seemed at least half decent by comparison. I really love the upbeat rhythm of this track and Ed’s vocals are excellent. But then Chance the Rapper comes on a spits some ludicrous shirt that just pales in comparison. This album is really not a good look for rappers so far. On a side note, if you’re looking for a good mind fuck, then do yourself a favour and watch the music video for this song.
Track 4: Take Me Back to London (feat Stormzy)
Apparently it took Ed rapping to show these so called professionals how it’s done. It’s no surprise that Ed has a fair amount of experience trying his hand at rapping and he shows off his impressive skills on this track while also taking the time to flex his classic singing skills on the chorus (eat your heart out Drake). When I’m actually able to understand what the hell Stormzy is saying, he does a pretty good too. The deep intense voice of his perfectly compliments the bubbly rap sound of Ed to create a pretty great track with an underlying intensive feel to it.
Track 5: Best Part of Me (feat YEBBA)
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea who the hell YEBBA was before this song, but holy crap can she ever sing! Besides Camila Cabello, she’s the first featured artist who has done just as good of a job as Ed. This track is our first taste of the classic slower sounds of Ed’s famous romantic ballads. And surprisingly this one manages to meet the bar set by monstrous hits like Thinking Out Loud and Photograph. The heart gushing lyrics combined with the powerful vocals of Ed and versatile singing of YEBBA is enough to make this a surefire hit.
Track 6: I Don’t Care (feat Justin Bieber)
Just like I promised, we have arrived at what is a contender for the worst song of the entire album. Lots of people went absolutely crazy for this song when it first came out. Those people are what I like to call… tone deaf. I don’t enjoy shitting on Ed, but seriously, what the fuck were you thinking with this one? Let me be clear, that I don’t hate it because Justin Bieber is on it. I actually like Justin Bieber (as a singer, because as a person he’s a tool). But this song just fails all across the board. The lyrics are incredibly sloppy and clunky, and the background beat just feels awkward and quickly becomes annoying. It also gets the award for worst music video of 2019 (which is on par for the quality of the song).
Track 7: Antisocial (feat Travis Scott)
I would love to make a joke that I wasn’t able to listen to this song because of the opening message of the track, but I think you’ve read enough of my writing by now to know that isn’t true. But I’m going to say something now that even has me in disbelief. Part of Ed’s performance is the worst part of this song. His opening verse is just awkward and cringy with half assed rhymes. My advice is to try and focus more on the really cool electronic pulse sound in the background, which really elevates the track. The good news is that if you can make it past the first verse, it gets incredible from there. Ed’s smooth vocals on the chorus and the rapping from Travis Scott is great and really turns this song around.
Track 8: Remember the Name (feat Eminem & 50 Cent)
I guarantee whatever you think this song sounds like, you’re wrong. That’s not to say that it’s not good because it definitely is, it’s just definitely what I expected from a song with Eminem and 50 Cent on it. This track definitely falls more under the jurisdiction of Ed thanks to its upbeat and guitar based backing track. In a song filled with pop culture references, Ed and Eminem do a great job, but 50 Cent just seems out of place and throws out some truly subpar rhymes that don’t deserve to grace the same 3 minutes as these two other music legends.
Track 9: Feels (feat Young Thug & J Hus)
Do yourself a favour and just skip over this track. It honestly not worth your time (and certainly wasn’t worth mine). Ed feels like he is phoning in his lyrics in this song and neither of the featured rappers do a respectable job. Not to mention that there’s simply far too many effects put onto this track, making it a mess of shitty sounds that is the perfect storm for a truly awful track. All I can say is thank god that it’s the shortest track on the entire album.
Track 10: Put It All On Me (feat Ella Mai)
I can’t be the only one who thought that Ed already had a soong named this, only to find out that I was thinking of his song with Rudimental titled Lay It All On Me. For the record, they’re basically the same song except that this one has a female vocalist and has a less heavy beat. But overall, both artists do good jobs on this track and it comes out as being a thoroughly good song.
Track 11: Nothing On You (feat Paulo Londra & Dave)
Boy I hope you like Spanish, cause there’s a lot of it in here. That little taste of itt that Camila gave us was nothing compared to what Paulo Londra unleashes on us in this track. It’s so much that there is no way in hell that I was going to translate it all. So without knowing what the hell he is rapping about, I have to say that this song is really good. After you start to warm up to the weird Pink Panther sound that is prominent at the beginning and then continues in the background, you can start to appreciate the tight rhymes of Ed and how he is able to smoothly transition his deeper vocals into his falsetto in an effortless manner. Both rappers do a pretty great job too, which helps to cement this song as one of the better ones on the album. Just be prepared for the song to randomly get a bid louder for a few seconds when Dave first starts rapping. No idea why this happens, but it’s a little alarming if you aren’t expecting it.
Track 12: I Don’t Want Your Money (feat H.E.R.)
It’s an age old tale of distance in a relationship and the struggles that it brings. But just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean that it isn’t still good. In fact, the lyrics provide a story that is as interesting as it is relatable and the smooth vocals from both Ed during the course and H.E.R. during the chorus help to deliver the message in a way that is sure to have you bobbing your head. Another home run for the master of music.
Track 13: 1000 Nights (feat Meek Mill & A Boogie wit da Hoodie)
I realize that Ed has a special affinity for rappers but seriously man, you need to choose your rappers better. These two featured artists jump on the track with their sloppy gloating rhymes and it is so awful that even the sauve vocals of Ed aren’t enough to save this dismal song. Let’s hope the album finishes on a higher note than this.
Track 14: Way To Break My Heart (feat Skrillex)
Am I the only one who had thought (and seriously hoped) that Skrillex had all but completely disappeared from the music scene? Unfortunately, we’re not that lucky and he’s back to ruin an Ed Sheeran song. Not that this song had much potential to begin with. The lyrics are uninspired and Ed seems to be coasting on his vocal performance, which just ends up being a truly awful song when combined with the fast beat introduced by Skrillex.
Track 15: BLOW (feat Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars)
Thank god we finished with this song cause we were really headed into a bad direction there for a little while. However, it completely turns around with this track which amps up the intensity to 11 and keeps it there for this rock-based track with absolutely insane vocal performances given by all 3 artists. If this song doesn’t make the hairs on your neck stand up with its heavy guitar and power vocals, then nothing will. If only every album ended this great. And bonus points awarded for the assortment of gorgeous female rockstars in the music video.
Overall, this album delivers the exact kind of excellence that you expect from a music legend like Ed Sheeran. With 15 tracks, they can’t all be perfect, but the vast majority of them soar beyond levels that most artists could ever hope to reach. I give this album 4 out of 5 beautiful people.