Ed Sheeran album set to break records, whatever the critics might say

Despite a two-star review in the Guardian, 12 hours after its release was topping the iTunes charts across the world

Its promising to be the biggest-selling album of the year and has already broken a UK chart record with the first two singles.

However, Ed Sheerans long-awaited third album, released on Friday after a three-year hiatus, has not been a universal hit with critics.

The Guardian gave , his first record since 2014, <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/03/ed-sheeran-divide-review” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>two stars, calling Sheerans genre-spanning tracks commercially calculated, driven by an desire to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

A flagrant sense of scheming behind every lyric, piece of instrumentation, expression of sentiment and change of mood on Sheerans third album hangs over these taut, trim new tracks, said the Guardian.

The review singled out Sheerans foray in Gaelic rap on track Galway Girl as both ludicrous and preposterous. However, despite initial resistance from Sheerans own label over including the folk song on the album and criticism from one writer in the Irish Times that the song has all the authenticity of an Irish bar in Malaga that serves buttery chicken wings the song has already gone to number one in Ireland.

The albums token ballad, Perfect, written as a dedication to his girlfriend, was also the object of ire in the Evening Standards three-star review, described as drippier than water torture.

In less than 12 hours, the album topped the iTunes chart across the world, and if Sheerans last two albums are anything to go by, it looks set to dominate the charts for months to come. Shape of You, the lead single from the album, was streamed 6,868,642 times on Spotify in its first week.

Certainly, the record charmed several critics, including The Telegraph, who awarded it four stars.

This is a set of direct, punchy, melodic, catchy, meaningful songs, with verses and choruses in all the right places, said the review. It was a view echoed by the Independent, who also gave four stars, though like the Guardians review, singled out Sheerans evident commercial ambitions with the record.

It wasnt written to please critics it was written to please fans, to be commercially successful … and thats exactly what Sheeran will achieve with this.

NME also gave the album four out of five, calling it a collection that, somehow, adheres to his perfect pop template, while also being quietly weird.

Nonetheless, according to Sheeran himself, hes not bothered by mixed reviews. In a recent Guardian interview, the 26-year-old said: Im at the point where even if I get a one-star review for every album I released for the rest of my life, Ill still be able to play music.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/03/ed-sheeran-album-likely-to-break-records-whatever-the-critics-think

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