Ed Sheeran’s new album, if you could call it that, has to be the peak of his flashy new life in the States, or with his next record he’s going to be turning up to everything wearing a fur coat and flogging branded coconut water or something.
If it was ever in any doubt, the mention of Lamborghinis in both of the first two tracks goes to show that Ed is a long way away from spewing up farm cider in a Suffolk field now.
‘No.6 Collaborations Project’, rather than a fun little side project to get some mates involved in his music, is a meticulously calculated pop machine specifically designed so the ginger wonder can absorb the Top 20 chart and make it part of his anatomy.
Almost completely dropping his battered acoustic, Sheeran and his star-studded entourage plod through a gruelling 15 tracks mostly consisting of the general orders of the day; latin-pop and trap rap.
Save for a couple of diversions, these tracks have been createdto exist on a constant loop in every shop, car and home across the planet. It’s a shame because Sheeran is a talented musician, and the hope would be that he’d use a project like this as a labour of love, making tunes that he enjoys.
If this is the kind of music he enjoys though, I think someone needs to go and check he hasn’t been replaced by an Alexa. It’s cookie cutter stuff and it’s unnecessary; he hardly needs the money does he?
There are a couple of bright spots: ‘Cross Me’ with Chance the Rapper isn’t too bad, and ‘Remember the Name’ has the nostalgia factor with Eminem and 50 Cent, but the rest is mainly utter cack. Sadly even the track with Stormzy is on the cringey side.
The closing track, hard rock number ‘Blow’, is a complete outlier. It’s kind of hard not to like, but you get the feeling it’sthere as a bit of a joke. I can imagine Sheeran’s little face smirking as he almost breaks you with 45 minutes of sewage before blowing your head off with a track that actually bangs. It’s more cruel than anything.
All you need to do is count how many production credits there are on ‘No.6 Collaborations Project’ to see that Ed Sheeran has pretty much been made into a host body for pop music in 2019. It’s much more convenient if you can stuff all the musicthe people like up the arse of one person; then you don’t have to search for more than one artist on Spotify anymore.
Still, at least it’s keeping Ed’s tattoo artist and the kids who make his tartan shirts in business I guess.