Ed Sheeran dropped his new album, “Equals,” October 29, 2021. 

That puts four and a half years between his newest work and the release of his previous album, “Divide,” which came out in March 2017.

Sheeran has kept with the pattern of using mathematical symbols for his album covers and names as a bold equal sign with flowers around it represents his latest release.

The album consists of 14 songs that amount to 48 minutes and 30 seconds and follows the releases of his two latest singles “Bad Habits” and “Shivers” that built up four months of anticipation. 

Jumping into the album, Sheeran strategically lined up his tracks as the first song introduces listeners to the new version of the redhead. He states in his lyrics that he has grown up, is a father now, and how everything has changed, yet that he is still the same. This set the tone for the rest of the album, as it is based around the events that led him to his maturity.

To put into perspective, when Sheeran released his previous album in 2017, he was insecure, not yet married and suffering from social anxiety caused by his fame. 

Throughout his musical hiatus, Sheeran’s mental state progressed for the better as is apparent in the changes of his new album.

Unlike his previous albums, “Equals” presents a more upbeat and faster appeal. The music leans away from Sheeran’s famous acoustic sound and implements more sounds from a soundboard to give a vibey approach.

Another notable difference in the album compared to his others is the lack of sad songs. Instead of depressing lyrics showcased in his previous albums about heartbreak and self-insecurities, “Equals” sits on a healthy lover’s point of view and expresses the brighter side of things.

For example, in “Visiting Hours” Sheeran sings about how he wishes Heaven had visiting hours so he could stop by for a quick chat and advice from those in his life who have passed. Instead of focusing on the dead, he focuses on the quality of life his daughter will have based on the impact the deceased had on his own life which brings more of a bittersweet approach.

The songs on this album almost bring a sense of happiness to listeners that Sheeran finally found the love that he had been searching for and the life that he had been chasing since the beginning of his career.

The changes in his music stand hand in hand with his opening piece that gives listeners a heads up that not all change is bad and that it is something that takes time to accomplish.

Sheeran might not be the only one who experienced personal growth during his break from music though.

This new album would appeal to Ed Sheeran stans who found his music when they were once broken-hearted and have now also tuned in with their identities like Sheeran and created a solid foundation for themselves as it seems sad-song-Sheeran is a thing of the past now.

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