Review Corner: Ed Sheeran’s Divide (÷)

(Source: Asylum Records UK)

I’m on my way, driving at ninety down those country lanes…

Like a lot of other people, I got introduced to Ed Sheeran‘s music during his opening gig days on the Red Tour. He remains in my mind, a musical genius capable of putting his music center stage without little to no scenery. Back then his style was almost urban, and that’s never a bad thing. Beat and a rhythm comes so easily to him that for Divide, or to be specific the ÷ album, he’s already past the mastery of the craft and begin the innovation stage. Or perhaps both were always the same thing to him.

This is one of those albums you experience more than listen, where all melodies blend themselves together the first time and you don’t really want to interrupt by looking up song titles. It takes a second listen to forcibly abstract yourself from the audio and finally check out what was that amazing track you just heard. “Castle On The Hill” was a favourite before I even owned Ed’s third studio offering, a mix of nostalgia and longing in a coming of age story that is almost cinematic. I could recognize the pop and the club beats influencing Ed and he in turn influencing them back in “Shape of You”. I’m not much for dancing music but I can’t help but like it. He goes back to ballads easily, so “Perfect” is almost a surprise in the sense that it’s not an easy track musically and lyrically. A less musician would’ve been happy with less, but the more you hear the more you become impressed.

“Galway Girl” is another impressive feat that has Ed’s style as well as old time folk music, something out of a Celtic fairy tale. “Happier” and “What Do I Know?” are also impossible-to-skip favourites already. You might have heard of the story behind the tear-jerker “Supermarket Flowers” which is a beautiful tribute written from her mother’s point of view to her grandmother, but it’s still going to make you cry.

Highly recommended album to listen non-stop. Available now on iTunes.

Inside Rock in Rio USA: We found Wonderland! Taylor brings out Ed Sheeran!

Spoiler content ahead, Taylor Nation. Not the entire show 🙂

Taylor Swift played Rock in Rio USA, which took place in Las Vegas because reasons, last night May 15, 2015. After the wait the audience actually got what they wanted: a full 1989 World Tour concert performance. I chose this picture because it was posted by the Queen of Sparks (and taken by bass player extraordinaire, Amos J. Heller) but also it doesn’t give away the stage, just the piano and a good look at the huge City of Rock venue.

(Photo: Amos J. Heller)
(Photo: Amos J. Heller)

The Sparkly Dressed brought everything and the kitchen sink to the party. “Wonderland” was included in the setlist. Here’s the full set list for last night’s concert:

  • Welcome To New York
  • New Romantics
  • Blank Space
  • Trouble
  • I Wish You Would
  • How You Get The Girl
  • I Know Places
  • Tenerife Sea (featuring Ed Sheeran)
  • Wonderland
  • Clean
  • Love Story
  • Style
  • This Love
  • Bad Blood
  • We Are Never Getting Back Together
  • Wildest Dreams
  • Out of the Woods
  • Shake It Off

 

The surprises didn’t end there as Ed Sheeran becomes the first ever guest to the 1989 World Tour! They performed Ed’s “Tenerife Sea”.

As always, expect social media to be buzzing this Friday, as well as on Sunday where Taylor premieres “Bad Blood” at the start of the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. Stay for the show, she’s got 14 nominations.

Coming up on the Calendar:

  • May 17: The 2015 Billboard Music Awards are broadcast live from MGM Grand Central Arena in Las Vegas, NV on ABC at 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central. Taylor Swift leads with 14 nominations including Top Artist. The “Bad Blood” video will premiere at the start of the show.
  • May 20: The 1989 World Tour – Bossier City, LA – CenturyLink Center.
  • May 22: The 1989 World Tour – Baton Rouge, LA – LSU Tiger Stadium.
  • May 27: Elizabeth Huett‘s Birthday.
  • May 30: The 1989 World Tour – Detroit, MI – Ford Field.

(Sources:Taylor Talk, @TSwiftOnTour, Taylor Swift)

Tay in the UK! KISS FM! Taylor and Ed on BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show!

Fundon time, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s going to be late to everything this morning, we’re just going to let you have the interviews and can the puns. Taylor confirmed with KISS FM that she will perform “Blank Space” at the BRITs.

Listen on SoundCloud

The Sparkly Dressed joined Ed Sheeran with a lovely chat with Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show. Taylor reveals the story behind that bikini picture with the Haim sisters, her love of Beyonce and then Tay and Ed play a friendly quiz game.

Listen on SoundCloud

Big shoutout to ohsoswiftly for sharing 🙂

Update! Here’s Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift on video. Big shoutout to VideoSwift for the clip.

Watch on YouTube

Oh, and here’s the tweet that Ed posted on T’s phone.

The Blonde With The Sparkly 1989 Microphone will be performing “Blank Space” on the BRIT Awards 2015 on February 25. She is nominated for International Female Solo Artist.

(Source: BBC Radio 1)
(Source: BBC Radio 1)

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • February 25: Taylor Swift is nominated for International Female Solo Artist for the BRIT Awards 2015. She is scheduled to perform.
  • March 15: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is nominated for International Album of the Year for the 2015 JUNO Awards.
  • March 29: Taylor Swift is nominated for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year for “Shake It Off”, Best Fan Army for the Swifties, and Lyrics of the Year for “Blank Space” for the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards. The show will be broadcast on NBC at 8pm ET.

(Sources: KISS FMBBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show)

The 57th GRAMMY Awards: Sam Smith’s night. Taylor and Kanye finally shake it off.

(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

A mixed night of sorts, Taylor Nation.

First of all, Taylor did not win her nominations. Record of the Year and Song of the Year went to Sam Smith for “Stay With Me”, who sweeped the awards. Best Solo Pop Performance went to Pharrell. The surprise win of the night was Beck who won Album of the Year for Morning Phase. There was a strong message to end violence against women that started with President Barack Obama, then was emphatized by Brooke Axtell a survivor of domestic violence with a very powerful speech and ended with a symbolic performance by Katy Perry. Not to be outdone were great performances by Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Madonna, Pharrell, Beyonce and a weird but amazing performance with Sia with Kristin Wiig and Maddie Ziegler doing the interpretative dance.

Yes, it’s true. The Grammy didn’t go to “Shake It Off”. I really wanted it to win, or actually for Taylor to win something, but I will have to say that I do feel the rest of the album has more power behind it. 1989 is eligible for next year’s 58th GRAMMY Awards. Taylor did make two appearances, one giving Sam Smith his first award of the night as Best New Artist and a second one announcing his performance on stage alongside Mary J. Blige which was one of the best.

Watch on YouTube

And finally, a minor but significant event as the Forever and Always Fearless One buries the hatchet with… wait for it… disabling locks… calling off the ninjas… opening double-barrelled safety vault locks… Kanye West. The Rapper Whose Name I Used To Forget is now unbanned (believe it or not you couldn’t get a comment with the words “Kanye” or “West” in this blog since 2009). The hatchet is buried. It’s a new day.

As I usually do, I will ask you to keep your comments nice, no name calling and no personal insults – to nobody. Ok, the Sparkly Dressed is able to put bunny ears to her best friend Abigail Anderson, but that’s it.

(Source: Getty Images for the 57th GRAMMY Awards)
(Source: Getty Images for the 57th GRAMMY Awards)

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • February 13: Caitlin Evanson performs at Lestat’s West in San Diego, California.
  • February 15: Taylor Swift is part of Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary.
  • February 25: Taylor Swift is nominated for International Female Solo Artist for the BRIT Awards 2015. She is scheduled to perform.
  • March 15: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is nominated for International Album of the Year for the 2015 JUNO Awards.
  • March 29: Taylor Swift is nominated for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year for “Shake It Off”, Best Fan Army for the Swifties, and Lyrics of the Year for “Blank Space” for the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards. The show will be broadcast on NBC at 8pm ET.

(Sources: GRAMMY, TIME)

Review Corner: Ed Sheeran’s X

(Source: Asylum Records - Atlanta Records)
(Source: Asylum Records – Atlanta Records)

Sing, Taylor Nation! Louder!

Hopefully I don’t have to explain who Ed Sheeran is to frequent readers. Just in case you live under a rock, he’s the british singer-songwriter that opened for Taylor Swift’s North-American leg of the Red Tour. He also invited Taylor Swift in return when he played the Madison Square Garden.

Ed Sheeran has released his latest album, X (apparently it’s supposed to be read as “multiply”) on iTunes. I think it’s a clever plot to teach math to young music listeners. It’s going to take a long time though. Disclaimer: Ed Sheeran did release an album but it has nothing to do with teaching math, that was just a joke.

The album has some amazing creations, and it’s more than worth it to go for the deluxe version. Special mentions so far are “Don’t”, “Nina”, “Tenerife Love”, “Thinking Out Loud”, and the song from the movie The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, “I See Fire” which is only available on the deluxe. There’s a lot more great tracks in the album which hovers between pop and hip-pop. Each song has been crafted with a ton of rhythm and most of them have a very smart beat, somehow blending in acoustically without resorting to studio parlor tricks.

Here’s Ed showing up as the Red Tour’s secret guest at the O2 in Berlin, Germany to sing “I See Fire”.

Watch on YouTube

Thanks to michaelberlin for posting!

I’m not that impressed with the actual first single of this album, “Sing” which I find didn’t need the falsetto on the chorus. It remains a very good tune, but not the track I would highlight. Actually, I would point to “Don’t” as a much better single for the album overall. That’s my opinion though. I can’t find a song that I wouldn’t play, so I recommend you get this one.

You can find out more about Ed Sheeran on his official site, EdSheeran.com

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • August 10: 2014 Teen Choice Awards airs on FOX. Taylor Swift is nominated for Teen Choice Female Artist, Choice Country Artist & Choice Smile. You can vote everyday here.

(Sources: iTunes, Ed Sheeran Official Site)