Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

After his regular hiatus, Ed Sheeran has released his newest album, =. In this album about life and love, Sheeran writes about his daughter, wife and his experiences as a father so far. This 48 minute album takes listeners on a journey, but let’s sum up the journey by going over a few hits from =.

While most people have likely heard “Bad Habits” and “Shivers,” there are many other songs from the album that are better than what listeners hear on the radio.

The opening track, “Tides,” introduces this phase of Ed’s life with lyrics, “I have grown up, I am a father now,” which clearly explains Ed’s life since the last time listeners heard music from him back in 2017. The beat is upbeat until the chorus where he sings: “Timе stops to still / When you are in my arms, it always will / And life, lifе is changin’ tides.” The instruments silence to reflect how his time stops when holding his daughter. This song truly opens the album with a clear message about his life. He compares his own life to what he hopes for his child and it’s beautiful. 

“Leave Your Life” is another song to his daughter. On the Spotify app under the “storyline” section, the third slide explicitly says “Which inspired this song, as a letter to my daughter.” This is warm and embraces you with a hug that reminds you that you are loved. The first half of the chorus goes: “I’m never gonna leave your life / Even at the times I’m miles away / You are always on my mind / Forever and now, I will be by your side.” It’s clear that this song holds a lot of meaning to Ed, and it pulls at the listeners’ heartstrings as well.

“Stop the Rain” is a catchy upbeat tune about the challenges of adulthood. One of the verses sings: “Another ‘I, me, mine’ to blur the lines / Between love and then heartbreak / Oh, it’s a lonely life thinkin’ you’re right and always shiftin’ blame / And every time it’s getting more and more ugly / And that’s why the photograph gets burned / Throw the match in gasoline, a-ayy.” In this verse, Sheeran explains how difficult it is thinking you’re always right, and that sometimes you need to get over yourself and burn that picture of yourself that you have in your head. 

Sheeran also writes a lullaby for his daughter titled “Sandman.” While instrumentally and lyrically this song is very different from the rest of the music off the album (with the ukulele sound), it fits the overall theme of the album about growing up and appreciating loved ones. The chorus goes: “And dream / Hanging out with the sandman / You look so sweet, my child / Hanging out with the sandman / And though there’s rain outside, you’ll be warm and dry / The thunder and the lightning won’t hurt you now / So go to sleep, my love / Hanging out with the sandman.” There are no words to explain how precious this song is, so please, listen to it. 

The album ends with “Be Right Now” which encapsulates the entirety of the album: the emotions, themes and thoughts. This pop ballad has a club beat behind it, simultaneously creating a song of great meaning and dance vibes. The chorus sings, “I don’t wanna miss one thing / We can turn the whole world down / And listen to the in-between / We are, we are the sound / There’s nothing but the space we’re in / The hurry and the noise shut out / Just stay here and be right now.” It truly rings the theme of staying present in the moment and enjoying life. Also, if you listen to the song on repeat it transitions nicely back into “Tides,” starting the themes and emotions back from the beginning. 

Overall, I would argue this is one of Sheeran’s most personal and creative albums yet. = has themes of love, loss and the importance of loved ones. I can’t wait to see him perform it live (if he so chooses). 

I'm a senior at the University of Kansas studying English. Outside of school you can find me curled up on the couch with my cat.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️