Single Review: Ed Sheeran – ‘Drunk’

“Sheeran’s heartfelt confessional about his loneliness seems to spread itself so thin that it falls to pieces in his hands, like a badly made Dominoes pizza…”

2 STARS

Digital Release: February 17, 2012

Physical Release: February, 27, 2012

Life can’t be easy as Ed Sheeran. Balancing himself on uncomfortable mix of pop, hip-hop and soppy acoustic wimp’s music might seem like an admirable trait, if you can pull it off. But quite often, he ends up setting the bar a little too high and realises he’s not entirely comfortable trying to equally balance each of his music personalities, the result of course being that in the tiniest adjustment to regain a comfortable awareness of his niche, he slips straight off the fence and lands face-down in the mud. ‘The A Team’ worked because of it’s modest intentions and ‘Lego House’ felt suitably convicted in delivery, though the revised version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, in an attempt to regain some of his underground appreciation, ended up sounding like the rough edges of his street-hardened musical ability and lyrical satire were and were instead accidentally promoting what can happen to a previously interesting music artist after a big record label with their own ideas gets involved.

His new single ‘Drunk’ sees him transform back into an effortlessly suave but scrubby singer-songwriter transcending all manner of cliques remotely interested in popular music. And if anything is going to stop ‘Drunk’s success, it’ll be the sales of his album because there’s very little here that he hasn’t tried before and already tasted success with. Mixing an almost nauseating concoction of nice-guy charm and a side-order of self-loathing, setting himself up as the butt of every possible idiom he can spin in his lyrics – “The right side of the wrong bed” and “What didn’t kill me/It didn’t make me stronger” and there’s also plenty of douchey sentiment to soothe the aching hearts of hipsters whose terribly grounded outlook on life prevents them from appearing all that genuine – “Open bottles of beer but never champagne”. Less fancy-pants artistes would’ve just said “Get pissed”, but it appears Sheeran values the power of a supposedly poetic line or two. And it’s because of this obviously forced appearance that Sheeran’s heartfelt confessional about his loneliness seems to spread itself so thin that it falls to pieces in his hands, like a badly made Dominoes pizza… In all his efforts to appear like someone who’s not phased by the prospect of fame he comes across not modest or humble, but try-hard and sort of pathetic, particularly towards the end where his anguished falsetto wheezes out a bit of emotion… oh, and the part where the song does about the only thing it does do and mentions a suspiciously conspicuous British four-piece who’s lead singer it’s not hard to imagine singing a song as wet as this one on that solo album which is (thankfully) still just a pipe dream for him at the current time.

And when Sheeran’s finished weeping into his guitar about why no-one’s there to counsel him, there’s an urge to roll your eyes as you just know that, somewhere down the cables that connect the ether to laptops everywhere, there’s a bevy of floral-printed teenaged girls with bows in their shapeless masses of hair and knock-off religious references in their jewellery screeching for their chances to cure Sheeran of his loneliness, but glancing at the video, he’s already got himself a nice pussy.

 

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