Single Review: Ed Sheeran – ‘Lego House’

“It’s nothing perfect or especially ground-breaking, but nor is it trying to be”

4 STARS

Digital Release: November 13, 2011

Physical Release: November 14, 2011

Songs like ‘Lego House’ make you wonder, in amidst the vulgar shows of sex appeal rampaging through the charts at breakneck speed to the sound of soulless synthesisers and drum machines, how well the artist thinks they will do, knowing what they’re up against. Though, that said, you could argue that someone making music like Ed Sheeran’s shouldn’t care about chart positions. And after the momentary slip-up of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, Ed Sheeran’s third single from ‘+’ manages to keep it’s head above the swamp of computerised ingénues not through any extravagant distracter – Sheeran’s music is as it is, which sometimes renders it a little dull – but because of ‘Lego House’s assembly of raw instruments and a hopeless dreamer’s ambitious lyrics to salvage love. A song with this much depth not sung by Adele or championed by a reality TV show is nigh-on an alien concept for chart music these days.

But before even listening to the song, there’s always the very valid criticism that there seems little to differentiate much of Ed Sheeran’s songs from those of many other acoustic guitar-proud male acts all packing the same ammunition, but valid an arguments as it is, it’s easy to diffuse. The charming naïveté of Sheeran’s lyrics set the song apart from the rustic growl of someone like James Morrison’s comparatively colourless ensemble or the wheezing breathlessness of James Blunt’s chase for some empathic relevance. But when you’ve got artists like these leaving behind telling potholes of uncertainty in their music, ‘Lego House’s warm piano progression, delicate electric guitar and soft harmonies marry seamlessly together and helmed by Sheeran’s expressive voice, with the occasional emotive crack.

We all have favourite artists with standard melodies and simple lyrics, not because they try to appeal to everyone or because they aim to impress us with big voices or big songs, but because they hone their songs down to a more human level. It’s easy enough to sing about finding love in hopeless places or demanding you to shake a devil off your back but if this epic grandeur builds a wall between singer and listener, then little human emotion can be drawn from the song. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Lego House’ fits perfectly on the smaller scale. It’s nothing perfect or especially ground-breaking, but nor is it trying to be.

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