Sheeran’s Sweet Return: My thoughts on ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on the Hill’

Ed Sheeran’s return has been almost bittersweet for fans. Ed had been teasing fans on his social media with lyrics and artwork, leading many to believe he was releasing an album on Friday. Unfortunately this was not the case! However, in my opinion two singles are better than no music from Ed at all. I thought I would share with you my opinions on both songs: ‘Castle on the Hill’ and ‘Shape of You’ – both are number 2 and number one respectively in the charts.

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Castle on the Hill is a homage to Ed’s childhood. The lyrics are everything we would expect from Sheeran- personal and fascinating. I think you can really hear the passion in Ed’s voice when you listen to this song. Or maybe that’s me over analysing it. Contrastingly, Ed sings about experiences all of us can relate to such as childhood friendships and making mistakes. Ed is one of the few artists who can write about something so personal to him without making his songs any less relatable for the listener.

Musically, I prefer ‘Shape of You’ to ‘Castle on the Hill’. ‘Castle on the Hill’ consists of many layers and it has a very acoustic sound. It has a very positive sound to it which I like and I can imagine hearing Ed sing this live would be incredible. I like the burst of sounds in the chorus, which adds to the uplifting feel of the song. The backing vocals in the pre chorus add to the build up leading to the chorus. I think it is personal preference that I prefer the sound of ‘Shape of You’,  if you are into uplifting, slightly rougher sounding songs then you will love ‘Castle on the Hill’.

 

‘Shape of You’ has a slightly sexier vibe to it, particularly through Ed’s falsetto in the pre chorus and the chorus. I love the repetitive motif that runs through the whole song, it gives the song a consistent, clean-cut feel. The percussion isn’t over bearing which to a certain extent it is in ‘Castle on the Hill’. The song is quite simplistic, with little dramatic changes in the song which I think reflects the sultry tone of it. All the build ups are very gradual which works so well with the lyrics. The lyrics perfectly marry to the music of the song. Moreover, we hear Ed singing quick, snappy lyrics which is something you have to love about his music. I love how Ed can effectively write lyrics about anything and they sound perfect. This is quite a contrast to the romantic nature of his previous songs such as ‘Thinking Out Loud’ but it works so well.

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Overall I love Ed’s latest releases and cannot wait to hear the full album. ‘Shape of You’ is my personal favourite and it is number 1 in the UK charts so that seems to be the general opinion. Saying that, ‘Castle on the Hill’ is number 2, so there’s not much in it. I love how different both songs sound yet they are both brilliant songs.

 

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