On his new album, a collaborative effort with some of the most intriguing names in modern hip-hop and pop music, Ed Sheeran flops. Really, really hard. It sounds like he has held each of these featured artists at gun point and forced them to record a verse or hook for him. It’s a real shame because this could have been great; a daring crossover between Ed’s acoustic catchy pop flavours and the rich sounds of grime and rap. We were instead given a dumpster fire with next to no redeeming features. Yikes.
I don’t wanna spend much time talking about this, because otherwise it’ll turn into a slanderfest and I don’t want that to happen. Ed Sheeran is a global megastar who could shit on a baby’s head and it would go platinum, so me not liking this album won’t hurt him at all; but this really isn’t good.
He certainly didn’t lack collaborative ambition. I mean, just look at the feature list. Eminem, 50 Cent, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Stormzy, Chance The Rapper, Skrillex, Cardi B and Bruno Mars to name but a few. What do they all have in common? Every single one of them half-arse their way through laboured performances over boring, formulaic pop-rap beats.
There was so much potential here. He had Young Thug and J Hus together on the song Feels; how on earth could he fail? Quite easily, as it turns out. Simply by washing them out with an eye-roll inducing beat and a really dull hook; it was obvious that Thug was on cash grab mode and didn’t bring his A-game. The same can be said for Travis Scott on Antisocial, but the fact of the matter is that he just doesn’t suit production like this. Trav excels with a grimy, moody atmosphere; not a wannabe lit anthem with the world’s whitest man doing the hook.
Ed’s performances here vary from snoozy to downright appalling, sadly. I mean, he was on a track with Eminem and 50 Cent, two of the biggest rap names of the 21st century; and how did he hop on the beat? “I was born a misfit, grew up 10 miles from the town of Ipswich”. Jesus wept, just leave rap alone Ed, please.
The disappointments don’t stop there and they meander all the way through this album, particularly on I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber (the world’s most boring song) and South of the Border with Cardi B and Camila Cabello; a truly shoddy attempt at making a Latin pop banger.
My one praise for this album is that Ed’s intentions were good, he has provided a shining platform for some artists who wouldn’t have had this sort of exposure without him. Seeing PnB Rock, H.E.R. and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie on an ED SHEERAN ALBUM is utterly bizarre, but I’m pleased for them all.
I don’t like to use this term to describe an album but Ed, you’ve left me no choice. No.6 Collaborations Project is garbage. It is an overhyped, overproduced, overly-budgeted mess that felt more like a victory lap of big names and fame than a genuine intertwining of genre styles. I’m sure Ed Sheeran is a lovely man with nice intentions for this project, but it’s almost offensively safe. My thoughts on the album are best described by Ed himself on here: “I Don’t Care”. But seriously, why would my opinion matter? This album will probably break streaming records and spend a million weeks at number one, so more power to him.