2014 was undoubtedly the year of the boys – Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars, One Direction, Sam Smith and many more achieved a monumental amount of success all around the world during the year. This is in stark contrast to 2013, which was the year of the girls – one notable moment was Beyonce stealing the whole year and releasing her self-titled album with no warning whatsoever.
Without a doubt, there is one man who has seen a meteoric rise in popularity and sales this year on both sides of the Atlantic – Ed Sheeran. He released his second album, X, in June 2014 and hit number one in many territories, including the UK. Lead single Sing was Sheeran proving he can be more mainstream, teaming up with Pharrell Williams for the track. Don’t followed, and like You Need Me (I Don’t Need You), it showcased Sheeran’s ability to rap as well as sing. It was the slow-burning, third single Thinking Out Loud that not only gave Sheeran his second UK #1, but also propelled his popularity to new heights.
The album itself was the perfect follow up to +, for Sheeran, a strong body of work that is coherent, consistent and the singles haven’t been shoe-horned into the tracklist (*cough* Anaconda on The Pinkprint, see my review here), although Sing is the most upbeat song on the album. Highlights include Photograph, Bloodstream and I See Fire, from the new Hobbit film soundtrack.
2015 brings The X Tour, which includes three sold-out dates at London’s Wembley Stadium. I have my ticket, so look out for the #FBF for that in July.
Check out the video for Thinking Out Loud below: