Ed Sheeran
No. 6 Collaborations Project


3.0
good

Review

by Alex Stephenson USER (43 Reviews)
July 12th, 2019 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The ginger-haired Starbucks troubadour produces another inevitable chart-topper, this time with a little help from his friends.

When Ed Sheeran put out No. 5 Collaborations Project in 2011, he was on the brink of stardom, months away from “The A Team” breaking into the top 5 of the British charts and kick-starting one of the most successful pop careers of the 2010s. Now, in Sheeran’s 2019 “sequel” to the aforementioned EP, he’s on top of the world, free to work with the biggest names in the industry. And that is exactly what he does here, with collaborators ranging from slightly more obscure names such as YEBBA and Paulo Ronda to household names of yesteryear (Justin Bieber, Skrillex) and the present day (Travis Scott, Cardi B). It’s a formula that serves as a potent recipe for a lot of bloated nothingness topped off with a hefty dosage of vanilla.

Is that what we get on No. 6 Collaborations Project" The answer to that question is complicated. Certainly Sheeran’s shortcomings as a lyricist are well-documented, and his skills as a wordsmith are not improved in the slightest here. The “white-bread troubadour with a heart of gold” image that he typifies is still in full effect, as evidenced by the verses of the record’s much-maligned lead single “I Don’t Care”. But credit must be given where it’s due: as far as pop musicians go, Sheeran writes some of the best hooks out there, point blank. Utilizing repetitive chord progressions is part and parcel of the pop music game, and Sheeran is no exception; HOWEVER, if you can pair those progressions with melodies that aren’t quite as dime-store and production that is actually halfway decent, repetition is a sin I’m willing to forgive. That is where Sheeran shines, and it is those skills that, at least in this reviewer’s eyes, save albums like x and ÷ from being completely miserable.

The actual collaborators themselves are mixed bags, some being completely banal (Bieber...GOD “I Don’t Care” is the worst thing here by a country mile) and some clearly putting energy into their performances and energizing the songs (Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott). Closing track “BLOW” is the closest thing to a rock song that Sheeran has ever done, as he trades vocal lines with Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars in what can only be described as an odd combination that works much better than it should (in large part thanks to Mars’ contributions...he produces the track and plays all the guitars and drums). This song is also an example of why I think this album avoids drowning in its own excess...it feels like all or most of these tracks are proper collaborative efforts, with Sheeran giving plenty of room for his partners to contribute. It’s that respect for the collaborative aspect of music that I in turn must give kudos to Sheeran for encouraging, even if the results aren’t as organic as many music fans would prefer.

In short: this isn’t great by any means, and it might not even be the best thing Sheeran has produced. But I encourage listening to it with an open mind and not assuming that everything with the ginger-haired likeness of Ed Sheeran is completely vapid with no musical value whatsoever. You might just find yourself surprised.



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user ratings (74)
Chart.
1.5
very poor
other reviews of this album
Kirk Bowman CONTRIBUTOR (1.5)
don't stream this...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheLongShot
July 12th 2019


856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmmmm

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 12th 2019


31928 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Good review. I'm a little curious about this but honestly the idea of collaborators turns me off. I like Sheeran better on his own, and preferably when he doesn't pretend he can rap.

Digging: Off With Their Heads - Be Good

TheLongShot
July 12th 2019


856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fair reservations IMO, but if it helps, he actually doesn't rap at all on here. He pretty much exclusively handles hooks on tracks with actual hip-hop artists, or he just sings the verses instead of rapping them.

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 12th 2019


31928 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

hmmm indeed

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2019


16639 Comments


Sign my petition to make all sputnik review summaries contain the word "troubadour"

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 12th 2019


31928 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The troubadour from hell, Jacob Bannon, delights and surprises with impassioned shrieks and growls on this latest Converge effort.

Beardog
July 13th 2019


2889 Comments


Good review, probably won't check this but 'BLOW' really hit me off-guard

Digging: The Offering - Home

Mesm277
July 13th 2019


691 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

It's so bland - BLOW is the only track that stands out obviously but it's still pretty by the books for a rock song with some good vocals by Chris Stapleton

TheLongShot
July 13th 2019


856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I treat "BLOW" as a self-aware cock rock pastiche... viewing it through that lens makes it much more interesting to me

Pikazilla
July 13th 2019


2276 Comments


Just like his music, Ed Sheeran has no soul

zakalwe
July 13th 2019


28297 Comments


Just another product. They’re all the fucking same. Although he does have a boozer at the end of his garden which is quite charming but I bet it’s all hipster shit on tap.

TundraL5Z
July 13th 2019


3024 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

He sold out a long time ago

Digging: Shadow of Intent - Melancholy

Krvst
July 14th 2019


466 Comments


Lad makes terrible music and looks like he needs his hard drive checked by the police

nolerthebowler
July 14th 2019


3900 Comments


but is he a valkyrie? The song with Bruno and Chris kinda slammed, ig. But songs with Bruno Mars in them after 2015 are always amazing, and if you disagree you are wrong.

Sinternet
July 14th 2019


20027 Comments


this isn't nearly that bad y'all overreacting as normal

TheLongShot
July 14th 2019


856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The hatred of Sheeran among internet music circles is comically over-the-top at this point

Sinternet
July 14th 2019


20027 Comments


i mean don't get me wrong the guy still has no personality whatsoever but i heard nothing on here offensively bad, and collaborating with so many artists actually means he's out of focus enough for me to forget some of these tracks are his

zakalwe
July 14th 2019


28297 Comments


Sick of it. Absolute fucking disgrace and to top it all he’s ginger.

Burn the album and him.

Kurai
July 14th 2019


335 Comments


My last girlfriend was a fan of him, before we met/started dating I was indifferent to him but after we broke up I just have an irrational hatred for him.

zakalwe
July 14th 2019


28297 Comments


It’s from the people for the people.

Nope it’s mass produced baseless bollocks heard but not absorbed by countless stymied morons who know nothing and have a yearning thirst for nothing other than to achieve nothing.

Plus ginger.



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