Ed Sheeran, the epitome of romantic ballads, the idolic guitarist, and undeniably talented superstar is back with his fourth studio album. As expected, Equals (=) is yet another concoction of dreamy love songs, catchy pop hits and rock anthems that firmly keep the singer as one of the greatest male artists of our generation.
But which tracks on his recent album are keepers? Are there any that deserve the skip button? Here’s our review of Equals songs ranked from worst to first…
14. Be Right Now
There may be a reason why Ed left this one till last on the album – we hate to say it, but Be Right Now is pretty much a snooze-fest. While the production is great and Ed’s soft soothing vocals do indeed shine, this electronic track just doesn’t cut it for us.
Forget Rockabye Baby. A cute lullaby for his daughter Lyra, Sandman is a sweet serenade that every parent will now sing to their darlings as they fall asleep. Just because it’s ranked quite high on our list, we can’t say this is a bad song. Perhaps just a little underwhelming compared to others on this record, is all.
12. The Joker and the Queen
This romantic piano ballad turns Ed and Cherry’s romance into a metaphoric love story about playing cards. With lyrics like, “I know you could fall for a thousand kings / And hearts that would give you a diamond ring / When I fold, you see the best in me”, it’s hard not to smile and swoon, especially as those stunning piano strings twinkle on.
11. Overpass Graffiti
Overpass Graffiti will certainly make your head bop and have you swinging and swaying. An anthemic disco jam that hears Ed reminisce over a breakup from years before, this one will probably be a favorite among fans. While the song is definitely good, we can’t say it’s the cream of the crop.
He gave us a stomper with Castle on the Hill, and he’s gone and done it again with Tides, the only rock headbanger as well as opening track on the album. Reminiscent of a Snow Patrol or Coldplay song, Tides is a loud, thumping, yet enjoyable number that rock fans will undeniably have on repeat.
After two consecutive ballads halfway through the album, Collide picks up the pace, bringing in a breath of fresh air. This wispy drum and bass banger is a homage to Ed Sheeran’s wife with tender lyrics that will make anyone want that kind of love. But “sharing a toothbrush”? We’ll pass…
8. Visiting Hours
If Afire Love made us tear up, Visiting Hours made us cry rivers. Actual rivers. Dedicated to his late mentor who died this year, this tearjerker is a raw and emotional ballad that hears Ed at his most vulnerable. As the sentimental song comes to a close, you can almost hear the singer’s voice breaking.
7. Bad Habits
This ranking might have Ed’s fans coming for us, but hey, hear us out. Bad Habits is a BOP and a half. Heck, it’s been the song of the summer. But when stacking it up against its fellow tracks on Equals, it’s admittedly not the best. That won’t stop us from moving our hips and singing along to it though…
6. Leave Your Life
A soothing love song that hears Ed vulnerably crooning about his daughter. This singalong hit is actually his favorite song on = and we can’t blame him, there’s a lot of beauty here – but just not enough to be ranked as our number-one song on the album.
5. Love in Slow Motion
Love in Slow Motion is an undeniable fave. A romantic country folk song that reminds us all to slow down in life and take the time to embrace our relationships. Ed Sheeran is definitely in his comfort zone throughout this one. It’s mushy, melodic and one to turn up the romance.
4. Stop the Rain
Classic Ed Sheeran and definitely an instant classic for us. This is a standout, upbeat and fun bop that for once, doesn’t hear Ed singing about love, but a lawsuit that he’s involved with. Can’t really relate, but we don’t mind – this song almost has the power to actually stop the rain – it’s that good.
3. First Times
We hate to be predictable, but yes, this signature Ed Sheeran song has been ranked as the third best song on the album. It’s a romantic acoustic ballad that was bound to have a place on his new album, and as cliche as it is, it doesn’t disappoint. First Times is the latest perfect love song for your first dance.
As soon as we heard Shivers, it instantly outshined Bad Habits. The pop anthem is vibrant enough to put you in a good mood and immediately start handclapping along to its infectious beat. A catchy, groovy and irresistibly feel-good song that will stay on our playlists for a while.
And so we reach the top spot – indeed, Tell Tales has ranked 2step as the best song on Equals. We’re all for an acoustic love song, but this urban track is one of the coolest and slickest offerings from Ed. Just as he’s done in the past, the singer proves that he isn’t just the epitome of cheesy romance ballads, but can once in a while, treat us to a catchy, up-tempo banger that boosts your mood. Excuse us as we two-step with the one we love…
There you have it, every song on Ed Sheeran’s latest album ranked from worst to first. It’s safe to say this record was impressive, would you agree? Let us know your thoughts on our ranking in the comment section below…