Ed Sheeran is back with a consistently heartfelt and thoughtful collection of songs that reflect the changes in his life since his last album nicely.

Uplifting, positive and romantic are just three words that apply to this new album from the singer – which delivers a lovely collection of songs that reflect on the changes that have happened in his life which those listening will perhaps be able to identify with.

It gets off to a bold and confident start with the surprising ‘Tides’ that really gets to the heart of someone being reflecting on their life and how it has changed for the better. Despite being a thoughtful song, it is positive and optimistic which sets the tone for the album really nicely.

Of course, many of the songs have a really romantic vibe to them and for me this is where Sheeran’s song writing skills are the strongest. Songs such as ‘Shivers’ and ‘First Times’ are particular stand outs for me – wonderfully sentimental both songs have strong emotional core to them, while showcasing Sheeran’s knack for story telling perfectly.

Yes, some might find the sentimentality that is consistent on this album a bit much – but this is an album that really plays to Sheeran’s strengths – particularly when you listen to songs such as ‘The Joker & the Queen’ and ‘Collide’ which have both been carefully constructed and have a delicate sound that works well in contrast to the other songs on the album.

The album has a lovely structure to it, with each song blending from one to the next with great ease – no song feels awkwardly placed or crammed in for effect. It has a lovely consistency to it, with ‘Visiting Hours’ and ‘Sandman’ both having a lovely heartfelt style to them that makes them other highlight songs. In particular though, ‘Sandman’ has a playful and lullaby like rhythm to it that works well with the lyrics that pay tribute to his daughter Lyra in a way that is heartwarming to listen to.

Overall Equals as an album has much to recommend it and showcases the strength of Ed Sheeran’s song writing capabilities – but it would be lovely to see him challenging himself a bit more in terms of the music that he creates. But it is an enjoyable album to listen to.

By Emma Clarendon

= is available to buy and download now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐