2013 belonged to friend and collaborator Taylor Swift. Will 2014 be the year of Ed Sheeran?
Ed Sheeran’s list of record achievements keeps growing, as his sophomore album X became the fastest selling album of 2014 so far, moving 182,000 copies in its very first week. This trumps the previous record, set by Coldplay with their latest, Ghost Stories. The album sold 168,000 in its first week this past May.
From a humble folksy songwriter, Sheeran is quickly becoming a pop powerhouse.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Sheeran described x (pronounced as “multiply”) as “more of a step forward. I’ve tried some new stuff on it. Stepped outside of a my comfort zone a little bit.”
Sheeran and Pharrell Williams, who produced the album, introduced a new, hip hop vibe to the songs. So far, the reviews are favorable, sales are great – it looks like the experiment paid off. Sheeran kicks off his US tour in August, which will no doubt boost international sales as well.
Despite its new sound, X is all about simplicity.
Elsewhere in the UK charts, Sam Smith’s much lauded debut In The Lonely Hour has dropped to number 2, while Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence now occupies the third slot.
The singles chart looks a bit different, however, leaning towards indie artists, with Sheeran’s Sing still sticking around at number 3. The first and second spots are occupied by Oliver Heldens and Becky Hill’s Overdrive and Ella Henderson’s Ghost, respectively. Example’s One More Day (Stay With Me) and George Ezra’s Budapestround out the Top 5.
X marks a new direction for Sheeran - both musically and in terms of his image.