Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ Songs and Album Already Breaking Streaming and Physical Copy Records

Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide’ Songs and Album Already Breaking Streaming and Physical Copy Records
Ed Sheeran's 'Divide' is on course for more record breaking sales. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” has all the ingredients of both pop perfection and coffee house sensibility. In the few days since its March 3 release, the album sold more copies on opening day, at 232,000, than any album has sold in a week for all of 2016, according to the Independent.

Four songs off the new album are topping the charts, “Perfect,” “Shape of You, “”Galway Girl,” and “Castle on the Hill.” Those four songs, along with the 12 other tracks on the album are spurring “Divide” to historic sales, on course to rival Adele’s 25. Sheeran knows he and Adele have different audiences, but still sees her as the benchmark to beat in sales.

In 2015 Adele’s 25 sold 800,307 units in its first week, a record that is in danger, since Ed’s album has also been breaking records on streaming services. The album 25 wasn’t available on streaming upon its release. But it will still be some time before Sheeran can catch up with Adele’s 20 million album sales for that last album.

Sheeran has already overtaken The Weeknd’s Starboy Spotify records for most streams of an album on release day, along with most streams of an album in a single day. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, “Divide”‘s 16 album tracks are the top 16 Spotify songs overall. This is perhaps due to the extra love Ed is getting back home. Ed grew up in Suffolk, England.

Besides the musical diversity of the songs, Sheeran’s “Divide” feels extremely vulnerable. Ed dives into things about his past to create songs that are honest, and seem genuinely autobiographical. The diversity of songs still hold the trademark sound Sheeran fans expect, but they go deeper. He doesn’t get as far out experimental as someone like Beck, but does stray a bit from something too formulaic on this album.

GQ described Ed Sheeran’s appeal as somewhat the embodiment of a millennial aesthetic.

“Sheeran is the de facto voice of a generation, with music that reflects his personality and the defining characteristics of his audience. However amorphous any era may be, however problematic the definition of any generation is, the recurring qualities of Sheeran’s music correspond with those that his own generation, the millennials, most value: authenticity, realness, earnestness, sincerity.”

In interviews, Ed draws comparisons between himself and his most notable friend, Taylor Swift. He thinks they are in the same boat of underdog losers who eventually rose to the top through perseverance. Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” is album No. 3, but sees the singer reaching a point in his career, and in his sales, that seemingly couldn’t be better, all at 26 years old.

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