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X (pronounced as Multiply), is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran set for a worldwide release on 23 June, 2014 by Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. The lead single off the album entitled Sing was released on April 7, 2014. [1]

Background and releaseEdit

Sheeran performed three sell out nights at Madison Square Garden, finishing his two and a half year tour to focus on recording his new album. In a behind the scenes tour video, it was seen that he was in the studio with producers Rick Rubin and Pharrell Williams, who were later confirmed in interviews to be contributing towards the album. Having written "hundreds" of songs, Sheeran entered the studio with Rubin and they cut that down to the 15 new songs, excluding "I See Fire", which saw release on the soundtrack for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The album was released on June 23, 2014.

SinglesEdit

  • "Sing" was released as the first single from the album on 7 April 2014 around the world, and 1 June in United Kingdom and Germany. The music video, released exclusively to Facebook on 22 May, features a puppet caricature of Sheeran on a night out in Los Angeles.
  • "Don't", previously released on iTunes as the second "instant grat" promotional single, will impact on US contemporary hit radio as the second official single from the album.
  • "Thinking Out Loud" was sent to Oceanian radio on 21 September as the third single off Sheeran's album.
  • A remixed version of "Bloodstream" was released as the album's fourth single on 11 February 2015. The new version of the song was remixed by British drum and bass band, Rudimental and was released as a joint single.
  • "Photograph" was released as the fifth and final single from the album.


Ed-sheeran-sing-artworkDon'tThinking out loudEd Sheeran Bloodstream RemixPhotograph

Promotional singlesEdit

"One" was released as the first promotional single on 16 May, available as an "instant grat" download on iTunes when you pre-ordered the album. It entered the UK Singles Chart at number 20 and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at 86.

"Don't" was released as the second "instant grat" promotional single from the album on 13 June, ten days before the release of the album. It debuted at #21 in the Canadian Hot 100 on the chart dated for June, 28th, 2014, the top debut for that week.

Sheeran revealed that he would be releasing a track from the album every weekday in the week leading up to the release, as promotional "instant grat" singles available to those who had preordered the deluxe edition of the album on iTunes. The first of these was "Afire Love", released on 16 June, followed by "Bloodstream" on 17 June, "Thinking Out Loud" on 18 June, "The Man" on 19 June and "Photograph" on 20 June.

Critical ReceptionEdit

X was met with generally positive reception from critics. The review aggregator website Metacritic, assigns a Metascore to an album, which is based on the ratings and reviews of selected mainstream independent publications, and the release has a score of a 73 based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Commercial PerformanceEdit

X debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, marking Sheeran's second number one album in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the album became Sheeran's first number one on the Billboard 200, debuting at number one with sales of 210,000 copies. Furthermore, Sheeran marked the second largest debut for a pop album in 2014 and the fourth-biggest opening overall of the year. [2]

TracklistEdit

Standard Edition
# Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "One" Ed Sheeran Jake Gosling 4:13
2. "I'm a Mess" Sheeran Gosling 4:06
3. "Sing" Sheeran, Pharrell Williams Williams 3:55
4. "Don't" Sheeran, Benjamin Levin Benny Blanco, Rick Rubin 3:39
5. "Nina" Sheeran, John McDaid Gosling 3:43
6. "Photograph" Sheeran, McDaid Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie 4:17
7. "Bloodstream" Sheeran, McDaid, Gary Lightbody, Rudimental Rubin 4:59
8. "Tenerife Sea" Sheeran, McDaid, Foy Vance  Rubin 4:00
9. "Runaway" Sheeran, Williams Williams 3:26
10. "The Man" Sheeran Gosling 4:09
11. "Thinking Out Loud" Sheeran, Amy Wadge Gosling 4:40
12. "Afire Love" Sheeran, McDaid, Vance McDaid 5:14

ReferencesEdit

  1. mtv.com - Single and album announcement
  2. wikipedia.org - Reception and performance

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