Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” Song Review


Hello, I am MusiCommentator, and I’m in Wisconsin!  If you could not tell my enthusiasm by my exclamation point, I am usually not IN Wisconsin, for I am on a vacation.  Yes, I am visiting a family member and staying at her house.  Her backyard leads right to the Wisconsin River.  The waves are rippling, the grass is green, and the sky is overcast with dark clouds, bringing down a periodical drizzle.  Not the most ideal conditions for a vacation, but I have hopeful thoughts for the future.  You know what this weather reminds me of, though: poppy sex songs sung by a Rupert Grint troll doll, and if you could not tell what I am talking about, I am referring to Ed Sheeran’s new song “Shape Of You”.

Born Edward Christopher Sheeran, Ed Sheeran is an English-born singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer.  He released his first album “Spinning Man” in 2004, and while he worked on a few hits in between, he did not gain solo success until his 2011 album “+” (read as “plus”, not “addition”).  Since then, he has released a couple more albums and has only rose higher into success.  On January 5, 2017, he released two singles, “Shape Of You” and “Castle On A Hill”, for his album “÷” (again, read as “divide”, not “division”).  I don’t know why he only uses math symbols for album names, but as long as he doesn’t start throwing the quadratic formula into the mix, I’m not going to question it.

While “Castle On A Hill” has seen most of its success through his fan base, “Shape Of You” went straight to #1 of the Billboard Hot 100 and has stayed relatively to the top.  I know Ed Sheeran is a famous artist, but I am mildly surprise by how much fame this song has achieved.  With 1.5 billion views on its music video on YouTube, there has to be something good about this song.  So, I took a gander at it and now I am going to give you my opinion.

So, this song is basically Sheeran’s jab at a sex song for the club.  This is supposed to be his hot, steamy banger to dance and grind to when the DJ turns it on.  I watched an interview with Sheeran and heard that this song was originally written for Rihanna.  I found this an interesting fact, and since I am a casual fan of Rihanna, I’m going into this expecting to hear subjects Ed has never touched before.  The song starts out like this:

The club isn’t the best place to find a lover
So the bar is where I go
Me and my friends at the table doing shots
Drinking fast and then we talk slow

Okay, this is pretty good so far.  For being a party song, that club line is pretty harsh, but I understand what he is saying here.  He is setting up the scene for him being out with his friends, getting flat-faced wasted.  Good way to meet girls.

And you come over and start up a conversation with just me
And trust me I’ll give it a chance now
Take my hand, stop, put Van the Man on the jukebox
And then we start to dance, and now I’m singing like

This is a good set of lines, too.  I know from the interview that at this point in his writing process, Sheeran did not want to give Rihanna the song, but I imagine see her singing this first verse.  To be honest, I’m kind of digging this song so far.  This part leads into the Pre-Chorus:

“Girl, you know I want your love
Your love was handmade for somebody like me
Come on now, follow my lead
I may be crazy, don’t mind me
Say, boy, let’s not talk too much
Grab on my waist and put that body on me
Come on now, follow my lead
Come, come on now, follow my lead”

Uh, wouldn’t it be “tailor-made love”?  But, that’s just me being picky.  What bothers me, though, is why he would tell the girl he was crazy and she shouldn’t mind him.  Like, he is trying to get with her, so why would he tell her not to mind her?  That doesn’t made any sense!  That second part of the pre-chorus, though, is pretty good, and this leads to the Chorus.

“I’m in love with the shape of you
We push and pull like a magnet do
Although my heart is falling too
I’m in love with your body”

Where is your heart falling?  Like, I understand the phrase “falling in love”, but there is no mention of the heart in that saying.  Plus, Sheeran didn’t say “falling in love”, he just said “falling”.  Unless your heart is plunging into your stomach, this line is nonsensical.  The rest of the chorus, however, is fine, and then the second verse continues:

“One week in we let the story begin
We’re going out on our first date
You and me are thrifty, so go all you can eat
Fill up your bag and I fill up a plate”

At this point, I’m pretty sure that Sheeran knew Rihanna was not going to pick up the song, because she would NEVER sing stuff like this.  Like, I can tell that this is supposed to be a sex song by the first verse and chorus, but this second verse feels like it’s from a completely different song.

“We talk for hours and hours about the sweet and the sour
And how your family is doing okay
Leave and get in a taxi, then kiss in the backseat
Tell the driver make the radio play, and I’m singing like”

Gosh, this song is quickly becoming boring.  I should not have expected Ed Sheeran to keep a sex song on topic.  I mean, it’s probably a good thing, because no one wants to imagine Ed Sheeran getting jiggy with it on some girl.

After the chorus again, the bridge becomes a repetitive drone of “Come on be my baby”, and then the song ends with another chorus.  His voice is fine throughout the song as a whole.  I really have nothing against his singing abilities, so I find his vocals fine on this.  What the most ANNOYING thing about this song is, though, is the beat.  It is basically a toy xylophone loop with some drums and crank sounds.  It’d be fine for any other Sheeran song, I think, but NOT for this one.  If you look at the instrumental for Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like” (which you can see my review of here), it has the swagger to be a funky sex song.  This beat, on the other hand, makes me want to chop off my genitals so I can’t have sex for the rest of my life.  Like, this is supposed to be a sex song, and he gave it a beat that sounds like it’s supposed to be in a fairytale reading.  It’s too childish to EVER fit with the song’s lyrics.  It irks me beyond belief.  GOSH!

Overall, the lyrics are mediocre.  The first verse and chorus really set the song on a good path, but the second verse really sends the song’s message downward, and the bridge is just nonessential.  And let’s not talk about the beat anymore, I’ve already said enough on it.  While my thoughts on it right now seem to be negative, I’ll give it this: it’s a REALLY catchy song.  It’s one of those songs you hear once and you are stuck singing the chorus in your head for a few days.  Sheeran is pretty good at making infectious songs, and that’s probably why it’s so popular.  I originally wanted to give this song a 3, but because of its insatiably catchy instrumental, I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.  Do you agree?

Thank you for reading my “Shape Of You” song review.  If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews.  Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments.  Until then, keep listening to good music!  I know I will.

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART I MENTIONED ABOVE, SO READ THIS: Next week, I want to do my first ALBUM REVIEW for this blog, but I am not sure which album I should review.  I have narrowed it down to two options: it will either be Katy Perry’s “Witness” or Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.”  Post in the comments which album you would rather see a review of and whichever album gets the most comments towards it is the album I will review.  Thank you for reading this!

12 thoughts on “Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” Song Review

  1. Nice dissection of the song, though I think you’re taking the lyrics a bit too seriously. Ed wrote a catchy & fun pop song about taking a liking for a girl at a club, and wanting to dance with her before hooking up, something we’ve all felt or done at one time or another.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand what you mean. When I dissect the lyrics of a song, it opens a new world of criticism, so it affects the way I listen to it. Do you have any suggestions for the album review?


  2. I find album reviews to be a challenge for a couple of reasons:

    1) They contain a lot of tracks, at least some of which need to be evaluated. I usually end up doing a track by track review, which can be rather tedious. Some of the better reviews I’ve read more often only touch on a handful of individual tracks to draw conclusions or make overall observations about the album, which makes for a more concise and interesting read. I personally have not been able to master that yet. But I also get the feeling that artists and bands are happier when all their songs get discussed, rather than only a few.

    2) Is there an overall theme for the album, and if so, what is the artist or band trying to say through their songs? Sometimes the artist or band will make their intentions known, but other times you haven’t a clue and need to do some digging. I fear that I’ll get things totally wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s