Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Ed Sheeran – Don’t

We did.


Hazel Robinson: Ah, Mr Patronising-And-Whorephobic-Classist-Misogyny himself! Or as some shitlords who won’t be named called him, the most important urban artist in Britain. It’s a sad indictment of our nation that this is still happening. And the biggest problem about it is that he’s made an album of fucking incredible *NSync-style boyband songs and I want to punch him in his stupid face just as soon as I have finished dancing like a bastard.

Juana Giaimo: It’s really easy to identify the potential singles while listening to X. While “Sing” was the obvious hit, “Don’t” should succeed for its details: the omission of “fuck” in the chorus; the casual style of the first verse and how it contrasts with the fast telling of unfortunate events at the end of the second verse; the “knocks” of the beginning of the third verse; how indignant he sounds when he says “but you didn’t need to take him to bed, that’s all”, and so on. On While his rapping is clear and easy to follow his story telling, the chorus loosens the tension of the verses to invite you to just sing along. “Don’t” Ed Sheeran shows that “Sing” wasn’t just an exception. 

Anthony Easton: This isn’t sexy at all — you know, it’s not something to grind to. But it is boisterous and fun. If you can get away from the fame for fame sake, there is a sporting sense of fun here. The problem is the self-loathing and how it slops over to a loathing of her; it stains the whole thing with an ugly misogyny. 

Alfred Soto: I protest, I protest most strongly, against turning Ed Sheeran into another asshole who’d rather play with Adam Levine under the sheets with gin and limes.

Micha Cavaseno: Jamie Cullum… Sorry, Jamiroquai’s new single is some good ol’ bare-bones rhythm tracks, soulful interpretation of dissolution and deep miserable blues. The kind only Jamie Lidell… Oh whoops, sorry, Sam Smith knows how to do for you. It’s funny, there’s so many would-be Rick Astley’s in the world, I’m getting old Paul Young mixed up with the rest of them. My bad! Well, when he actually does something aside from, you know, doing a new version of the same single he’s been doing for the last 4 decades, we’ll be ready!

Patrick St. Michel: Weird that they bothered to put drums and piano and bass farts in this…”Don’t” is destined to be turned into a better YouTube a cappella.

Crystal Leww: In “Don’t,” Ed Sheeran plays a vindictive bad boy with confessional tendencies, but uh, really no one needs any more art about dudes who act dickish towards girls. They don’t need any more canonization in pop culture, I promise. At least none who end choruses with some terribly shrill “Ahhhhhllamalaaaaaahmahh” anyway.

Luisa Lopez: Ed Sheeran always sounds a little out of his element when he tries to get dark: it’s never really believable and his voice tends to be too delicate to convey any kind of venom, which a song like this requires. But he’s clearly trying hard and there is some mounting dread that emerges toward the end in an uncomfortable way, in which he never comes directly out with an insult but instead mumbles I thought you were different, which is somehow worse. It’s a knife-laden song for an ex that never has the courage to get angry, preferring to tread water with a pointed stare instead, and yet there’s still a lingering dirtiness about it, like he mailed a demo to her house with a note written in lipstick she’d left at his place on their first date that only says, I thought you were different. Yikes.

Katherine St Asaph: Play Taylor Swift and she’ll write you into a song. Play Ed Sheeran and he’ll just smear falsetto all over “Heartless.”

Elisabeth Sanders: This is basically just “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” but with, if it’s even possible, even more embarrassingly self-righteous lyrics. It wasn’t a good song when it was about how Ed Sheeran is a Tru Authenticke Artiste who doesn’t need yr help writing songs, and it’s an even worse song when it’s about how he was very hurt when a girl he wasn’t technically dating slept with someone else. The problem here is, I think, he might actually benefit from “another wordsmith to make my tune sell.”

Will Adams: Years ago, iTunes offered this one Fink song as its free Single of the Week. I downloaded it and, liking its hushed coffeehouse sound, kept it on my iPod. Only earlier this year did I rediscover it after trawling through my library and realize that it’s got some truly horrifying lyrics (opening line: “When she leaves, she’s just asking to be followed”); I deleted it immediately. “Don’t” isn’t as slimy, but it has that same effect, couching its sleaze in more palatable percussive clatters and muted guitar riffs. I can’t shake the association.

Brad Shoup: The wordless bit jabs at me from my headphones: too loud and too sudden. His cadences imply seduction — at odds with the thrust of the track, but I guess slipping into a BLACKstreet voice means he’s so cool, so over it. Maybe the anger’s supposed to come from that gaseous bass?

David Lee: Ed Sheeran’s Trapped in the Closet, this fall, on ABC Family!

Thomas Inskeep: Mr. Sheeran, I know Justin Timberlake, and Mr. Sheeran, you sir are no Justin Timberlake. So stop trying, you goddamn phony.

Reader average: [4.5] (6 votes)

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4 Responses to “Ed Sheeran – Don’t”

  1. Since the moment this was released as a single, I knew I would be the only one on TSJ that would like it — I own the CD, by th way. I don’t know, this year I’ve been liking what everyone dislikes! (Also, I think there has been some problem while editing my blurb or maybe I submitted it like that??)

  2. MAXWELL :)

  3. Just saw him play a live TV version of this which he segued into “Loyal” at the end, which rather brought what Luisa and Will talk about to the fore.

  4. There’s a great disparity of TY$ sleaze and Frogboy’s stale crumpet of a personality.