By Brian Ives

“He’s like a fuzzy little baby.”

“He’s like pop music’s Hobbit.”

Those were some of the types of responses that we got when we asked our panel of music journalist pundits to describe Ed Sheeran. But the most telling may have come from Jem Aswad, who started his description “Ed Sheeran is a red-headed British singer-songwriter,” which is all some people may have known about him… at least before he released x.

Related: The 5 Best Things That Happened at Ed on Ellis

“With this album he made a decent step forward in terms of career longevity,” Aswad continued, and that’s a salient point. Sheeran moved beyond simply playing folksy guitar, and worked with big name producers including fellow nominee Pharrell, Rick Rubin and Benny Blanco.

But x was introduced via the folksy acoustic single “One,” moving into funkier turf with the follow-up; a Pharrell production called “Sing.” After that, he ventured deeper into pop star turf by documenting his foray into the gossip pages via his (alleged) Ellie Goulding put-down “Don’t.”

Of course, he’s still a romantic at heart, as we see on his next single, “Thinking Out Loud.” Will all of this win him the Album of the Year GRAMMY? Maybe, maybe not. But you can expect to hear “Thinking Out Loud” at weddings for decades to come.

 

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