I decided that I was going to review every song to make it to No. 1 in the UK charts. I managed to review about four. Instead, I’ve organised the songs into a list and will review the ones I liked and disliked the most. Here’s the one I particularly disliked:
I hate this song. I hate it. It doesn’t work. It’s meaningless. It’s pretentious. It’s hollow. It’s boring. It’s awful. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
Big Problem #1: listen to how much effort Ed Sheeran has to put in in order to make the song sound earnest. He’s tries so hard to make the song sound sincere, which therefore means it can’t be sincere because, if it was, he wouldn’t have to try so hard to make it sound as such. By having to go through the lengths he does to make this sound truthful, he thus reveals that this song isn’t the truth at all. This song is a con, ladies and gentlemen; a overly designed, self-defeating con. It’s a lie. Ed Sheeran doesn’t love the song’s focus at all.
Big Problem #2: it’s called “Thinking Out Loud” but all of the lyrics are him telling someone how much he loves them: the lyrics of the song thus can’t be thoughts because we don’t think directly at people. If they were thoughts, the first lyrics wouldn’t go “When your legs don’t work like they used to before / And I can’t sweep you off of your feet”, they’d go “When her legs don’t work like they used to before / And I can’t sweep her legs off of her feet”. These aren’t thoughts, these are quotations. Also: “I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways”. No you’re not. Even if you accept the idea of this song as being comprised of thoughts, none of this song is about how people fall in love. It’s about how the narrator’s already in love and about how he thinks the love will last, but none of it – none of it – except for that one line is about how people fall in love. Do you even know what this song’s about, Ed Sheeran? Because it’s about falling in love, no it’s about being in love, no it’s about thinking about love, no it’s about confessing your love – WHAT IS THIS SONG ABOUT, ED SHEERAN?!? PICK A TOPIC AND FUCKING STICK TO IT!
So a summary so far: the song is patently insincere, the register is completely wrong and it doesn’t even seem to be able to decide exactly what it’s talking about (thinking about? Oh who cares?). But hey, maybe there’s a couple of good lines in the song. Maybe there’s a few moments where it’s not entirely incompetent?
“Well, I’ll just keep on making the same mistakes / Hoping that you’ll understand” – The whole point of a long-term relationship is to learn from your mistakes and become a better person through your love for your partner. The relationship Ed Sheeran apparently is envisioning here is one where he’s a horrible idiot who never learns anything and his wife puts up with him just because. He’s basically imagining being The Simpsons. Such emotional investment he has with this relationship.
“I fall in love with you every single day” – In order for Ed Sheeran to fall in love with his partner every single day, he’d have to fall out of love with her every single day too; you can’t fall in love with someone you’re already in love with.
“Your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen” – Evergreen trees grow old; they just don’t lose their leaves in winter. The actually accurate lyric would be “Your soul could never be bald; it’s evergreen” – ridiculous yes, but only slightly more than the original.
“Baby, your smile’s forever in my mind and memory” – A valid enough sentiment, if it wasn’t for the fact that four lines ago, Sheeran mentions the time “when my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades”. So what he’s basically saying is “You will always be in my memory, unless my memory of you goes”, or “You will always be in my memory until I eventually forget you”. What a great observation.
“Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?” – That doesn’t sound like you’re talking about kissing, that sounds like you’re talking about blowjobs.
And I could carry on. None of this song works; not a single line, not a single note, not a single word. It’s completely incompetent. It’s sub-teenage poetry level bad. This is a song written by a man who does not understand metaphors, syntax, register, voice, the way two lines contrast against each other, how to write, or seemingly anything at all. It’s not sincere, it’s not romantic, it’s not clever, it’s crap. In every single way, crap.
AND IT’S FUCKING EVERYWHERE.
I watched Christmas Top of the Pops this year; he performed the song on that. I watched Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny; he performed it on that. I listen to the radio; they appear to just be playing it on repeat. He’s received several awards for this song. It’s one of the biggest selling songs of the year. Why doesn’t anyone seem to be able to see that it’s terrible?! It’s just not good, yet we’re treating it like it’s the next Bohemian Rhapsody. Why? How? When will it end?
One last song lyric: “When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades / And the crowds don’t remember my name”
Oh how I await that day. “Thinking Out Loud” – Worst song of the year.