Ed Sheeran releases two new songs following massive success of 2014 album 'x'

Singer Ed Sheeran recently released two new songs, 'Castle On The Hill' and 'Shape Of You.' His album 'x' became a bestseller and was the source for the Grammy Award-winning song 'Thinking Out Loud.'

Rich Fury/Invision/AP
Ed Sheeran performs at the Shrine Auditorium on in Los Angeles on Nov. 18, 2015.

Singer Ed Sheeran, who scored in 2014 with the release of his Grammy-winning and bestselling album “x” (read as "multiply"), has released two new songs. 

Mr. Sheeran’s new tracks are “Castle On The Hill” and “Shape Of You.” 

Sheeran previously released the 2011 album “+” (read as "plus") as well as 2014’s “x.” “x” was the source for hit song “Thinking Out Loud,” which won the Grammy Award for song of the year as well as hitting No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

The singer has also released such hit songs as “Don’t” and “Photograph” as well as creating the song “I See Fire,” which accompanied the 2013 movie “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

Sheeran’s most recent album, “x,” did even better than its predecessor sales-wise, with the album reaching number one on the Billboard 200, which measures album sales. What drew listeners to this album?

Telegraph writer Neil McCormick writes in his review of Sheeran’s “x,” “This is, in every respect, a richer blend [than 2011’s ‘+’], more seamlessly combining the factors that made him so immediately accessible first time round. The formula might be sensitive songwriting + hip-hop flow + pop sensibility x charismatic performance = something greater than the sum of its obvious parts. Maybe he is just talented.”

Of the tracks on “x,” Mr. McCormick writes, “These are genuinely great songs, where melodies flow, rhythms groove, choruses erupt and lyrics jab you with surprises. The core of Sheeran’s appeal is his apparently effortless absorption of contemporary musical styles.”

And Billboard writer Jason Lipshutz praised Sheeran’s songcraft in Mr. Lipshutz’s review of “x.” “Sheeran's real gift lies in his writing – his lyrics' attention to detail and unorthodox phrasing in particular,” Lipshutz writes. “The daring spirit at the heart of Sheeran's appeal is magnified here, and he outclasses other rising male singers simply by utilizing a deeper bag of tricks.”

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