Tag Archives: Ed Sheeran

Shape of You vs. Cheap Thrills

Ed Sheeran released his new album ÷, and I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to actually get.  I prefer physical CDs – there’s just something about holding the actual CD in my hands, and looking through the booklet and case that I prefer.  If it’s digital, you don’t have that same experience.

Anywho, when I finally got the album, I started listening to some of the songs and I was struck by the similarities of “Shape of You” with Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”  Now, they’re not identical – I’m not going to sit here an claim Sheeran stole from Sia (because he didn’t) – but they employ a similar bouncy effect.  But it got me thinking: someone should create a mashup…and someone did:

Personally, I would’ve done the mashup up a little differently – I think they put a weird effect on the chorus.  I will say that I liked they kept Sean Paul in the intro.  But then I found this mashup that added in Sia’s “The Greatest” to the “Cheap Thrills” and “Shape of You” mash up.  Again, I would’ve done it slightly differently, but I think it’s a fun listen.

Song of the Year Prediction

Song of the Year is perhaps one of my favorite categories at the Grammys because they honor the songwriter.  Far too often, songwriters are not credited fairly for their work, which doesn’t make sense as there would be no song if it weren’t for the songwriter.

This year, the nominees are:

  • Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michael L. Williams II for “Formation” by Beyoncé.
  • Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin for “Hello” by Adele
  • Mike Posner for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner
  • Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin, and Ed Sheeran for “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber
  • Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard, and Morten Ristorp for “7 Years” by Lukas Graham

Who Should Win: Mike Posner for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner

The original version of “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” is incredibly beautiful.  It has the timeless sound to it, grabs at your heart, and you truly feel Posner’s pain.  Out of all the nominees, Posner crafted a world that his listeners travel into, and leave feeling feeling his emptiness and loneliness.  Yes, it’s not a fun experience, but it’s one that leaves me with goosebumps every time.

Who Will Win: Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin for “Hello” by Adele

It’s not that I think Adele doesn’t deserve to win the Grammy – “Hello” is indeed a gorgeous song – I simply think “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” captured Posner’s pain a bit better.  However, out of these songs nominated, I believe “Hello” was the biggest of 2016.  Adele dominated the charts, and she is indeed incredibly talented.  She has a Grammy-winning streak – she’s won every Grammy she has won since she released 21 in 2011.  So, it seems inevitable that she will win again.

Record of the Year – My Predictions

Record of the Year Nominees:

  • “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
  • “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
  • “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran
  • “Really Love” – D’Angelo And The Vanguard
  • “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd

Who Should Win: “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift

If I were a Grammy voter, I would determine my vote for Record of the Year by looking at the production of the song, the performance, the message, and it’s impact in music and pop culture.  I would see which song left it’s mark and would essentially be remembered in the future.  Essentially which song was embraced the most by listeners (which is why “Shake it Off” should’ve won last year…anyway…).

This year is full of songs that each fulfill those qualities, but my vote goes to “Blank Space” because it has, I would say, the most unique production style and is structured perfectly to transcend the joke.  Also, I think it has the most impact on pop culture because we still refer to it, it’s still on radio, and it’s music video still gets views on YouTube.  Meanwhile, I don’t think I’ve heard “Uptown Funk” for over a year.


Who Will Win:  “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd.

Like I said before, this is a close category and I could see most of these nominees winning.  “Can’t Feel My Face” is no different because it features a great bass lines and drum beats that sets it apart, plus I think The Weeknd’s lower register vocals grabs the listener in.  Also, it just fits a pattern I kind of noticed over the past few winners, style wise.

I will say that “Uptown Funk” is a close second to “Can’t Feel My Face” in terms of likelihood of winning…but I felt I should put my money on one song…. I’m 60% “Can’t Feel My Face” and 40% “Uptown Funk.”


Best Pop Solo Performance – Predictions

Best Pop Solo Performance Nominees:

  • “Heartbeat Song” – Kelly Clarkson
  • “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
  • “Love Me Like You Do” – Ellie Goulding
  • “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran
  • “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd

Who Should Win: “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran

Performance categories are always hard for me because each artist has a different singing style, so you can’t judge based on their vocal quality.  I mean, if you put Adele in the category (I know she’s not this year, but next year…) she’d win because Adele could sing my grocery list and it’d be flawless.  Therefore, I’d have to judge this based on which performance grabbed me in the most and had struck me the most, and Ed Sheeran did that.  He doesn’t hold back and really grabs the listener into his song. When he sings on this track, it feels like time stands still.

Who Will Probably Win: “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd

I feel like I’m going to write this a lot, but any one of these nominees could win.  They each have very emotive performances, so it probably will come down to politics…

Still, The Weeknd, does have an exceptional vocal performance on “Can’t Feel My Face.”  I personally enjoy when he sings in his lower register.  Still, I’d prefer to see Ed Sheeran win because he does this vocal thing in the last chorus that feels more real than The Weeknd’s performance.  But, again, it’s a gut feeling…

Song of the Year – Predictions

Song of the Year Nominees:

  • “Blank Space” by Max Martin, Shellback, and Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift, artist)
  • “See You Again” by DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, and Andrew Cedar (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, artists)
  • “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, artist)
  • “Girl Crush” by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, and Liz Rose (Little Big Town, artist)
  • “Alright” by Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears, and Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar, artist)

Should Win: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, artist)

While all the nominees this year are very strong contenders and each could easily win the Grammy as each made their mark in the 2014-2015 period, “Thinking Out Loud” is by far the most timeless song.  Whether you listen to it in the car tomorrow on the way to work or in fifty years while you watch your grandchildren grow up, “Thinking Out Loud” will always be relevant.  The magic behind it is that it draws you in and makes you feel something in your heart.  Whether you’re in love or not, it makes feel the warmth and passion that is Sheeran’s love.

Will Probably Win: “See You Again” by DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, and Andrew Cedar (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, artists)

I just got a gut feeling on this one.  As much as I think Sheeran deserves this Grammy and I would love to see Swift up there (specifically because she successfully utilized satire in “Blank Space” while crafting a ingenious pop song),  I feel like the fact “See You Again” was a tribute to Paul Walker will lead it to victory.

But, as I said, it’s really close and I wouldn’t be shocked to see any one of these songs winning.

On a random but fun note, Liz Rose, a cowriter of “Girl Crush,” was a long time cowriter with Swift.  They wrote the majority of Swift’s first album together.  They were nominated together for “You Belong with Me” in 2010 for Song of the Year and the won the Grammy for Best Country Song for “White Horse” that year.  Funny how they’re nominated against each other this year.

My 2016 Grammy Nominations Predictions

The 2016 Grammy nominations are being announced Monday and I decided to list out my predications of who might be nominated like I do every year.  The list is not complete, these are just brain waves I had and wanted to put out there.

Album of the Year

1989 – Taylor Swift

To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

The Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

If You Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake

Song of the Year

“Blank Space” by Max Martin, Shellback, and Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift, artist)

“See You Again” by DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, and Andrew Cedar (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, artists)

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, artist)

“Here” by Andrew “Pop” Wansel, Isaac Hayes, Warren “Oak” Felder, Alessia Caracciolo, Terence Lam, Samuel Gerongco, Robert Gerongco, and Coleridge Tillman (Alessia Cara, artist)

“Glory” by John Stephens, Lonnie Lynn, and Che Smith (John Legend feat. Common, artists)

“Girl Crush” by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, and Liz Rose (Little Big Town, artist)

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten and Dave Bassett (Rachel Platten, artist)

Record of the Year

“Blank Space” or “Bad Blood (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” by Taylor Swift

“Here” by Alessia Cara

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

“Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd

“FourFiveSeconds” by Rihanna feat. Kanye West and Paul McCartney

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

Best New Artist

Meghan Trainor


Elle King

The Weeknd

Tori Kelly

Walk the Moon

Fetty Wap

Sam Hunt

Best Pop Vocal Album

1989 – Taylor Swift

Title – Meghan Trainor

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence and the Machine

Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Honeymoon – Lana Del Rey

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

“Lips Are Movin'” by Meghan Trainor

“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

“Here” by Alessia Cara

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

“Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar

“Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend

“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth (*they may put this under the Rap category)

Best Song Written For a Visual Media

From Selma, “Glory” by John Stephens, Lonnie Lynn, and Che Smith (John Legend feat. Common, artists)

From Furious 7, “See You Again” by DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, and Andrew Cedar (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, artists)

From Spectre, “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes (Sam Smith, artist).

Anyway, those are the thoughts I had at the moment and I’ll add to it until Monday when they release the official list.  Some of these probably won’t be nominated, but I figure they deserve a shout out because they were great in 2015.  Just as a fun fact, Adele cannot be nominated this year for “Hello” or 25 because both were released well outside the nomination period.  She’ll definitely be nominated for the 2017 Grammys.

Ed Sheeran’s Photograph

One of the things that continually impresses me about Ed Sheeran is his phenomenal vocal range.  I remember when I first saw him live, he was crooning some song and his voice started going up to a high pitch.  And it kept going.  And going.  I sat there kind of stunned that a grown man could emit such a sound that high with such ease and not sound ridiculous.

Which brings me to his latest single, “Photograph.”  In the song, he starts off in his soothing, raspy lower register.  Then he reaches the chorus and his voice just shoots up there, and it immediately gives me shivers.  Sometimes, I hear songs where guys will sing up in a high falsetto and I just sit thinking, “really?”  because they either can’t sing that high or it isn’t necessary for the song.  I remember reading a review of an album where a person wrote that just because a singer (a male one, in particular) could sing in a high register does not mean they should.  I agree with this because I think music should be performed to tell a story and transcend an emotion, not to show off.  Like, if you can sing in a high register, that’s incredible and impressive, but use it when it’s necessary.  In the case of “Photograph,” Sheeran singing that high adds to the delicateness of the song and emits a rawness.  It pulls at your heartstrings and makes you feel what he is feeling.

If, for example, Sheeran sang the chorus in a lower register, it would probably sound good (I mean, it’s Ed Sheeran), but it would not have that fragile air to it.  Let’s consider Sheeran’s other song from x, “Don’t.”  In this chorus, Sheeran sings it in his lower register and it adds to the aggressive anger of the song.  Imagine him singing that chorus in his falsetto, it would be…well…bizarre.  Just because he can sing that high, does not mean he does it all the time…he knows how to effectively use his falsetto.

DJ Mike D Does it Again!

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: DJ Mike D is awesome.  Out of my extensive music listening career, I have to say he is one of the only people who can take great songs and make them better.  For instance, he just put out this remix of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” a great song originally, but the remix has a great beat and pop to it.

This remix presents a drum beat and an organ that the original lacks, and fills out the song nicely.  The thing about the original is that it’s meant, obviously, to be a slow, passion ballad.  However, I think DJ Mike D captures the same effect but in a  more upbeat way, and in someway the song feels happier.  Again, the original song is beautiful, but DJ Mike D’s remix takes listeners on a different spin of Sheeran’s adventure.

Here’s the original version:

Since my last post about this hit maker, I got a shoutout from the one and only DJ Mike D via Twitter:

Naturally, I tweeted back to him to thank him and suggest he remake Vance Joy’s song “Riptide,” to which he said he would “take a listen.”  So, if you hear a DJ Mike D Remix of “Riptide,” you’re welcome.

I kind of want to challenge DJ Mike D to remake “Sledgehammer” by Fifth Harmony because I think that song’s production is pretty tight. But I thought that about other songs, and then he remade them and blew my mind.  Here’s a list of other songs that I think he should consider working with (I’m writing this as though he’s going to read it…hey, it happened once, could happen again):

  1. “Sledgehammer” – Fifth Harmony
  2. “Riptide” – Vance Joy
  3. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
  4. “Girls Chase Boys” – Ingrid Michaelson
  5. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

If you want to check out more of DJ Mike D’s magic, visit his sound cloud page here.


BBC Radio 1 Covers

I found this British radio show that posts videos on YouTube of different musicians performing cover songs.  Generally all the performances are incredible, but sometimes the cover songs some artists choose are rather unexpected,.  I mean, Ed Sheeran singing Christina Aguilera’s song “Dirrty” and Hozier singing “Problem” by Ariana Grande is so unpredictable but awesome.  I embedded some of the better/interesting performances I found.  I do have to say that I think Hozier and Bastille’s performances are perhaps the best ones because they really make them their own.


Ed Sheeran is awesome.  I’ve had the privilege to see him in concert multiple times, and each time I’ve been mind-blown of how he can capture a whole arena with just his guitar.  However, I’d have to say his song “Don’t” from his second studio album x has to be one of my favorite songs.  Not only do the lyrics very explicitly tell the story of his girlfriend cheating on him and, well, pissing him off, but it’s got a great chorus:

Don’t f- with my love
That heart is so cold
All over my own
I don’t wanna know that babe
Don’t f- with my love
I told her, she knows
Take aim and reload
I don’t wanna know that babe

I had read somewhere Ed had decided prior to the release of x that he would only release the clean version of the song because he was concerned some younger fans would listen (I’m not sure if this is true, it’s just what I heard), so they had to delete out the f-bomb from the line “Don’t fuck with my love.”  But, I found an edited version of “Don’t” with the f-bombs (chorus starts at 0:50):

Now, I’m pretty sure the person cut and pasted in the curses, but this could be the original recording.  If it is the latter, I really don’t want to know how they got it.

The original album version:

Personally, I kind of prefer the clean/original version just because I think the chorus pops more by omitting the curse, it kind of gives it an extra passive aggressive punch or edge.  In concert, he sang the unedited version (in case you were wondering).

Currently, Ed Sheeran is nominated for three Grammy awards, including Album of the Year!