Having followed Ed Sheeran since his "Nandos Skank" days, I had mixed emotions about his finally gaining the recognition he deserves. Mainly I think I was worried about whether he'd be stripped of his individuality and turned into another processed pop sensation. Listening to this album, I realise I needn't have worried. Although a couple of the songs from his original EPs appear here as more mainstream, beat-driven versions (The City and - of course - You Need Me, I Don't Need You) the emotion behind them is still very much present.
My only complaint is that I find some of the tracks on here a little samey. The stand out ones in my opinion are Small Bump, You Need Me I Don't Need You, The A-Team (which I am pleased to note remains unaltered since its original release on 'Loose Change'), The City, Sunburn and the beautiful Little Bird, which can be found on the deluxe version of the album.
It is a rare thing to find an album where every single track is amazing and sadly this is not one of them, but what I can say for it is that all the songs on here compliment each other rather well. And oh my goodness, what a voice! It's worth buying just for the wonderful vocal work alone.
All in all I consider it to be one of the best first albums I have ever bought, and an excellent showcase of Ed's talents. Roll on the second album!