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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 June 2014
Note: This review is for the standard, single CD release.

Whilst we are all looking forward and waiting with anticipation for Ed Sheeran's upcoming second album 'x (multiply) ', I thought that I'd take the time to review his debut, which is, rather alarmingly now three years old.

'+' is an impressive showcase of a then twenty year old's quite exceptional talents. The man has a good soft voice, certainly knows his way around a guitar, and the album consists of catchy tunes with interesting lyrics. The songs range from the soulful and folksy, 'The A Team' is a gem that encouraged me to buy the album, to the more punchy like 'Drunk', and even shades of hip hop with the edgy 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You'.

Whilst there isn't a bad song to be found, some of them do sound quite similar, whilst a couple also start to wear on you after a while, hence the four stars. Nevertheless, it's a very playable album for the most part, and admirable for a man of such young years to be able too, not only sing as well as this, but to be able put together a debut entirely of his own songs, particularly when the material is good as it is.

The majority of the songs are written from Ed's own experiences as a struggling musician, and 'The A Team', according to an interview with 'Billboard' magazine, came from spending time assisting at a homeless shelter. He wrote the lyrics after hearing all of the stories of the homeless people there, which gives the tune a real heartfelt and sincere quality that some manufactured pop music will never have.

This is real music from a real musician. I strongly highly advise you to pick '+' up and discover Ed Sheeran, who I think has the ability to stick around for a while.
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on 20 September 2011
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!
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on 10 January 2016
The best songs from Ed Sheeran, i do prefer this to the X album as im more for easy listening chill out music, the vinyl is awesome as its translucent Orange so really pops on the record player, I have uploaded a photo so you can see its the translucent disc
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on 13 October 2011
Wow this is the best album I have heard in a very long time, beautiful voice and fantastic lyrics. Stretches over several different genres making Ed difficult to pigeonhole. He has rap and hip hop influences that appeals to the younger audience, whilst I heard the hidden track, "The Parting Glass", played on Mike Harding's BBC Radio 2 Folk Show. I am sure without doubt we will be hearing a lot more from Ed Sheeran for as very long time to come, he has ground out a loyal live following with his intensive live gigging over the last few years. 4 bonus tracks are on the "deluxe" version of this album and should not be missing in particular the outstanding ballad "Sunburn" and the Reggae influenced "Gold Rush".
There is not a bad track on the album and I can't wait to follow Ed's career as I am sure it will go from strength to strength.
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on 12 October 2011
This is an amazing album Ed Sheeran is amazing, love it i listen to it all the time. Would definitely recommend people to buy it!
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on 19 September 2011
this is by far one of the best albums of the year! kiss me, autum leaves, the a team and drunk at probably the best songs although the whole album is great. YOU HAVE TO GET THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2011
I bought this CD for my daughter - her pocket-money had run out and she made a good fist for me up-fronting the cost; something about keeping her bedroom clean and tidy... Surprisingly, I'm glad I did, even if she did renege on the deal. After a week's worth of school runs, with Mr Sheeran belting out from the sound system, I have to say I rather like his style. The voice is strong, individual and convincing, the lyrics smooth, solid and interesting, and that compulsive strumming guitar gutsy and melodious. The breakthrough came when I realised I was still playing Mr Sheeran after I'd dropped off my daughter at the school gates, even singing along on a couple of the tracks. At my age I can't say better than that...
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on 18 February 2017
I have to confess I'm late to the Ed Sheeran bandwagon. I sort of liked "The A Team" when it came out as a single, but I could never quite get into most of Sheeran's other songs. I could recognize why it was good, but it never quite gelled for me. Now, though, I'm starting to appreciate his more mature work--funny thing to say for someone who's only 26!--more and more, which has caused me to go back and revisit, or rather, visit for the first time, this album. This time I can appreciate its brilliance, while also understanding why it didn't quite work for me the first time around.

Of course, as a performer, Sheeran needs to be judged at least as much on his live performances as his studio albums, and, while I haven't seen him in person, the recordings I've seen of his live performances show him to be a gifted and charismatic performer, with a voice that often sounds even better with the rawness of live singing than when cleaned up for the studio. As an artist and songwriter, Sheeran pulls together multiple trends in contemporary Anglo-Irish music, and isn't afraid to cross the pond to America either. His working-class Britrap, full of stories of day-to-day desperation and low-level drug use, is in many ways reminiscent of that of Mike Skinner/The Streets, but with less cynicism and more genuine pathos: Skinner's lyrical personae are generally too angry and dysfunctional to achieve anything other than more failure; Sheeran's songs feature a younger, more vulnerable persona who isn't afraid to daydream about being a father in "Small Bump," for example, and whose devastation can be inferred by the implied tragic ending of the last line. Sheeran takes the energy and honesty of the rap genre, and suffuses it with his own soulful intimacy, something that can be in turns either refreshing or jarring.

But while Sheeran has one foot in the rap world, he has another foot firmly planted in Anglo-Irish folk rock, something he makes explicit by including the Scotch-Irish ballad "The Parting Glass" at the end "Give Me Love." This places him in the same general camp as Ben Howard, Damien Rice (whom he name-checks in "You Need Me, I Don't Need You"), and Snow Patrol, who have taken a more folk/country turn in their last album "Fallen Empires," and with whom Sheeran toured and performed. At the same time, Sheeran is of a slightly younger generation and brings in more explicitly pop-y influences, not to mention collaborations with Taylor Swift. Like Swift, Sheeran isn't afraid of the insanely catchy pop hook; like Rice and Snow Patrol, he isn't afraid to venture into almost embarrassingly naked emotional territory.

The result of all this is an album exploding at the seams with genre experimentation, musical talent, and personal revelations. I once wrote in a review of Snow Patrol that listening to their lyrics was like reading my own secret diary set to verse; listening to Sheeran's songs is like hearing someone else's secret diary being sung, rapped, and poured out in an unstoppable torrent of emotional intensity and musical talent. For me, the first impulse was to turn down the tap to something a little more manageable. After multiple listens, however, I was able to deal with the fire-hose volume of Sheeran's musical and lyrical output, and I am coming around to the conclusion that + is not only an impressive debut, but one of the best albums of the past 5 years.
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on 24 July 2012
I had never heard of Ed Sheeran until The A Team was released. My friends purchased the album and lent it to me I heard it once and was hooked. His voice is so smooth and he seems older than his years, the words are often sad and the melodies can't be erased from your mind. There are so many good songs on the album my favourites being Legohouse, A Team and Small bump (which is really sad if you listen to the words). I saw him sing live and he is amazing if a little shy; but I think that is what gives him his charm.
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on 31 October 2011
Having seen Ed live and listened to his singles I was keen purchase this album. Unfortunately the tracks that haven't been released as singles just don't live up to the high standard he set. This left me feeling disappointed and feeling he's a hit singles man not a album guy.
The song about wanting to 'get drunk' makes me cringe, its just lame
Some of the covers he does which are ace don't feature
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