ARTIST: Ed Sheeran
ALBUM: No.6 Collaborations Project
BEST TRACKS: Beautiful People, South Of The Border, Take Me Back To London, Antisocial, Put It All On Me, Nothing On You, BLOW
WORST TRACKS: I Don’t Care, Remember The Name, I Don’t Want Your Money
SCORE: 6.5 - 7/10
While I’ve never been a big fan of Ed Sheeran, two things about him I admired: (1) his ability as a singer/songwriter with folk tendencies to stay relevant in the pop sphere, and (2) his willingness to promote other artists that he’s either a fan of or have influenced him. That latter point is what makes “No.6 Collaborations” an interesting listen. Genre-wise, there’s everything from pop to Latin trap to hiphop to R&B to rock, with features as varied as Ella Mai, Stormzy, Chris Stapleton, Meek Mill & Paulo Londra. There are some really great songs on here as well. “BLOW”, featuring Stapleton & Bruno Mars, took me by surprise when it came out, as I wasn’t expecting it to be a rock banger. It is one of my most favorite singles to come out this year. “South Of The Border” with Cardi B & Camila Cabello is a homage to Latin pop, with an intoxicating hook and bouncy summery beat. “Antisocial” with Travis Scott surprisingly works very well. While Ed’s vocals are a bit incongruous over the “Sicko Mode”-esque instrumental, that beat and Travis’ verse make this track a banger. I also love “Put It All On Me” featuring Ella Mai (a smooth R&B track) and “Nothing On You” with Paulo Londra & Dave (an unique tribute to both Latin trap & UK grime). That all being said, there are also really bad moments on the album. “I Don’t Care” is a boring ballad featuring Justin Bieber, and “Remember The Name” with Eminem & 50 Cent is a blatant rip-off of Nate Dogg’s music. Some of Ed’s attempts at trap music are rather bland, and “I Don’t Want Your Money” featuring H.E.R. disappointed me so much. But, while this album is flawed, it isn’t a bad listen, and there are some really good moments on it. A good album to vibe out to this summer.