x (Wembley Edition)
In this album, the unassuming troubadour grows into a world-conquering pop icon. X doesn’t deviate from debut +’s base formula of folk pop buoyed by hip-hop rhythms but the results are bigger and bolder. On “Sing”, Pharrell Williams arrives to transform Sheeran into a tequila-slamming R&B player, while “Don’t”’s punchy infidelity tale adds intriguing bitterness to his palate. It’s not all hormones and rage though—he’s an irresistible romantic on “Thinking Out Loud” and at his most moving on “Afire Love”’s ode to his grandfather.