Ed Sheeran’s ditched the loop pedal and acoustic guitar for a synthesiser in his comeback single, ‘Bad Habits’.
Photo Credit: Press
Ed Sheeran is back much to the delight of some and the dismay of others, with the release of his new tune, Bad Habits, the first taster of his rumoured upcoming fifth studio album, following 2019’s collaboration album (although, single Afterglow, premiered on BBC Radio 1 last year, was technically Sheeran’s comeback release, but it seems that this is being brushed over).
When teasing the upcoming new single, Sheeran promised it would be a track “really different” to his previous works that have been dominating the top spots of the official charts for the past decade, however, much to my disappointment (I really hoped this would be Ed’s more sonically controversial release – think when Arctic Monkeys dropped 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino after a five year hiatus, a project that saw Alex Turner swap the Stratocaster for the baby grand, sending hardcore Monkeys fans into a frenzy and losing followers…until they came to the realisation that this was a classic album that gets better upon every listen. Basically, I was hoping for a heavy metal album from Ed) it’s just like all the ones that came before, just with a synthesiser instead of a loop pedal. So, yes, that does mean that the cheesy lyrics that make your eyes roll every time you, against your will, encounter the track in your local supermarket…or McDonald’s…or your mate’s kid’s birthday party, are still very much present.
I can’t lie, as much as I was hoping for something a little bit more ground breaking that would portray Ed throwing himself into waters he hadn’t tested out before (you know, something a little less basic?), I have found myself having a bop to it upon hearing it on the radio.
With every new Sheeran release, it’s inevitable that it will be overplayed and inescapable (a little bit like Wham’s Last Christmas during the holiday period), and in a time like 2021, this would also suggest that this song is going to thrive on TikTok for you pages around the world, with its minimalist beat and melody that is resonant of Mike Posner’s 2016 club anthem, I Took a Pill in Ibiza. It sounds heavily influenced by The Weeknd…but if you ordered it from Wish.
However, there is absolutely no denying that Bad Habits won’t be a track that will be stuck in your head for a long, long time, whether you like it or not. I guess that’s why Ed Sheeran is so good at what he does (disagree if you wish) – he knows how to make a song that is so basic and family friendly, but also kind of boppy, that it can be played anywhere, at any time.
Look, I personally don’t hate it. Yes, it’s not that different from his previous works, and it’s definitely not the heavy metal song that I was secretly hoping for, but it has appeared to have ditched Ed’s signature primarily four-chord, acoustic, love songs, and instead incorporated some kind of 80s dance pop vibes into the mix.
Bad Habits isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before, however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t secretly enjoy it. Just don’t play it too much, ok?