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Yippee! There are fifteen new entries in this week's top fourty. Aaargh! The first thirteen are all from the same man. You may recall last week I was grumbling that sooner or later I was going to have to review a whole album when it entered the top 100 in its entirety. This week, Ed Sheeran's got his entire ÷ album in this week's top 20. Looks like I've got work to do.

Thirteen of Ed Sheeran's tracks are in the red area this week. Sandwiched between stalwarts Shape Of You and Castle On the Hill is Galway Girl, a record which could ideally soundtrack your upcoming St. Patrick's Day; for a non-Irish person, that's a feat in itself, though in fairness Irish traditional band Beoga were involved with this track and Nancy Mulligan so that's probably why. We wish, however, that Sheeran wouldn't attempt to sing in an Irish accent because although it might be appropriate for the record, his attempts at that accent come across as mockery. If ever you needed a record for Valentine's Day (or Mother's Day, if you still have one), look no further than Perfect (#4), a record which combines all the sap of a Thinking Out Loud with rhythm and strings, and it's one of the better records on the album.

One particularly potent weapon in Sheeran's arsenal is his ability to really lay into someone whilst coming across not as malicious but comedic, which he puts to good use in New Man (#5), with extra vocals from Francis from The Lights and Jessie Ware. In a record with unexceptional instrumentation, Sheeran's tongue-in-cheek criticism of a narcissistic new boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend really makes the record (where else would you hear a person being condemned for getting their "arsehole bleached"); think a diatribal Don't. Happier (#6) comes across as a blend of Sam Smith's I'm Not the Only One and The Lumineers' Ho Hey, and all the good stuff's come out in the wash. Dive (#8) is standard guitar blues, though we do like the purposeful guitar riffs, which we've since discovered are the work of Eric Clapton. Nice.

It's a pity we can't say the same about Supermarket Flowers (#9), which sounds like something chucked together using the teachers' limited musical abilities during a school play where someone nicked the score. Nor can we about What Do I Know? (#10); while it's a little more interesting than Supermarket Flowers, it feels like a bit of formulaic filler, and there's no flair to it. Barcelona (#11), one of four tracks from the deluxe version of the album, might well have worked well, but the instrumentation isn't quite strong enough to weather Sheeran's fiery vocals and with its groans at the start of the record, it's just creepy. (I don't speak Spanish, but I wonder if his Spanish words translate to "happy now?".)

Now earlier on I mentioned Nancy Mulligan (#13). Like Barcelona, it's a track from the deluxe version, and like Galway Girl, there's an Irish twang to the track; unlike Galway Girl, Nancy Mulligan fits its three minutes exactly. Whereas Galway Girl offered a taste of traditional Irish music whilst leaving you gagging for more, Nancy Mulligan isn't quite as enticing, and it is a fit for its three minutes. I've got to say that there's something impenetrably familiar about the melody, and it's driving me crazy as to what exactly. Grrr. Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that I am reviewing these records in the order they appear on the charts, rather than in the order they appear on ÷. Up until recently, the way albums were intended to be consumed was that the tracks were designed to be listened to in order; Eraser (#14) is the album opener, and it sounds like it as well, a belligerent, bellicose "I'm back", which is rather divested of all impact when played, basically, in a random order. A good song, in this reviewer's opinion, works well anywhere on an album.

Hearts Don't Break Around Here (#15) is Sheeran at his stodgiest; solicitous, succulent lyrics on an impoverishment of robust instrumentation. It's a rich bit of filler, but really, that's all it is – filler. Bibia Be Ye Ye (#18) is Sheeran's Graceland moment; it was written during his trip to Ghana, and Fuse ODG wrote the Twi parts of the song (the title translates as "All Will Be Well"). Given the monstrous success of the album, he's a prat for not volunteering a verse; he could buy a mansion with this sort of money. (Oh, hang on…). It is one of the better songs on the album, with a rousing beat. I don't know why it hasn't charted higher, to be honest. Nor can I work out why it's been exiled to the deluxe version of the album

But I can see why Save Myself (#19) was. We were very surprised to see that Bustle regards it as "a song which every woman that every woman needs to listen to", because we regard it as a record no-one should be forced to listen to. Clearly, Sheeran had run out of ideas by this point – it is, after all, after all the other tracks on the album – so he reverted to ballad mode, and it's quite obvious it was shunted on the end in an attempt to match Justin Bieber and The Weeknd's record of 16 tracks from the same album in the top 100. It is the lowest charting of the lot, and deservedly so.

When this week's chart was published, a number of publications condemned the way streaming had bastardised the singles chart. The Guardian noted Sheeran's domination as "a sign of how sick the charts are", while Sheeran himself said "[he didn't] know if something [had] gone wrong". We disagree; we take the view that streaming helps the chart follow what people are listening to, and it prevents much-hyped rubbish from staying in the charts too long. The fact of the matter is that most of the tracks on ÷ are absolutely no worse than anything else in the charts. Put it this way; on sheer musical talent, would you rather see Bibia Be Ye Ye at #18 or Who Do You Think Of? by M.O? Exactly. (Come to think of it, I wonder which was the most recent record to peak at positions 1-100? There's a research project for a summer Lair.)

    1. Shape Of You
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Galway Girl
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Castle on the Hill
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Perfect
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. New Man
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Happier
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Something Just Like This
    1. (Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay)
    1. Dive
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Supermarket Flowers
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. What Do I Know?
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. How Would You Feel (Paean)
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Barcelona
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Nancy Mulligan
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Eraser
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Hearts Don't Break Around Here
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Human
    1. (Rag'n'Bone Man)
    1. Chained to the Rhythm
    1. (Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley)
    1. Bibia Be Ye Ye
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Save Myself
    1. (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Big For Your Boots
    1. (Stormzy)
    1. It Ain't Me
    1. (Kygo ft. Selena Gomez)
    1. You Don't Know Me
    1. (Jax Jones ft. Raye)
    1. Slide
    1. (Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos)
    1. Ciao Adios
    1. (Anne-Marie)
    1. Paris
    1. (Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren)
    1. Scared to be Lonely
    1. (Martin Garrix ft. Dua Lipa)
    1. Touch
    1. (Little Mix)
    1. I Don't Wanna Live Forever
    1. (Zayn ft. Taylor Swift)
    1. September Song
    1. (JP Cooper)
    1. Call on Me
    1. (Starley)
    1. Be the One
    1. (Dua Lipa)
    1. Cold
    1. (Maroon 5 ft. Future)
    1. Rockabye
    1. (Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie & Sean Paul)
    1. Skin
    1. (Rag'n'Bone Man)
    1. Stay
    1. (Zedd ft. Alessia Cara)
    1. Run Up
    1. (Major Lazer ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj)
    1. I Feel It Coming
    1. (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. No Lie
    1. (Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa)
    1. Issues
    1. (Julia Michaels)
    1. Say You Won't Let Go
    1. (James Arthur)
    1. Starboy
    1. (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. Text From Your Ex
    1. (Tinie Tempah ft. Tinashe)
    1. I Would Like
    1. (Zara Larsson)
    1. Closer
    1. (Chainsmokers ft. Halsey)
    1. Shout Out to My Ex
    1. (Little Mix)
    1. Sexual
    1. (Neiked)
    1. Don't Leave
    1. (Snakehips & MØ)
    1. Cold
    1. (Stormzy)
    1. Believer
    1. (Imagine Dragons)
    1. Can't Stop the Feeling
    1. (Justin Timberlake)
    1. All Night
    1. (Vamps ft. Matoma)
    1. Now and Later
    1. (Sage the Gemini)
    1. Bad Boys
    1. (Stormzy ft. Ghetts & J Hus)
    1. Bad Things
    1. (Machine Gun Kelly ft. Camila Cabello)
    1. Swalla
    1. (Jason Derulo ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign)
    1. Love
    1. (Lana Del Rey)
    1. 24K Magic
    1. (Bruno Mars)
    1. Starving
    1. (Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd)
    1. Samantha
    1. (Dave ft. J Hus)
    1. By Your Side
    1. (Jonas Blue ft. Raye)
    1. The Greatest
    1. (Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. The Mack
    1. (Nevada ft. Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap)
    1. Don't Wanna Know
    1. (Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. Let Me Love You
    1. (DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber)
    1. Don't Let Me Down
    1. (Chainsmokers ft. Daya)
    1. Places
    1. (Martin Solveig ft. Ina Wroldsen)
    1. Shining (DJ Khaled ft. Beyonce & Jay Z) • Show You Love (Kato ft. Sigala & Hailee Steinfeld) • Giants (Take That) • Cold Water (Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ) • Love Me Now (John Legend) • My Way (Calvin Harris) • Mercy (Shawn Mendes)

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