In “No.6 Collaborations Project,” pop megastar Ed Sheeran seeks love, street cred, revenge and a place where he isn’t judged. Knowing he will not be able to achieve such lofty goals by himself, Ed decided to recruit a bunch of different music stars to help him out.
5. WAY TO BREAK MY HEART
Though “Way to Break My Heart” doesn’t feature any other singers or rappers, it does feature a fantastic performance by Ed Sheeran. With the track giving off these bloomy vibes production-wise, Ed shines bright, singing angelically and showing little to no fear of coming across as vulnerable when it comes to the topic of heartbreak and being alone. While Skillrex, the lone guest on the song, does a fantastic job of adding some futuristic feels to it via the beat, I think it’s the comforting/nurturing nature of what you hear as a whole that will enter into your heart and setup camp.
Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars are all cut from a 1960’s cloth.
Out of all the features on Ed Sheeran’s “No.6 Collaborations Project,” the one I was looking forward to hearing from the most was Bruno Mars. In my opinion, Ed and Bruno have similar old school instincts in their music, which means a collaboration between the two was inevitable to end up in something epic-sounding. Well, surprise, surprise, “BLOW” is epic-sounding!
“BLOW” is a rock-n-roll fan’s dream song. It is powered by this authentic rock instrumental and boisterous vocals by Ed, Bruno and Chris Stapleton. Though the song is centered around sexy women, rock star lifestyles and white lines in limousines (Yikes), my biggest takeaway from listening to it is how kick-ass everyone thinks they are on it (S**t, I feel like I just heard a song by three Marty McFlys!).
I want to purchase a mullet after listening to this song! Can black people wear mullets?
3. CROSS ME
“Cross Me” is one of those songs that are smoother than Taco Bell meat (assuming it’s meat in their tacos), but also edgy, too. Though the instrumental to it contains these late night vibes, it also has this explosiveness to it that is hard to ignore. As for Ed Sheeran, PnB Rock and Chance The Rapper’s contributions on the track, they are fiery, as the former and middleman defend their women’s being with some pretty passionate crooning, while the latter challenges both him and his women’s foes with funny threats using this animated rapping approach. When you combine the three sounds together, what you get is a passive-aggressive warning to disrespectful c*ckblockers like Lil Fizz.
2. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
“Beautiful People” is a very magical song. From the moment you press play on it, you are treated to a powerful instrumental that features both intense and comforting vibes. Over this instrumental, Ed,
teenage Ed (I don’t know, I’m hearing someone that sounds like a young version of Ed on the song) and Khalid sing passionately about being ordinary individuals that probably prefer eating cheez-its and watching television shows off of their iPhones then being in settings in which they feel uncomfortable and/or out of place. Personally, I love the message behind the song, mainly because it fits the personalities of who it came from. I also love the passion both singers show throughout, as it feels like the idea of being ones-self is something they were put on this earth to let people know.
1. I DON’T CARE
“I Don’t Care” is one of those songs that makes you feel all bubbly inside. The track features Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, and together, they pay homage to their respective chicks over this colorful pop/Caribbean-inspired instrumental by Max Martin, Shellback and FRED. On the real, I am not the biggest fan of either Ed or Justin’s vocals on the song, but I do love their honest/open lyrics throughout.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (5/5)
2. SOUTH OF THE BORDER (4/5)
3. CROSS ME (4.5/5)
4. TAKE ME BACK TO LONDON (3.5/5)
5. BEST PART OF ME (4/5)
6. I DON’T CARE (5/5)
7. ANTISOCIAL (3.5/5)
8. REMEMBER THE NAME (4/5)
9. FEELS (3.5/5)
10. PUT IT ALL ON ME (4/5)
11. NOTHING ON YOU (3.5/5)
12. I DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY (4.5/5)
13. 1000 NIGHTS (4/5)
14. WAY TO BREAK MY HEART (5/5)
15. BLOW (4.5/5)
Ed Sheeran is so comfortable in his own skin, he is ready to dabble in other’s. “No.6 Collaborations Project” features Ed morphing into a bunch of different musical stars, and impressively, he succeeds in each style. When he needs to, the UK singer is capable of showing edginess and grit on songs like “Cross Me” and “Remember The Name,” while on songs like “Way To Break My Heart,” “Beautiful People” and “I Don’t Care,” he is able to remain his usual charming/heartwarming self. Never a single moment do I feel Ed is being a poser, instead, I see him as a pop star that is open to embracing different cultures and worlds. (On some real s**t, this album would not have worked if s**t didn’t feel natural).
So what were the best features on “No.6 Collaborations Project?” I thought Meek Mill had a pretty solid verse on “1000 Nights,” while Justin Bieber and Khalid had beyond heartwarming performances on “I Don’t Care” and “Beautiful People.” Personally, I could’ve done without Eminem, Travis Scott, 50 Cent and Stormzy’s contributions, but definitely felt like I could’ve used more H.E.R. and Ella Mai. Lastly, the lesser known artists such as J-Hus, Dave, Paulo Londra did their thing, showing no fear in welcoming an overwhelming fan-base into their world. But in the end of the day, I can confidently say that not a single artist was able to outshine Ed, even when the genres were in the other people’s favor. If that isn’t amazing to you, I don’t know what is.
Do you know what “No.6 Collaborations Project” reminds me of? The musical version of Mortal Kombat. With Ed playing protagonist, he got a chance to take on all of our favorite artists of today in their respective realms. I love it! Not only because it brings out the best of everyone involved, but also because I love seeing some of my favorite genres get a bit of a pop fix.