Headphones: Divide and conquer

Ed Sheeran tops the Billboard Hot 100 list for the ninth week in a row! I think everyone would agree, Sheeran’s new album is more stimulating and daring than his previous works.

Speaking of daring, Frank Ocean has blessed us with a fantastic new single named ‘Chanel.’

Clean Bandit released a touching, emotional video featuring Zara Larsson. Larsson is a relatively new artist who has co-written with Sheeran in her new song, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Yours.’ The music video depicts a terribly sad love story between two young men.

The two artists who make up Glen Check released an edgy and trippy new music video, illustrating relatable aspects of the ‘Young Generation.’

Album of the Week: Divide – Ed Sheeran: Divide is Ed Sheeran’s third album, released on March 3, 2017. Sheeran has not exactly blown up yet, but is still growing, improving and continues to impress. We can and should appreciate the center of his purpose: music. He is respectfully a musician, not a star. He is a simple guy in a t-shirt, flannel and Levi jeans, yet he gives us his entire heart and soul.

The album allows Sheeran to showcase his great varying talent. Sheeran deviates to offer a taste of almost every genre in the album of 16 songs. His talents as a songwriter are remarkable; his lyrics are relatable, yet extremely creative.

Songs such as ‘Dive,’ ‘Happier’ and ‘Save Myself,’ are incredibly poetic and beautiful. The slow, emotional songs are particularly raw and giving. Sheeran is so honest, to the point you can almost feel the pain in his words thanks to his convincing delivery.

The album also includes songs such as 'Bibia Be Ye Ye,’ that are fast paced, playful and fun. This song, as well as ‘Barcelona,’ evoke a certain tropical feel. Sheeran incorporates cultured musical influences in several of the tracks. The album is incredibly diverse, taking his listeners in no specific direction other than pure enjoyment.

‘Shape of You,’ is an extremely groovy, and lyrically intriguing song. This song earned the artist his first ever Billboard Hot 100 number 1 spot. Sheeran has such range and ability to sing in falsetto —accurately mimicking the woman’s role in the song. Not only is his range notably great, the pace at which he can sing so gracefully, is quite impressive.

Single of the Week: Chanel – Frank Ocean: Isn’t it such a gift when Frank Ocean graces us with new music? I would say so. After his highly anticipated Blonde release in August of 2016, this single is a perfect snack to munch on before his next piece of innovative art.

The song ‘Chanel,’ begins with a calm hip hop beat, interrupted by Frank Ocean’s breath-taking vocals. A sweet piano tune plays in the background in addition to the beat of the drums; but Ocean’s assimilation of preaching and singing are far too powerful in this song to pay attention to anything else.

EDM: Clean Bandit - Symphony feat. Zara Larsson: Clean Bandit created not only a lovely, upbeat, and hopeful song—but an even better music video. The video takes us through the lens of different individuals who ultimately want to be a part of a ‘symphony’ with the person they love. The video is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Indie: Glen Check -- Young Generation: Glen Check is duo made up of singer and guitar player June-One Kim, and a bass and synthesizer player, Hyuk-Jun Kang. The band’s sound is very retro, upbeat, and fun. The music video features all of these elements and more that reflect the ‘Young Generation.’ The video is immensely stimulating and colorful.

Industry Update: Two significant figures in the music industry have passed away this week. Tommy LiPuma passed on Monday, March 13. The five-time Grammy award-winner had a career that lasted about five decades. LiPuma was a veteran, music executive and producer.

Chuck Berry, an absolute rock legend, passed at 90 years old on Saturday, March 18th. The man forever shaped rock ‘n’ roll and the music that would follow his legacy.

Recent Grammy award-winner Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools on March 6. The act of kindness was motivated by the major funding and budget cuts faced by public schools in the city of Chicago. Chance is paving his own long path to success, and helping others while in the process.