“One” was the first promotional single (which was given as an instant grat. track when you preordered the album on iTunes) from Ed Sheeran’s second studio release, x (aka Multiply), which was released in the middle of 2014. The first proper single, “Sing” was a sound that nobody expected from the British singer/songwriter and it was one I, personally, was disappointed with. “Sing” was Ed Sheeran’s first UK number one single which is astounding when you take a look at everything he has released prior to this album and compare it to the mostly pop number. As soon as the song started I knew that it was the Ed Sheeran we all knew and loved.
It opens with the delicate picking of the acoustic guitar Sheeran is so notably linked with, coupled with the stunning voice the nation knows almost off by heart. I could probably write about 5 pages on the lyrics of this song, but I’ll keep it brief in case I break down in tears. Ed Sheeran is a master at telling a story through his lyrics that almost everyone can fully relate to; lyrics that will inevitably make your heart wrench (e.g. “take my hand and my heart and soul / I will only have these eyes for you”). Sheeran holds a beautiful sense of vulnerability in his vocals throughout the song, hitting every note perfectly and without any hassle whatsoever. The chorus ends with the engaging words “just promise me you’ll always be a friend / ‘cause you are the only one,” reinforcing the emotional depth of the song that was made clear even from the opening notes. It feels like he is pouring his heart out to you and only you, which is a connection between artist and listener that is hard to overlook and is also a focal point to Sheeran’s mainstream success.
You can definitely see the maturity and the increasing willingness of the singer/songwriter to experiment with his sound from x to Multiply, even though Sheeran has clearly kept his uniqueness that made his name. This song demonstrates why Ed Sheeran is basically the sole founder of the modern day acoustic singer/songwriter, making the music accessible to basically everyone, spouting the present day love of original music from talented singer/songwriters. He sings with a pure intensity that is unlike any other current singer, and there really is nobody else who could sing his songs quite like he does. “One: is a masterpiece by Ed Sheeran; it’s a beautifully written and beautifully performed piece of art that deserves to be heard by everyone who is into acoustic music; as is the rest of Multiply.