Sheeran says that “Thinking Out Loud” is his favorite off his fourth album x, and after just one listen, it’s clear that it will become a fan favorite, too. While on acoustic guitar and backed by a piano, he declares that he’s in love. He would throw his head back at the hook, making his voice sound even louder as he sang, “Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars / place your head on my beating heart.” Sometimes, Sheeran performed as if that one person was the only one in the room. Other times, he didn’t seem to mind if the whole world could hear him.
Perhaps the most crucial lyric is the one ending the hook: “Baby, we found love right where we are.” It’s reassuring, especially compared to the infectiously nervous energy of x‘s buzz single “Sing.” By fleshing out his acoustic folk-meets-hip hop sound, to earn easy comparisons to Justin Timberlake‘s solo work, Sheeran sang-rapped through a messy love story about a night out, revolving around a water bottle of tequila. “Sing” is great, an adventurous detour from Sheeran’s past sound, though “Thinking Out Loud” feels the happier ending.
Watch Ed Sheeran perform “Thinking Out Loud” for the first time up top.
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