“I was born a misfit,” Ed Sheeran raps on Remember The Name. “Grew up 10 miles from the town of Ipswich.” I suspect that represents the first ever mention of the sleepy Suffolk town in what is sure to be a global pop smash.
This mix of the mundane and glamorous is a big part of the anomalous appeal of Sheeran, a bespectacled, English singer-songwriter who has somehow become the biggest pop star in the world. Sheeran’s previous three albums have sold in multi-millions, his songs are streamed in the billions and he tours vast stadiums armed only with his battered acoustic guitar.
Representing almost a polar opposite of the kind of Kardashian-hyperreality that drives social media for the selfie-generation,...
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