Thinking Out Loud
Label: Atlantic Records Uk
Though singer-songwriters have been experimenting with funk and R&B grooves since the '70s (Joni Mitchell and John Martyn are but two key examples), Ed Sheeran -- especially on his sophomore effort X -- is gung-ho for this brand of experimentation in ways that are unique to him. The multifaceted album finds him shifting effortlessly from Damien Rice-inspired folk ("One," "Tenerife Sea") to dance-pop jams "Sing" and "Nina," both of which would fit snugly into a club set that featured Bruno Mars and OneRepublic. Chalk up another success for this young and supremely confident artist.