The two singles from his new album should not be as big a surprise, as being made out to be, because hints of the two new singles “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” was dropped by Sheeran earlier in the week via a series of tweets.
In one of his tweets, which is actually a nine-second video, you can see him holding up a piece of paper to the camera with the hand-written words, “New Music Coming Friday.” The red-head singer and songwriter of repute waves to the camera smiling while holding the paper with one hand; then follows it up by holding it in his mouth and letting it drop.
Explaining his absence from the singles scene he writes in a January 5 tweet, “Cause I’ve been away for a bit here’s two singles rather than one – Castle on the Hill & Shape Of You” – Now, this was certainly a bonus for the “Sheerios” as even one would have done the trick for him.
This is his comeback after he went into a kind of hiding, away from the limelight and social media, in December 2015 not too long after the release of his album X, launched in 2014.
Ever since the “Sheerios” have been waiting in earnest anticipation of when and what would come next from him.
Well! The wait is over Sheerios! And wasn’t it worth it? The contrast between “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” has been best explained by the 25-year old himself.
“I’ve been working hard on the new material and I hope you can be as excited about it as I am,” he said to his fans. “I really wanted to show two different sides to my music that I’m equally as passionate about and I just knew I wanted to roll with two songs at the same time. I’m absolutely buzzing to be back.”
As far as the two singles are concerned there have been varying observations, generally being liked along with the not-so-surprising criticisms that come with the profession he is in.
“Shape of You” has drawn comparisons with Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” one of the biggest hits of 2016 in addition to being called a “breezy love song.”
Many feel that the long hiatus was because of the work he was trying to put in to add a new twist to the regular Sheeran style.
His other single, “Castle on the Hill” has received reviews which say that it was more Sheeran-like with a fast, rhythmic pace developing into a massive chorus – the regular Sheeran style.
“Castle on the Hill” has also been described as a “traditional pop-rock style.”
The best option would be to listen to both the tracks and form your own individual opinions.