When Ed Sheeran woke up for the last day of his unfinished distribution journey in 2019, he thought his career might be over.

“I think that’s the case,” he told GQ earlier this year. “It’s a mountain, and you know I won’t do it again. I thought it would come down from here. The end of the journey has reached my heart.”

He lived married in Suffolk, began painting, and became the proud father of a little girl, Lyra, during infectious disease.

For several months, the singer – one of the best-selling artists in the world – did not even get a guitar.

“I thought, ‘Look, it’s me, I’m just with my dad, I’m not going to play anymore,’ he told Sirius XM radio.

But then enlightenment.

“I suddenly thought, ‘It’s important for my daughter to grow up knowing that her parents have a work ethic and her parents love to work hard and love to create their jobs and be happy,’ she says. “And look at him instead of seeing your dad as unemployed. “

So here we are, with Ed Sheeran’s fourth solo album, called = (Equals). It coincided with her most active new album of the year: one week before Abba’s unexpected return, two weeks before Taylor Swift released the Red version, and three weeks before her divorce album Adele, 25.

Sheeran still has the upper hand in this competition. The first two of = (Bad Habits and Shivering) spent 15 weeks together for the first time this summer – showing, at least, that the star didn’t lose n’ because of my fingertips, jotting down what I remember.

Other elements of the album are very subtle, refining Sheeran’s strong business spirit and honest and emotional timing.

True to its name, the 30-year-old musical finds balance in his personal life. His first words were: “I am old / I am a father now / Everything has changed / but in some ways I am still the same”.

His home setting is not far away, with most of the 14 songs directed by his wife, Cherry Seaborn, whom he first met at school.

“What I got the most was / Had four short talks about generations,” he recalls of the first Times, the first of many to hold ballads about their relationship. “You say, ‘Honey are you kidding?’ / I just said: “Please”.

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You get the feeling Seaborn can be surprising for some of his most effective expressions of love. “I’ve never kissed a kiss as sweet as yours,” Shivers admitted skillfully. What’s worse is that he remembers “running in a Tokyo booth” and “making love in the sky” at the TMI Collide speed track.

Coincidentally the best intentions are The Joker And The Queen, a beautiful cri d’amour, in which Sheeran expresses Seaborn’s determination to swallow him up as he chooses the “thousand kings” in a dramatic voice.

Wrapped in gauze, it’s a wedding star-shaped wedding look, Designing Sound and Perfect.

Elsewhere, he apologizes to his family for the inevitable months he travels and travels (Leave Your Life) and plans a candlelight vigil (Love And Slow Motion).

However, it came without exception, and Sandman – the perfect vacation home for his daughter, was all filled with awesome clichéd music boxes.

It’s a shame to critique music with a sincere heart – but it’s done it well a few times before, through the unbridled excitement of Stevie Wonder’s Not She Lovely, and the lovely Madonna Dear Jessie (and that’s not even about her son.).

But, in the end, that’s exactly what Ed Sheeran did. His understanding of music couldn’t break his confidence because he never said he was good at first.

This allows him to remove the cheesy expression of unrequited love that fans will appreciate for the simplicity of their universal emotion.

Everything that makes Sheeran perfect is for the crochet music critic (including his daughter). So, when can I talk about this album’s lack of music production, or political music, the music industry, where?

In that respect, = is better, more collaborative, and slightly more fun than Sheeran’s latest right-hand library, 2017.

Non-fiction and flamboyant music being independent, Sheeran strikes a balance between his pop spirit and a mature new style.

It is good that he did not give up.