Ed Sheeran “Autumn Variations” Album Review

Autumn Variations

Ed Sheeran

  • Genre: Pop
  • Date: 29 Sep, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 15
  • A Gingerbread Man Records Release, ℗ 2023 Ed Sheeran Limited

Ed Sheeran’s seventh album, “Autumn Variations,” is an array of firsts. It’s the first single to be released on Sheeran’s own Gingerbread Man Records, and the lyrics take their inspiration from a composer from the 1800s by the name of Elgar. Each song on Sheeran’s 14-track album about a different pal in his life.

In order to produce his album Subtract (-), Sheeran teamed up with Aaron Dessner of the National. It’s also his first primarily acoustic album. There is a ton of content for fans to explore in “Autumn Variation.” Although it doesn’t stick in your head right away, Sheeran should be commended for taking a chance on his creativity. He and Dessner demonstrate their strength as a team once more.

Album Cover Art

Ed Sheeran &Quot;Autumn Variations&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, May 24, 2024

Album covers like this that have so much thought invested in them stay evergreen. Represented in small drawings are the various aspects of Ed’s personal life, even parts most (celebrity or not) would rather keep out of the public eye. The same vulnerability spills into the curation of each song.

Tracks and Features

Over a single finger-picked guitar, he sings the opening track “Magical” in a voice that is almost a vocal whisper. Naturally, the song became popular after he crashed a wedding in Las Vegas and performed it for the couple. It’s still a poignant song, nevertheless, despite the bombs with which it entered the world. The word “England” inspires hope. It serves as a tribute to Sheeran’s native country and the residents of its little communities. The music’s instrumentation is quiet and far away, and a light percussion pulse drifts subtly beneath the composition.

Songs like “Amazing” are upbeat, anthemic sing-alongs that seem like they were originally recorded for a stage. Sheeran attempted to capture the emotions he believed his friends were experiencing at the time by writing the songs from their points of view. The album thus offers a range of emotions, from happiness to melancholy and hopelessness.

The dynamic “Plastic Bag” gets off to a slow start, but once the chorus begins, it really finds its footing, bringing in a strong uplifting melody supported by a rhythmic but understated loop. “Blue,” on the other hand, is gloomy. The first song to use Sheeran’s trademark wordy, lyrical poetry is the upbeat “American Town,” which he debuted at his Oakland concert. That vibe continues in “That’s On Me,” even though the lyrics have a clear emphasis on the more sobering subject of stress and mental health.

Naturally, “Page” moves from a meditative state to the energetic Americana of “Midnight.” One factor that prevents the album from being exceptional is the absence of tongue twisters and rhythmic wordiness, which have come to be associated with his work even though it may not have necessarily fit in the setting of this record. Even while songs like “Spring” and “Punchline” are well-made, they can get a little boring.

On “When Will I Be Alright,” a particularly masterfully performed song with sad violin playing and the steady strum of the acoustic guitar, Sheeran focuses on despair and mental health once more. The song’s intimate focus complements the message-driving lyrics to an even greater extent. The piano-driven ballads “The Day I Was Born” and “Head > Heels” serve as the album’s final two tracks. Sheeran noted that the first song is about a friend whose birthday is perpetually overlooked because of other frequently observed holidays.


1 Magical 3:14
2 England 3:46
3 Amazing 4:05
4 Plastic Bag 3:49
5 Blue 2:33
6 American Town 3:17
7 That’s On Me 3:47
8 Page 3:51
9 Midnight 2:59
10 Spring 2:58
11 Punchline 3:26
12 When Will I Be Alright 2:55
13 The Day I Was Born 4:12
14 Head > Heels 4:13
15 Autumn Variations – Trailer 0:22

Album Theme

The primary theme of Ed Sheeran’s album “Autumn Variations” is his relationships and it is a profoundly honest portrayal of adult sadness.

Production Credits

Aaron Dessner & Bryce Dessner produced the album.


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