I thought I hadn’t written a longer piece in a while, and I sort of wanted to, seeing as I’ve just passed the 5,000 views mark. And I was trying to think of something, thinking while I was listening to my music in that little world I head off to. And I was listening to, in my view; Ed Sheeran’s best ever work. The No.5 Collaborations Project. I didn’t just listen to it once through. Probably closer to 7/8 times through. Which may sound ridiculous – but I just love it that much.
And I thought, it’s just a bit over a year since its release, so I could do a piece on what’s happened to Ed since, but I’d already done that HERE, so I was stuck. But I thought why not just do a year on review of one of my favourite EP’s since I’ve been alive. So I did. Try and enjoy it!
When I bought this EP, in physical form, and off iTunes, I had known about Ed’s talents for a few good months, so I’d already bought and listened to everything of his so far. And at that point, I wasn’t a massive grime fan. (I wouldn’t say I am now, just I enjoy a bit of it) So I remember being unsure as to what to expect.
But by the first track, I was blown away. However, I can never decide which of the tracks is my personal highlight.
I mean, ‘Lately‘ has Ed and Devlin rapping supremely.
‘You‘ has Wiley flowing quite deeply, surrounded with Ed’s enticing chorus. Always had a connection with Wi’s, as usual, brilliant lyrics on this track!
‘Radio‘ has the brilliant JME, and again, has Ed’s chorus’ at their best. And also, ironically, got a bit of radio play – which was right at the start of Ed’s radio playlist domination.
‘Little Lady‘. Well, does it need bigging up? Mikill Pane story-telling over the already beautiful ‘A Team‘ chords and chorus. Everyone’s supposed to remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Well, I wasn’t alive then. So, my version of that is that everyone should remember where they were when the first fully listened to ‘Little Lady‘. I was ‘doing’ revision, and it came on, and I was just captivated in the heart-retching tale of the girl Mikill portrays.
‘Drown Me Out‘ features Ghetts, with, I’d say, some of the best lyrics on the EP.
‘Nightmares‘, with Random Impulse, Sway, and, at that point, a fairly unknown Wretch 32. All of the artists smashed their respective verses on this one! (Oh, and big up to Random Impulse, who today, singed to Universal!)
The lastly, Dot Rotten’s ‘Goodbye To You‘ – another deep, personal, and great, track.
It’s just impossible to choose a favourite track from that list!
I think what makes the EP so special is that. practically all the artists, including Ed, were fairly unknown. It was a proper ‘Project’ as Ed called it. Grime mixing with Ed’s vocals just work absolutely perfectly!
And furthering that, Ed was either lucky, or the artists were saving something big for the next big thing, which happened to Ed. Because, Wiley, P Money, Mikill Pane, to an extent, Ghetts, and Dot Rotten – all went deep and/or personal. Which will always make for amazing listening – especially when protected by Ed’s superhuman vocals.
I very often get carried away with a release. And to an extent, it does die down after a while. So it really shows a release’s class when I still have that same connection to it, that I had when I first plugged myself into it. And the No. 5 Collaborations Project does just that!
It also got another slice of radio love recently. With BBC Radio 1xtra airing live performnces of a few of the tracks, including, ‘Family‘ ft. P Money and ‘Letely‘ ft. Devlin, plus a couple others. You can check these brilliant performences on YouTube, but I thought I’d include ‘Little Lady‘ in this post:
It obviously also represents Ed’s first real musical chart success, as the top image shows, it peaked at number 2 on the iTunes chart. Which would be amazing on its own. But this EP had no promotion, or record label backing – only the likes of Twitter etc. So, even in that sense, it’s a special EP!
I’m finishing writing this off, as Ed prepared for his newest slice of collaboration to be played on Zane Lowe’s show – ‘You Don’t Know (For Fuck Sake)’ ft. Yelawolf (listen to it, and read my review on that link – oh and download it for FREE!). I do love it. There’s no denying it. But I’ve always preferred the thought of Ed with UK artists. But I guess it shows how far Ed’s come. He’s always said how much he’d wanted to work with American artists in this style of format, and he’s finally done it, and done it well! But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever not like an Ed Sheeran track.
I really want to say though, ‘You Don’t Know…‘ is a brilliant track, and I really cannot wait to the full release of ‘The Slumdon Bridge‘! – 4 tracks from scratch, in 10 hours… Incredible!
But I don’t think Ed can ever top it for me. Which could be seen as a saddening fact. But everyone has their favourites from him – and the Collaborations Project will, I think, always be mine.