Having given a glimpse into his new Album ÷ (Divide) about two months ago with the release of “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” the album comprising 16 songs was finally unleashed by the talented Ed Sheeran on March 3.
According to Billboard the ÷ “may be the most diverse of Sheeran’s discography, with the British singer-songwriter trying out new sounds and getting vulnerable in his lyrics. While each track does have its own vibe, the nuances are what make Divide a collection that fans will have on repeat for weeks (if not months) to come.”
Billboard has honored the uniqueness of each award with a mock award. Here’s how BB has rated the songs:
1. “Perfect” – Most likely to become a wedding song
2. “How Would You Feel (Paean)” – Best guitar solo
3. “Dive” – Most passionate vocal strains
4. “Galway Girl” – Most visual storytelling
5. “Nancy Mulligan” – Catchiest melody (other than “Shape Of You,” of course)
6. “Happier” – Most heartbreaking track
7. “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here” – Biggest homage to his past material
8. “Shape of You” – Most radio-friendly
9. “New Man” – Craziest lyric
10. “Bibia Be Ye Ye” – Biggest step toward a new sound
11. “Save Myself” – Most personal lyrics
12. “Castle on the Hill” – Best track for a sing-along
14. “What Do I Know?” – Closest track to “Love Yourself”
15. “Eraser” – Best showcase of his rap skills
16. “Supermarket Flowers” – Most beautiful melody
Industry forecasters believe that Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) is well on its way to becoming No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart (March 25). If insiders are to be believed the chances of the album achieving 350,000 to 425,000 units in the debut week ending March 9 is highly probable.
However, Billboard says that forecasts can change “dramatically in the next few days, once the album has been in the marketplace for more than a few hours.”
The Billboard 200 charts which used to rate the top 200 albums of the week based on sales alone has been ranking the albums based on multi-metric consumption are since December last year. The factors that are taken into account in the new Billboard 200 ranking methodology are track equivalent albums (TEA), streaming equivalent albums (SEA), and of course, traditional album sales.
Ed Sheeran fans or “Sheerios” will have to wait until March 12 before they come to know the Billboard 200 debut rank of ÷ (Divide) for the week ending March 9 after the process of tracking data for the debut week is over and done with by Nielsen Music.
If one is confused as to how an album’s debut week performance can be gauged and forecast just a day after its release, this how Billboard explains the forecasting procedure:
“Initial forecasts are based on a range of indicators, which include pre-order sales of the album, first-week performance of comparable albums, streaming activity of an album’s lead single (or singles), radio trends for the set’s songs, media exposure of the artist and so forth.”