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÷ (pronounced "divide") is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was released on 3 March 2017 through Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. "Castle on the Hill" and "Shape of You" were released as the album's lead singles on 6 January 2017.
The album debuted at number one in the United Kingdom, selling 672,000 units in its first week, making it the fastest-selling album by a male artist there and the third-highest opening behind Adele's 25 and Oasis' Be Here Now. It also topped the charts in 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia. All the tracks on the album reached the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart in the week of the album's release, due mainly to heavy streaming. The dominance of its tracks on the UK chart led to calls for change on how the single chart is compiled, and the Official Charts Company then introduced new rules limiting tracks eligible for entry in the top 100 to three, as well as adjusting streams-to-sales ratio for older songs.
|Castle on the Hill||4:21|
|Shape of You||3:53|
|Hearts Don't Break Around Here||4:08|
|What Do I Know?||3:57|
|How Would You Feel (Paean)||4:40|
|Bibia Be Ye Ye||2:56|
Vinyl : (March 3, 2017)
Number of Discs: 2
÷ has been given a Metacritic score of 62 based on 17 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Martin Townsend of the Daily Express gave a highly positive five-star review, calling it "Ed's strongest collection to date" and "a shimmering and magical record" and also said "Ed does the toughest thing in pop music disarmingly well, he writes and performs songs which are rooted winningly in smalltown everyday life but which strike a universal chord."Maura Johnston of Rolling Stone gave a four-star review, commenting that "Ed is still showcasing pop savvy on Divide" and going on to say that he "doubles down on the blend of hip-hop bravado and everyday-bloke songwriting that helped him break out at the turn of the decade."Roisin O'Connor of The Independent also gave the album a four-star rating, claiming "[the album] leans on little asides from Sheeran's own talent" and that it was "astonishing for its sheer ambition alone".Jordan Bassett of NME described the album as "a collection that, somehow, adheres to his perfect pop template... while also being quietly weird", and that the album is "likeable", "assured but unassuming and sometimes hard to fathom". Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press, after commenting on the album's "missteps", said that it "is certain to add listeners, subtract a few weary of his inconsistency, but definitely multiply his bank account," and ultimately called Sheeran "a special talent."