There's a balance to what Ed Sheeran does so it's no surprise that he has a wide appeal.
Sometimes being that every-man voice can have a diluting effect though, and it's to his credit as a songwriter and performer that he has managed to avoid this.
His music is like a Pixar film. Now of course people will gasp and and type the acronym W.T.F to avoid being explicitly outraged at a comment like that, but think about it.
Pixar excel in making films that appeal to a wide audience.
Everyone gets something different from what they do.
Kids sit gape jawed in wonderment at the CGI action and slapstick comedy of say 'Toy Story' while the adults are quietly moved by the clever allegories that are included.*
Similarly Ed can knock out a chart friendly tune like 'Grade 8', but skip on and the next track is coming from a different angle, as is the next and the next again.
This is impressively done, and even more so when you consider that there is nothing that feels disjointed in the album.
It flows from track to track rather effortlessly and there's some magic in being able to do that.
While I'm not a lover of what is currently passed as chart music, as I find it all rather derivative and lacking imagination, this is the sort of release I like to see getting a toe hold as I think that it can be viewed as an aural gateway to better things.
The link that acts as a catalyst and allows the casual listener of music to ease experimentally forward to explore other artists who may not be getting the exposure they deserve.
Especially when his newly found fans realize that this is not in fact his debut as some think and in fact his third release, just his first signed to a major release.
All things considered I think Ed must be quite pleased with himself, and quite rightly so.