Aaron Dessner

Heartfelt but bland: Ed Sheeran’s – (Subtract) reviewed

Whether by accident or design, the mathematical theme of Ed Sheeran’s previous album titles (+, ×, ÷ and = respectively) resolves rather neatly with – (Subtract). I interviewed Sheeran around the time of × and found him likeable enough but a bit out of reach. Multiplication did indeed seem to be foremost on his mind. Perched on the edge of a bed in a room above RAK studios in central London, he came across as a man obsessed with sales figures and chart placings, a coolly pragmatic mix of talent and ambition. (You don’t think Sheeran is talented? I watched him entertain 60,000 people in a football stadium for two