Restaurant and bar opening hours and operations may be different during Ramadan.

Ed Sheeran

Grimy urban underground meets weepy acoustica Discuss this article

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Twenty-year-old Suffolk performer Sheeran might have been inspired to pick up the guitar by Damien Rice-ish songcraft, but it was teaming that with a love of the urban underground that led to his half-rapped, loop pedal-based reading of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ becoming a sensation on grime website SB.TV.

On this debut album, the tracks where he combines those influences show Sheeran at his best. The rapid fire staccato speech of ‘U.N.I.’ has flows to put many MCs to shame, ‘Grade 8’ is all ‘Next Episode’-era Dre-ish piano stabs and thumping beatboxing, and occasionally he offers up genuinely brilliant rhymes.

Elsewhere, Sheeran shows a flair for spartan melody, but far too much is the kind of hyper-emotive, breathily sung, weepy acoustica that screams for a black-and-white video of a weeping woman staring through a rain-streaked window. Pity, as this is a furrow over-ploughed by the world’s Jameses (Morrison, Blunt, etc). Still, more of the urban-influenced tracks and he could be an interesting voice.

By Alexi Duggins
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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Close X The Holy Month of Ramadan started on Thursday, June 18 and will last for one month. During this time live music and DJ sets will stop and opening hours may change at all venues. Please call ahead to confirm details with the outlet.