Ed Sheeran. We have all heard his name at some point or another, whether it was yesterday when “The A-Team” was on the radio or way back in 2005 when he first started recording. Either way, the English singer-songwriter has gained a lot of hype since he was finally admitted onto mainstream radio in 2011 after making his way onto the iTunes top 10 chart.

His debut, full-studio album + has done well both in and out of the U.K., and if the numbers are to be trusted, Sheeran is a definite success. But is all the hype really justified?

As always, the answer depends on what you are into. Slower tempos, skillful guitar, and sometimes more-than-slightly depressing lyrics seem to be Sheeran’s strengths. He can actually sing, and it can’t be denied that he has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today, but not much sets him apart from other popular crooners. He’s got a voice that makes the romantics swoon. The familiar theme of lost love is streamlined throughout his album. He’s a great British addition to the club of other guitar-clad harmonists missing their exes and softly crying out for peace. I almost wrote Sheeran off as not my cup of tea, and though I still don’t think he is entirely original, his sense of humor does make him a little more appealing. Check out music videos for “Drunk,” where he spends a drunken night with his cat, and “Lego House,” starring Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, to see the strange and slightly twisted side to the pretty-voiced Englishman. He won’t be blasting through my speakers, but the next time I hear his terribly sad song about homelessness and addiction, I’ll remember there’s certainly more to Sheeran than his emotional lyrics and heartbroken demeanour.

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