By the time you read this Ed Sheeran's new song 'Sing' will have received its first play on Radio 1. Look, there's no easy way to say this, but Ed Sheeran has made one of the best singles of 2014.
It takes courage and humility to admit you made a mistake but there are times, in pop, when you have to hold up your hands and say: "I WAS WRONG."
When you have to look at the facts in front of you — the multi-platinum sales, the hundreds of thousands of concert tickets, the millions of fans — and admit you were mistaken.
This is not one of those times because the last Ed Sheeran album is still an unlistenable racket but CHRIST ON A BIKE his new single is almost indescribably brilliant.
We say 'almost' indescribably brilliant because we do, in fact, live in a world where "like a properly amazing Justin Timberlake single with bits of *NSYNC chucked in" does work pretty well as a description. The point is, it's hard to adequately describe the amazingness of this Ed Sheeran song compared with the not-exactly-amazingness of his earlier songs.
SO LET'S USE SCIENCE.
That's the sort of amazingness boost we're talking about here.
And yes it might be the only good song on an album that turns out to be otherwise stuffed to buggery with lilting strummalong atrocities made with twigs and bits of congealed mud or whatever it is people use to make acoustic music but even if the album does only offer up three minutes and fifty two seconds of greatness that's enough for us.
A wobbly boinging noise. Falsetto warbling. A reference to Rihanna's 'We Found Love'. A shout of "SING!". You simply cannot go wrong.
And yes, Pharrell is involved with this single, so it may suit some Sheeran doubters to lay all the credit at Pharrell's door. It might make this whole situation easier to process, like when religious people go "oh all this murder and awfulness in the world is because of GOD'S WILL" rather than being anything to do with people just being horrible, horrible arseholes.
But actually, we're fairly confident that the larger part of 'Sing's tremendousness really is down to Ed Sheeran himself.
This stance suits us fine.
We once had to tell Ed Sheeran to his face on a live national radio show that we thought his music was rubbish. This was on the very day his last album, something he'd been working towards for many years, hit the shops. It should have been a happy day, and it almost certainly was, except here was some dickhead moaning that — basically — it didn't feature enough Swedish ladies sounding sad near drum machines. Ed was so gracious about this nonsense that we felt quite bad. We felt even worse when we both left the studio, and Ed said thanks. Thanks for being honest.
The whole debacle sort of made us begin a lengthy reassessment of the role of music criticism in the modern age but that's a boring story for another time. Basically Ed Sheeran is the sort of chap who in spite of our previous nastiness responds to a tweet like this one, sent just a fortnight ago when we were hearing rumours that 'Sing' would, in fact be brilliant…
…with a tweet like this.
Well actually yes Ed Sheeran we do like some (ie at least one song) of the new stuff.
And if this means that the offer of a cuddle is off the table how about some tender spooning one night?