Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’


By Aameet Ekram



Ed Sheeran, popular contemporary singer and guitarist, composed many songs which have varying measures of popularity, including singles such as ‘Shape of You’ or ‘Photograph’. In his latest album, ‘Divide’, there are many songs that have become popular, but one song that recently had a surge in popularity is named ‘Perfect’. This song has high rankings across many charts in the United Kingdom, where it is also considered the ‘Christmas Number One Song’ of 2017. It also had high rankings in the charts of other countries.


There are a total of three official versions of this song, on all of which Ed Sheeran was involved with during the production and singing lines of the song. The first version was done alone by Ed Sheeran, another done with the original artist in collaboration with American pop singer Beyoncé and another with Italian record producer Andrea Bocelli, all became popular within their own rights. The original version singlehandedly performed and produced by Ed Sheeran became the most popular and recognised out of the three, and was the most marketed and played out version of the ‘Perfect’.


This song starts out with Ed Sheeran’s starting words for the lyrics, combined with soft, slow guitar notes, and a synthetic note being held on the background. This sets the tone for the song, being romantic for the entire duration it goes along, gradually picking up in volume, while the amount of instruments increases with each verse of lyrics. As the song progresses, string instruments come in further setting the romantic tone to it, it starts to vary between an acoustic and an electric-type guitar and the ranges of notes begin to change. The lyrics themselves talk from the point of view of a man in love with a woman, whom he calls ‘perfect’, both of whom fell in love when they were children, not knowing what it was, and now hopes to be with each other forever. The song could be called an extremely romantic song that has a contemporary approach to it. It is clear that Ed Sheeran’s style is executed wonderfully with both the electric and acoustic guitars. These different mixed elements make the song complete with romantic tones to it, which is perhaps the reason, other than the singer’s own fame, for the song to become popular.


Ed Sheeran’s style is evident with the guitars being played throughout the song. The singer-songwriter is well-known for his guitar skills, which is liberally used in ‘Perfect’. Guitar is the instrument playing the melody of the song fronting other instruments, which give more elements to the song, making it unique. A synth was used to give the song an element of fullness underneath the guitars, while violins and other string instruments gave the song a romantic tone, matching with the subject of the lyrics. These instruments combined created a romantic song, which had some elements of Sheeran’s regular style, but also was unique to it, and quite different from the normal style of romantic songs that were created since the creation of rock and pop music. In the end, ‘Perfect’ is a good song that held to the standard of other Ed Sheeran’s compositions, and the popularity it gained throughout the world is well deserved.

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