While everyone else lusted after Johnny Jockpants, did you crush on the pale, sensitive kid in the back of the class? Did you dream his journal entries were about you? Did you fantasize about hooking your finger under that black string on his wrist and pulling his hand toward you without saying a word?
Well… if you did, then we probably had crushes on the same boys. And you might like Ed Sheeran‘s music as much as I do.
Obviously, I have a thing for sensitive, pretty singers. I’m still waiting for dreamy Jon McLaughlin to caress my face, and while Ed Sheeran is in that camp, he’s more alterna-cute than classically beautiful. His messy red hair and intense eyes make me want to smoke a cheap cigarette with him under a bridge.
But enough about his looks. His music is also quite fetching. Sheeran, a twentysomething Brit, sings hooky folk-rock about broken hearts and broken people. And sometimes, just to mix it up, he raps and beatboxes.
Yes, that’s right. Raps and beatboxes.
Fifteen years ago, rigid music genres wouldn’t have allowed him to slap both kinds of songs on one album, but in the digital age, when rap fans can download the rap songs and folk fans can download the folk songs, artists can dabble in whatever rivers they like.
But whether he’s rapping or singing, Sheeran delivers clever lyrics and interesting hooks. And that’s why I’ve got a pop music crush.
Sheeran’s debut album, simply called +, is already a blockbuster in Europe, and it will be released in the States on June 12. Here are two essential tracks to prepare you for next month:
(1) “The A Team”
No, it’s not about Mr T.’s action show from the 80s. This song is a sad and lovely ballad about a drug addict, and according to Sheeran, drugs like heroin are called “Class A drugs.” So if you’re on the A Team, you’re in trouble, y’all!
(2) “Lego House”
Over in England, “The A Team” is Sheeran’s signature song, but I think Americans are going to dig “Lego House” even more. A light drumbeat gives it a Savage Garden/Jason Mraz kind of groove, and we Yanks tend to prefer a little rhythm with our heartbreak.
And make sure you watch the video, which stars Rupert Grint and pokes fun at how much he looks like Sheeran. It also suggests that Grint is an obsessive Sheeran stalker, which… hey… why not? Now that the Harry Potter movies are over, he’s got the time.
Previously: 4 British Men You Should Love
Mark Blankenship tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He likes that Ed Sheeran doesn’t hide his British accent when he sings.