For all of his success — including three multiplatinum albums, seven Top 10 singles and four Grammys since his 2011 debut — Ed Sheeran has shaped up to be the Rodney Dangerfield of today’s pop. Dude can’t get any respect.
As much as you may secretly sing along to “Shape of You” in the privacy of your shower or catch yourself humming out loud to “Thinking Out Loud” while waiting for your iced chai latte at Starbucks, it’s never been cool to admit liking the 28-year-old singer-songwriter. Instead, he gets mocked for making wimpy music — rather than getting that Drake kind of love for being in his feelings — and hated on for being the kind of nice guy that John Mayer never was.
But judging from his new album “No.6 Collaborations Project,” a collection of all-star pairings that drops Friday, this Brit clearly has plenty of famous and talented friends who are down to hang with him. With everyone from Cardi B and Bruno Mars to Camila Cabello and Travis Scott on Sheeran’s A Team, this project may be just what he needs to raise his cool quotient.
While the full LP was not made available for preview, five tracks were released in advance, including the hit first single, “I Don’t Care,” a breezy duet with Justin Bieber. Other songs — ranging from the funky “Cross Me” (featuring Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock) to the folky “Best Part of Me” (featuring YEBBA) — show just how well the versatile Sheeran plays with others.
And with “No.6 Collaborations Project” coming hot on the heels of Sheeran’s winning turn playing himself in the movie “Yesterday,” there’s no denying that he’s having a moment right now. Now it’s time to give him some respect.
An Ed Sheeran pop-up shop will open Friday, from 3:06 to 9:06 p.m., at 138 Wooster St.