A clear breakup song, Sheeran reflects on a past relationship and the heartbreak of watching his past lover move on with someone else. Although the lyrics are generic, Sheeran still manages to display strong emotion in his voice. However, the sound of the song is very basic, and is similar to every pop song about heartbreak. Every note is predictable and the lyrics follow such a basic pattern that it’s hard to avoid frustration with the song. It’s catchy and enjoyable but the simple and common lyrics ruin the song.
Sheeran takes an unusual but heartfelt take on his maternal grandmother’s death by composing the song through his mother’s point of view. He paints a detailed image of what it’s like to lose a parent, and the emptiness felt when packing away their things for the last time. Sheeran also enforces the message that “a life with love is a life that’s been lived”, a memo appropriate for consoling grieving individuals. This song is moving and while it hurts to listen to, “Supermarket Flowers” touches the heart, especially with its final line, “I know that when God took you back he said ‘hallelujah you’re home.’”
Immediately hit with Sheeran rapping about his childhood, “Eraser” follows the hardships Sheeran faced growing up, and how that has shaped him into the man he is now. He speaks about the illusion of how “nothing could be better than touring the world with my songs” and that “fame is hell.”
It is made very obvious that Sheeran is not a fan of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend and the way she has changed since their breakup. This song completely negates the “innocent victim” image Sheeran attempts to portray in the previous track “Happier” and makes him out to be a bitter and petty ex. Reminiscing over the girl he dated who “sat beside the water reading, eating a packet of crisps but you will never find you cheating” and how post-breakup she changed into a girl who now prefers to “[eat] kale, [hit] the gym [and keep] up with Kylie and Kim [Kardashian].” What should she be doing? It’s disappointing hearing his attempts at dictating what he think his ex-girlfriend should be doing. Shouldn’t she just live her life?
Sheeran mixes his Irish roots with a pop sound to create this tune. He revealed to the Irish Times that the story in the song is fiction, but based off of Beoga fiddle player, Niamh Dunne. Sheeran’s creativity is evident with his elaborate tale and Irish dance tune.