About halfway through Ed Sheeran's funky, falsetto-infused "Sing," I thought, Man, this sounds a lot like Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." Doing a bit more research, whose name did I find lurking behind the Sheeran scene? Thicke's big-hat-wearing co-conspirator, the musical mentor who's seemingly everywhere these days: Pharrell Williams.
It turns out Williams co-wrote and produced "Sing," the biggest Stateside single thus far in Sheeran's career. Williams, of course, is no stranger to huge hits, having guested on Thicke's controversial 2013 chart-topper and spending more than two months atop Billboard's singles chart himself in 2014 with "Happy." So it's not hard to see how he might have helped Sheeran hone this tune's catchy-but-carefree, Maroon 5-meets-Justin Timberlake vibe.
Not that this fiery-haired, 23-year-old English singer-songwriter really needs the help, mind you. In the last three years, he's written songs for pop music superstars Taylor Swift (with whom he also toured) and One Direction.
"Sing" is the lead single on Sheeran's sophomore effort x. (It's pronounced multiply.) And as so many pop songs seem to do these days, the tune offers yet another lustful take on that oh-so-common club condition: wanting to trade public dance floor chemistry for something more private … and more smoldering … right now!
"Sing" may not be as nastily upfront as the aforementioned Robin Thicke hit when it comes to communicating Sheeran's fleshly daydreams. But neither is there any confusion about what he's got in mind when he tells a woman he apparently just met, "For most of the night/Ignoring everybody here/We wish they would disappear/So maybe we could get down now."
Then Sheeran's not-so-sweet talk trails off into the sensual fantasies that have already taken root in his hothouse imagination. "I want you to be mine, lady/To hold your body close/ … I need you, darling/Come on, set the tone/If you feel you're falling/Won't you let me know?"
Ed doesn't get what he wants right away. Indeed, he has to wait almost an entire verse before his conquest capitulates. To bide his time, he suggests they get "something to drink and maybe something to smoke."
And when the story continues, Sheeran finds himself "trapped" on a couch with his "lady" ("I'm meant to drive home, but I've drunk all of it now, no"), where he finally gets his way: "Sobering up, we just sit on the couch/One thing led to another/Now she's kissing my mouth."
Mr. Ed Sheeran mercifully spares us the dirty details of where the evening goes from there.