Not introducing anything new, 'How Would You Feel (Paean)' brings back exactly what the fans' wanted and expected with somewhat of a superficial aftertaste.
The third track from imminent album ÷, ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’ follows the juxtapositional simultaneous releases of ‘Castle On The Hill‘ and ‘Shape Of You‘ with an attempt to re-stablish some of the beauty of Ed Sheeran’s earlier releases. With its cheesy, familiar composition and obvious lyrics, there is nothing particularly surprising in it feeling like a throwback to both Van Morrison’s ‘Have I Told You Lately’ and every soundtrack from ’80s and ’90s Hugh Grant films.
Nonetheless, Sheeran is renowned for being lyrically grounded, and ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’ almost begins to feel artificial even from a fans’ point of view with its simplistic accumulation of piano and guitars. With this in mind, one must question whether this track has what it takes to make any commercial impact had it not been a component of Sheeran’s quest for chart domination. Even so, fans lining up to buy it to displace ‘Shape Of You’ at the top of sales charts is incredibly impressive for what is, so far, a not a single. There has even been speculation that this is the ÷ track which Sheeran believes will go on to become a bigger hit than ‘Thinking Out Loud.’
‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’ is out now via Asylum