Recording information: Arcadium Studios; Sticky Studios.
5 is fan service in the best sense: a convenient way to get the five EPs Ed Sheeran released prior to signing with Atlantic Records in 2011. Released in the span of three years, these EPs include two collections of solo originals -- You Need Me, Loose Change -- a collection he wrote with Amy Wedge (aptly named Songs I Wrote with Amy), Live at the Bedford, and No. 5 Collaborations, where Sheeran teamed up with eight different collaborators. His full-length albums are perhaps more fully realized -- he's a singer/songwriter who benefits from a larger scale -- but these capture his puppy dog charm nicely. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine