Review: ‘Songwriter,’ An Extended Music Video of Ed Sheeran’s Work


is the newest music documentary, available through Apple Music, focusing on one of today’s hottest artists - Ed Sheeran. The film follows Sheeran through 2017 as he works on his newest album ‘Divide’. Songwriter gives us a behind the scenes glimpse at how Sheeran goes about creating song after song – many of them set to become hit singles. Throughout the documentary Sheeran works with other artists and these collaborations are a joy to watch. Sheeran’s talent is undeniable, and it is truly amazing to see how he can so easily and flawlessly come up with amazing songs. Something as simple as a quick jam session on the tour bus can turn into a song listened to and loved by millions. Writer and director Murray Cummings provides the audience the opportunity to see how Sheeran interacts with his producers and how they help him shape his music. Sheeran surrounds himself with family members, from his cousin filming multiples pieces of the documentary and many of his performances to his brother who is a musical composer as well. Sheeran’s family gives him a sense of peace that he values and finds vital in the crazy music industry he is now a prominent member of.

Songwriter has some interesting moments and gives great access to Sheeran’s world and his creativity, but it is also lacking in many areas. There is no real depth to the documentary and no true vision. The entire film just seems to be numerous short scenes flung together without any real rhyme or reason. If you are a fan of Ed Sheeran’s music, it is great to see the story and creation of some of his most famous songs. However, the documentary does not seem to have a central purpose. It is more like a long music video without very much substance other than that. I was really hoping to come out of watching Songwriter learning more about Ed Sheeran – I didn’t need to know his whole life story, but a little more than what we got would’ve been great. Other than a few home videos and a little blurb about his music teacher, we don’t get anything personal from Sheeran. Songwriter is almost exclusively focused on that, writing songs. The biggest of Ed Sheeran’s fans will love Songwriter and think Sheeran can do no wrong, but most who watch it will be longing for more by the time the credits roll. If you find yourself in the mood to listen to many of Sheeran’s best songs, go ahead and put on Songwriter – but if you are looking for more substance, I’d avoid this documentary.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5