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Released: 2023

Features: Ed Sheeran

Alright, so let’s dive into “Who We Love,” a mad collab between Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, two UK pop heavyweights who’ve crossed into the realm of breezy and emotive hip-hop-infused tracks. The lyrics paint a picture of love that’s both universal and deeply personal. The song is an anthem to all forms of love, underlining the bottom-line fact: we love who we love, no apologies needed.

Let’s start with Smith’s verse, “Colour the empty space / Kiss in a crowded place / Stand in the summer rain.” This verse is all about establishing personal connections, filling voids, and basking in the euphoria that love brings. The lyrics seem to explore the idea that love is a transformative experience that colors and intensifies life, literally causing the “empty space” to overflow with vibrant hues. The line “Kiss in a crowded place” speaks to the allure of romance, even amid chaos or distraction. “Stand in the summer rain” presents a vivid, poignant image that combines both the lightness of summer with the unpredictability of rain, a metaphor for the highs and lows of love.

“It’s not wrong / To want the world for someone / It’s not a feeling you can run from / ‘Cause we love who we love” asserts the song’s main message. In a society where love can often be questioned or regulated, the repetition of “we love who we love” serves as an anthem for those who have ever felt their love invalidated or judged. The line “you don’t know better than your heart knows” is a powerful reminder that our heart’s emotions often know better than our minds, especially when it comes to love.

On the lines “Sound of a wedding band (hmm-mm) / Holding hands in the street / No need to be discreet,” the juxtaposition of public affection (‘holding hands in the street’) and private commitment (‘sound of a wedding band’) underscores the transparency of love that Smith and Sheeran are advocating. They argue that love should be expressed freely, without any need for discretion.

As the song progresses, Sheeran croons, “The universe has pulled us closer / I trust whatever’s brought me here to you / You can never lose / If love is what you feel then…” Here, Sheeran seems to be expressing his belief in destiny, suggesting that immense cosmic forces have brought two lovers together. He underscores the importance of trust in these unseen forces, suggesting that a relationship founded on genuine love will never truly be lost, irrespective of the circumstances.

The song ends on a hopeful note: “Whether they’re here or long gone / We love who we love”. The repetition of the phrase “we love who we love” woos us with the unique blend of Smith’s soaring notes and Sheeran’s earthy timbre. It’s a universally relatable message; love survives, persists, and thrives, regardless of distance, time, or societal norms.

In a nutshell, “Who We Love” is a heartfelt homage to love in all its expressions. Smith and Sheeran have beautifully captured not only the sentimental side of love but also its capacity for defiance, its resilience, and, above all, its power to transform and color the world around us.