2015 has already one-upped 2014 because of “Only One,” the first single released from Kanye West’s still untitled seventh studio album.
The track, which is from the perspective of Kanye’s late mother, Dr. Donda West, is a collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney, who was rumored to be working with Kanye on a few songs featured on the record.
Though the pairing at first seems bizarre, “Only One” proves that the collaboration was a huge success. Both artists are extremely talented lyricists and understand the importance of the artistic process. In the press release that announced the release, McCartney recalled how Kanye believed that the lyrics that inspired the song, “Hello my only one…” came from his late mother. Kanye’s daughter, North, was sitting on his lap during his moment of inspiration and he said that “my mother was singing to me, and through me to my daughter.”
The music and the lyrics suggest an emotional and human side of Kanye that we haven’t heard from in the past few years. His last release, Yeezus, was aggressive and abrasive and heavy on the bass and the lyrics ranged from race-fueled anger (“New Slaves”) to misogynistic (I’m In It”) to embracing the egotistical image he’s created (“I Am A God”). That being said, it was an instant classic and still one of my most frequently played albums. Even on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye rarely touches on his sensitive side, even though many regard that album (another one of my favorites) as his apology album.
If anything, it sounds most similar to 808s, minus the bass. Kanye’s latest album has been rumored to sound nearly opposite to Yeezus, although thematically somewhat similar. “Only One” certainly proves these rumors to be true.
Stream “Only One” on Kanye’s website, and get ready cause Yeezy season’s approachin.