GENRE | CELEBRITY BALLAD
LABEL | N/A
As hard as it is to picture Kanye West and Paul McCartney hanging in the studio together, the proof is now out, and the product of their session actually works quite well. “Only One” is a celebrity ballad that isn’t afraid to get soft. The audio is a bit compressed, but this effect adds to Kanye’s decision to turn the Auto-Tune up. There’s this desire to be perfect, to fix his voice and overcompensate, which speaks to the song’s lines about change, self-improvement, and aging.
When the chorus kicks in with “Know you’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes,” things get sweet. “My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” West said in a press release. “Only One” gets more heartfelt come the end, when the organ grows round at its edges, acting as a lullaby that drifts off into sleep. Considering McCartney lost his mother at age 14, the collaboration is all the more touching and, miraculously, appropriate.