I Think the Storm Ran Out of Rain, the Clouds Are Moving
January 1, 2015 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Kanye West surprise released a new song (scrool down for lyrics) last night featuring Paul McCartney on the keyboard.

According to a press release (via Stereogum), "Only One" is “the first publicly available recording from what has become a prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists.” It features Kanye singing from his mother's point of view beyond the grave.

Music blogs have been kind, calling it "a beauty," a "Kanye lullaby," and a "heartbreaking ballad."

Accordingly, Kim approves.
posted by R.F.Simpson (91 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Since I can't editorialize in the FPP, let me just say that I think this is a beautiful way to clear out the cobwebs of 2014 and welcome in the new year.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 7:36 AM on January 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's no scrool like the old scrool.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:58 AM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Might want to warn people about the autoplay when the page loads...
posted by YAMWAK at 8:16 AM on January 1, 2015


If I ever meet Paul McCartney in person, I think he deserves a punch in the mouth for "We're Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time."
posted by Sphinx at 8:34 AM on January 1, 2015 [23 favorites]


If you only get one punch, you have to choose:

"Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time",
"Silly Love Songs",
"Ebony and Ivory", or
whatever this is.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:42 AM on January 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


That made me cry. Lovely.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:43 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Really not feeling the exaggerated autotune on this, and I'm not usually the guy complaining about autotune.
posted by Evstar at 8:45 AM on January 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


To be fair, it's a three-way collaboration between Kanye, Macca, and Antares Auto-Tune.
posted by colie at 8:47 AM on January 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Goddamn you glum motherfuckers it's 2015 leave that shit in the past.
posted by graventy at 8:58 AM on January 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


The McCartney has found a new host from which to draw life, invariably leaving its victims mere shadows of their former selves. Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello--can any of them be said to have surpassed or even equalled their previous work after a collaboration with The McCartney?

Poor Kanye...and he was doing so well...
posted by the sobsister at 9:07 AM on January 1, 2015 [21 favorites]


Oh yeah I forgot "The Girl is Mine"
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:10 AM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


A couple thing about the chords caught my attention so I had to play along with this a bit. For the most part it's G-B-em-C, or I-III-vi-IV. This is a variation of the magic "every pop song ever" progression which is I-V-vi-VI, subbing the III (which being major is itself borrowed) for the V. Near the end at the "tell Nori about me" bit it changes up a little to G-B-em-C-F, the F being a bVII chord is particularly McCartneyesque.
posted by sourwookie at 9:22 AM on January 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


Elvis Costello--can any of them be said to have surpassed or even equalled their previous work after a collaboration with The McCartney?

Oh god, are we going to have the Elvis Costello argument again?

Yes. Brutal Youth is a stone-cold classic, as is The Delivery Man. I liked quite a bit of Secret, Profane & Sugarcane too, especially in concert.

Lots of folks will come around to defend discs like The River In Reverse and North and Painted from Memory, which is their right, but I have my opinions.
posted by mykescipark at 9:26 AM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Paul channeling the 'Taxi' theme tune there as well.
posted by colie at 9:31 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


for anyone confused about the heavy auto-tune -

a few years ago, kanye's mother died suddenly - they were very, very close - around the same time a tumultuous relationship ended. in the aftermath, he wrote an album where he doesn't rap at all called 808s and heartbreak which heavily uses autotune, seemingly as a way to make it reflect the alienation he was feeling. it's not supposed to sound subtle and the point isn't even really to get him in tune. many are drawing connections from 808s to this song - like this is some sort of epilogue. in the r/hiphopheads thread they were referring to it as "808s and happiness."
posted by nadawi at 9:38 AM on January 1, 2015 [51 favorites]


Kim Kardashian's husband is a musician?!?
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:39 AM on January 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


another somewhat decent song ruined by someone pissing all over it with autotune - sometimes this might work with a fuller, dense arrangement in a dance track - but something that's supposed to be intimate and deeply felt?

20 years from now people are going to look back on this musical era and wonder what the hell was wrong with people
posted by pyramid termite at 9:41 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Paul channeling the 'Taxi' theme tune there as well.

Ahem. It is called "Angela" and it is by Bob James, whom you may also recognize from this.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:43 AM on January 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


The McCartney has found a new host from which to draw life

I have a similar theory about 'the Madge'...I wonder what would happen if you put the two together. Would they sink their sharp little fangs into each others necks and suck so rapidly that a high-pitched hissing noise would be heard as their bodies shriveled like deflated balloons into a perfect singularity until they left our universe with a sharp noise like "fip!" ? Sigh, if only...
posted by sexyrobot at 9:48 AM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's a decent song under that autotune. It sounds like he's singing it while he is karate chopping his throat.
posted by papercake at 9:50 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


i can totally understand this style of autotune/production not being someone's bag. taste is a subjective thing. but, for the same reason, i don't really understand people saying it's objectively bad. i personally find 808s & heartbreak to be one of the single best breakup/grief albums of all time and i feel like this track is similarly benefited from the choices made as far as autotune and sparse-ness is concerned (although no where near as sparse as 808s).
posted by nadawi at 9:53 AM on January 1, 2015 [15 favorites]


I think the Auto-Tune is OK actually, partly because it relieves some of the almost intrusive intimacy... it's also nice that Paul is noodling away on what sounds like an old Fender Rhodes electric piano; this is a family story song, he's well into his 70s and has had a fair share of grief in his long life too (deaths of Linda, John...). That comes across when he continues to play gently long after the song has finished, like it's a resigned comment on what we've just heard.

There are singers out there who could do this better but Kanye has hit a bullseye with the song and definitely benefitted from teaming up with a mature, sensitive multi-instrumentalist.

Other reference points are 'Still Crazy After All These Years' by Paul Simon, and Lennon's very intense 'Julia', which Paul had to coax tactfully out of him.
posted by colie at 9:56 AM on January 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


another somewhat decent song ruined by someone pissing all over it with electronic instruments - sometimes this might work with a fuller, dense arrangement in a dance track - but something that's supposed to be intimate and deeply felt?

negative 60 years from now people are going to look forward on this musical era and wonder what the hell will be wrong with people
posted by Metafilter Username at 9:58 AM on January 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


i can totally understand this style of autotune/production not being someone's bag. taste is a subjective thing. but, for the same reason, i don't really understand people saying it's objectively bad.

I don't think anyone's said it's objectively bad. I see "not feeling it" and a joke about Autotone being one of the contributors and.... that's pretty much it.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:58 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


i can totally understand this style of autotune/production not being someone's bag. taste is a subjective thing. but, for the same reason, i don't really understand people saying it's objectively bad.

it gets in the way of the performance and puts a weird twang and phrasing over everything - in some kinds of music, perhaps that's alright, it doesn't really have to sound human

here, it's in the way

and don't get me started on the utter prevalence of auto-tune in country music - that shit just isn't real
posted by pyramid termite at 10:00 AM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Painted from memory is, in my opinion, one of the greatest records of all time.

I despise auto tune but a bit less when it's so obvious. It's like putting frosting on a bagel though.
posted by spitbull at 10:01 AM on January 1, 2015


tonycpsu - and the comment about the song being ruined and how in 20 years people will wonder what was wrong with us. that's a statement of objective badness that pyramid termite doubles down on right below your comment.

pyramid termite - it's obvious this isn't something you enjoy, but to me and a lot people it doesn't get in the way, the inhumane sound of it, sparsely done, is a certain type of style that many enjoy.
posted by nadawi at 10:04 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


another somewhat decent song ruined by someone pissing all over it with electronic instruments

it's pretty much been electronic instruments since acoustical recording was replaced by electrical recording in the 1920s - the minute you put it through a mike and an amp, it stops being acoustic

nice try, though
posted by pyramid termite at 10:06 AM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


It still sounds raw anyway with the Auto-Tune and contrasts nicely with the keyboard texture.

Truly atrocious Auto-Tune has taken over large areas of pop, to the extent that some tracks are actually now putting the entire band through it and not just the vocals. Nothing should actually be this much in tune. It makes your teeth vibrate.
posted by colie at 10:07 AM on January 1, 2015


I like it and I find the AutoTune to be a stylistic element rather than a distraction. Then again, I have a copy of 808s and Heartbreak, so I can see the line from there to here.
posted by rednikki at 10:10 AM on January 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


hello, kanye and others have established an idiom of heavily autotuned vocals to signal alienation and sadness its light use here gives this song an emotional tension that is well suited to the subject matter

managing to sound like a dismissive out of touch old fogie about a song featuring paul freakin mccartney is actually sort of impressive so kudos some of you
posted by animalrainbow at 10:12 AM on January 1, 2015 [50 favorites]


Auto-Tune grates on me in the same way that orange and teal color grading in movies does.
posted by octothorpe at 10:13 AM on January 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


glad everyone is pointing out the song has autotune

paul mccartney and kanye west must not have noticed it was on
posted by Metafilter Username at 10:20 AM on January 1, 2015 [53 favorites]


Baffling.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:21 AM on January 1, 2015


Well I cried listening to it, you heartless bastards.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:40 AM on January 1, 2015 [18 favorites]



If I ever meet Paul McCartney in person, I think he deserves a punch in the mouth for


[insert a very long list]

a genius for sure, but man has he unleashed magnitudes more than his share of dreck upon the culture, and it started before the Beatles split.

As for the autotune controversy, let's just say I want my robots to admit they're robots. Or, what Brian Eno said getting on nine years ago now.
posted by philip-random at 10:43 AM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


getting on nine years ago now

Or, the time span known to us olds as "just yesterday, wasn't it?"*

* My theory is that summers seem so long when you're a kid because, relative to your life, they are still a big percentage of the time you've been alive. The summer when you're 7 is nearly 5% of your entire life, and probably more like 10% of the part of your life you can remember. The summer when you're 47 is about half of one percent of your life to that point. The same thing happens to years and even decades. Sigh.
posted by maxwelton at 10:52 AM on January 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Paul does edge into sentimentality a lot, but Kanye's walking that edge here too.
posted by colie at 10:54 AM on January 1, 2015


Glorious.
posted by chrchr at 10:54 AM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd say McCartney's work as a Beatle covers many sins. If I met him I'd buy him a beer.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:58 AM on January 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


The hate-Macca brigade is running out of original things to hate. Holy shit. Still harping on things released 30+ years ago. Let it go, people. It's freaking 2015. It's a New Year, if nothing else.
posted by blucevalo at 11:25 AM on January 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sure seems like a recording where everyone aside from the performers were thinking to themselves "geez that's too much autotune", while at the same time thinking to themselves, "hopefully someone tells them"
posted by milnak at 11:28 AM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah, perhaps this is why I've heard "Uncle Albert" coming from the cars so much in the last few days. Uncle Albert is just a song, it might not be the entirety of Radiohead or The Talking Heads, it's not Bob Dylan, it's not In the Aeroplane over the Sea.

It's a fun well crafted tune which has creative lyrics and sounds like summer and switches tempo and is FUN. Have a fucking butterpie FFS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWoGCdXT07g
posted by vapidave at 11:34 AM on January 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


OK OK OK guys check it out

what if Kanye West noticed he autotuned the song like this

like, what if the song sounded like this by choice and there was a specific artistic purpose for doing so
posted by schroedinger at 11:35 AM on January 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


like, what if the song sounded like this by choice and there was a specific artistic purpose for doing so

Can I still punch Paul McCartney?
posted by chavenet at 11:54 AM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


You all have seen the Paul McCartney Destiny video, right?

it's called "Hope for the future"
posted by hellojed at 12:02 PM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Free ideas for Ye in 2015: stop putzing around with old rock dinosaurs, subvert your maudlin impulses, get weirder.
posted by naju at 12:09 PM on January 1, 2015


I thought Yeezus was so bad that it actually diminished his previous work. If there's one thing that I can't stand it's when I get the feeling that someone is an actual asshole singing/rapping unrepentantly about being an asshole, no matter how talented they may actually be (see Tyler the Creator, ymmv), and that's what I got from Yeezus but also without any good wordplay or interesting production. It made me doubt my previous assessment that he's kind of an asshole, but knows it and is sort of working on it and rapping about it sometimes, which to me was sometimes even more interesting than simply being a musician who is not an asshole. I actually put in some listening time and cognitive work to get back to being able to enjoy Late Registration again at all.

Here, it seems that he's mostly replaced nuanced wordplay with sincerity, and I thought the production was great. The varying autotune and background vocals are like an abstraction of being on the verge of tears, or a storm (as he references). It fades in and out like something he's escaping from. And I love the electric piano sound anyway. For that matter this is the first McCartney work in a very long time that I can remember particularly enjoying.

On the other hand, he's still clearly got the "genius golden boy" attitude that he's carried so far here as to put his own self-aggrandizing words into the mouth of his dead mother. I can also see how his sort of brazen production and arrangement style can edge into breaking the flow of the song or being grating. For me he toes the line on both counts, but I read it as intentional and I like for lines to be toed. Sort of a cognitive syncopation. I'm reserving judgment, and I remain skeptical, but I'll definitely be paying attention again.

But is his daughter named after seaweed? I mean, that's cool if so, but is that what they've gone for?
posted by cmoj at 12:15 PM on January 1, 2015


But GUYS, Autotune is meant to...


{five intensely introspective minutes pass}


Goddamnit, nevermind.
posted by TheRedArmy at 12:19 PM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I liked it. The lyrics are simple but genuinely moving.

The varying autotune and background vocals are like an abstraction of being on the verge of tears

I thought that too - there are parts when it's hard to tell if he's smiling or on the verge of tears. It's an interesting way to listen to words which may have been belted out in a melodramatic fashion by other singers, milking every catch in the throat or intoning the last lines in an affected whisper.

But is his daughter named after seaweed

It's short for "North". Her name is North West. (Fuck I love this man)
posted by billiebee at 12:27 PM on January 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maybe the most saving grace of this song is that the excesses of Kanye (and there are many) are offset my the excesses of McCartney.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:27 PM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Absolutely beautiful, and completely agree with the 808s and happiness epilogue feeling.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:32 PM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Today is the first time I heard Kanye West sing, anything. I like this song, and I would like to hear more of his stuff to get an idea of his range. Nice, he honors his Mom, nice McCartney still makes music. I am reminded of his work on Blackbird, and other sweet ballads which humanized the Beatles. If you take a lovely but wreched little tune such as If I Fell, and hold it up to Kanye's new work, this work shines
posted by Oyéah at 12:46 PM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The hate-Macca brigade is running out of original things to hate. Holy shit. Still harping on things released 30+ years ago.

okay. then how about when he did the Colbert Report? Only time I ever turned it off. It just wasn't funny. The thing to have made fun of would have been the seventy year old guy pretending to be fifty years younger. But Colbert's not an asshole, so the whole thing just lamed ...

Yeah, I do find it very easy to hate stuff from throughout McCartney's career. But he's like Steven Spielberg -- there's also a pile of stuff to admire and be blown away by. vapiddave mentioned Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey a while back. That song is an amazing construction. It just keeps changing, keeps adding layers, keeps engaging. Too bad it's not about anything ... except maybe being insanely talented, getting high and thinking, hey I should see how many different songs I can fit into one song!

This is good by the way.
posted by philip-random at 1:08 PM on January 1, 2015


McCartney's solo catalogue is fantastic. Junior's Farm. Band On The Run. Magneto And Titanium Man. Cafe On The Left Bank. So many great songs.
posted by thelonius at 1:12 PM on January 1, 2015


yeah, but name something post-1976
posted by philip-random at 1:16 PM on January 1, 2015


... or 1978
posted by philip-random at 1:19 PM on January 1, 2015


yeah, but name something post-1976

I did.
posted by thelonius at 1:19 PM on January 1, 2015


Of course it's autotuned— it's Kanye, not Bill Callahan! If it weren't autotuned, people would say, "Nice song, Kanye— much better than 808s & Heartbreak. We always knew you could sing like Bill Callahan." I don't think Kanye wants to ever hear that.
posted by yaymukund at 1:22 PM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've never been a McCartney hater but he's struggled to find anyone challenging enough to push his imagination since Lennon. Many would be scared of his vast career achievements. But given that Kanye has a reputation as a raging egomaniac in no doubt of his own talents, it sounds like it all worked out and they inspired each other.
posted by colie at 1:25 PM on January 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't understand the way you think, saying that the song is Kanye's.

The song is McCartney's. The dog gone song is his.
posted by maxsparber at 1:51 PM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I liked it but I suspect the autotune is there to hide the fact Kanye can't actually sing very well. It suspiciously cuts in when he has to reach. But he made it work.
posted by fshgrl at 2:22 PM on January 1, 2015


A little schmaltzy for my tastes but it's a pop ballad so I guess that's kinda the point
posted by Hoopo at 2:35 PM on January 1, 2015


The hate-Macca brigade is running out of original things to hate. Holy shit. Still harping on things released 30+ years ago. Let it go, people.

11/16/79, never forget.

Anyway, I rather like that song, possibly because I don't get subjected to heavy doses of winter holiday music every year.

Back to the auto-tune war at hand, I think the split between hating all (heavy) use of auto-tuning and support for the tool as an artistic statement is a false dichotomy. You can appreciate an artist's intention while simultaneously hating the results.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:00 PM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well I ain't saying Paul is a gold digger.....
posted by humanfont at 3:48 PM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


yeah, but name something post-1976

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, 2005. Fantastic album.
posted by Dismantled King at 5:56 PM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Beautiful. Had me sobbing through my NYE-hangover.
posted by sallybrown at 6:12 PM on January 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thank you so much for posting this. I love Kanye, I love Metafilter and I love that so many of you were crying along with me this New Year's Day.

This combination of mourning and gratitude is an honest and inspiring post-script to 808s and Heartbreak.
posted by Muppetattack at 6:47 PM on January 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I love it, I was sobbing as well. I lost my father unexpectedly and the blow was never more keenly felt nor more fully assuaged than when I thought about my father meeting my son. I often imagine my father as my own personal cheering section from the hereafter. I see Kanye does that too and I share his pain and his joy and I love this goddamn song.
posted by msali at 7:06 PM on January 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


When I say this sounds bad I'm not being out of touch, I'm from 10 years in the future when this shit sounds embarrassingly dated as hell.
posted by speicus at 7:32 PM on January 1, 2015


That was absolutely lovely. One thing I really love about Kanye's work (at least the work I'm familiar with) is that he lets the non-vocal parts of the music really breathe and fill out their own part of the narrative. I'm thinking in particular of the long instrumental meanderings on Runaway and, in this case, Paul's simple yet utterly poignant electric piano noodling after the vocals have finished. Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff.
posted by treepour at 7:57 PM on January 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is super amazingly beautiful.

"You're not perfect, but you're not your mistakes."
posted by edheil at 9:51 PM on January 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wait. Who's Paul McCartney? Is he like a boy band?
posted by hal_c_on at 10:14 PM on January 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Love it. Definitely cried a lot.
posted by SarahElizaP at 10:15 PM on January 1, 2015


Liked it — wonder if the whole album will be like this or if this track will be a kind of Bound 2 standout. The autotune works. Kanye does a great job with vocal effects.
posted by ageispolis at 11:47 PM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Singing from the perspective of his mum works for Kanye and maybe explains why he's so sure of himself. If I close my eyes and imagine my mum singing at me, it's basically a torrent of negativity, random blame-storming, and grim warnings.
posted by colie at 2:44 AM on January 2, 2015


Was it working with McCartney that brought some of this sweetness out of Kanye? If so, thank you Paul. I just like to see West feeling content and getting this sense of release. I thought I could almost hear him crying at the end during the "tell Nori about me"s, and he auto tuned it so it wasn't so noticeable. I think it's really moving. The other part that gets me is edheil's quote, "you're not perfect but you're not your mistakes." Very triumphant song.
posted by onlyconnect at 5:01 AM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the one hand I appreciate the fact that Kanye is eschewing pop perfectionism with the set-and-forget approach to Autotune. The "I cobbled this together in my bedroom at 2am" feel to the track makes it accessible in a way that clearly works for his fans.

On the other, the whole thing is just so sloppy that I can't listen to it all the way though more than once without hearing it as a producer and being assaulted by the laziness of the production.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:26 AM on January 2, 2015


I dug this. The song clearly calls for a crooner-type vocal performance and since Kanye knows his vocal limitations, he uses the auto-tune as a instrument to achieve the desired effect. This was a good use of autotune. Nice keys work by McCartney, too.
posted by GrapeApiary at 7:01 AM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


for those basking in the melancholy sweetness, here's a clip from 2003 where kanye and his mom rap.

Singing from the perspective of his mum works for Kanye and maybe explains why he's so sure of himself.

i agree with this - her support of him has always been evident, i think (and where she's been disappointed, kanye has worked to overcome). i also think the song can be seen in a couple of different ways simultaneously - first, the one he and everyone says, his mom speaking to nori through him - but also, him realizing the pride and love and hope she felt in him wasn't a put on when he looks and nori and sees how deep that emotion goes. he was his mom's "only one" and now nori is his.
posted by nadawi at 7:14 AM on January 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


and maybe closer to the topic - kanye and donda sing "hey mama"
posted by nadawi at 7:17 AM on January 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I liked this but was appreciating it on two levels simultaneously - the immediate one, in which I enjoyed the song and what Kanye seemed to be trying to do with it (autotune and all, even if the sound pulled me out sometimes), and the one in which I anticipate some really beautiful covers of it.

Someone mentioned above the way Kanye lets his instrumental sections breathe when they need to, and I agree - that's one of my favourite things about his music. All Of The Lights is one of my favourite songs of his for that reason. It has such a lush, beautiful sound and he lets you luxuriate it in without vocals for quite a lot of the running time.
posted by pseudonymph at 9:14 PM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Was it working with McCartney that brought some of this sweetness out of Kanye?

Just remembered that Paul's mother died suddenly when he was 14, and John's mother was killed in a car accident when John was 17. Some say this contributed to a silent understanding between them.

Paul wrote 'Let it Be' based on a dream about his mother. He also coached a coy John through the recording of his mother song 'Julia' with encouragement from the control room (which you can hear after 1:25 here). The two of them also consistently urged the other not to feel embarrassed about emotional soul-bearing or raw songs in the studio (anyone who has played in a band knows you can just feel plain silly when you stand there opening up about something personal). Paul even says he was too embarrassed to sing 'Long Tall Sally' at gigs until John insisted it would sound good.

And Paul has four daughters. Some interesting parallels there.
posted by colie at 3:27 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


On the other, the whole thing is just so sloppy that I can't listen to it all the way though more than once without hearing it as a producer and being assaulted by the laziness of the production.

Yeah, same. It sounds like it was put together in an afternoon and they called it a day. Parodoxically, I think Kanye's deference and lack of ego here is the real problem. He's overly reverent to McCartney's noodling Rhodes. It's not a labored-over, carefully constructed Kanye joint. I expect better from him as a producer!
posted by naju at 11:56 AM on January 3, 2015


If I met him I'd buy him a beer.

I'd kind of hope that Macca would pick up the tab tbh

The hate-Macca brigade is running out of original things to hate.

2012 Olympics opening ceremony. Whoever chose him, ugh, and McCartney himself should have known at his age that he can't reliably hit a note anymore. I don't hate him for continuing to try, because continuing to push is the hallmark of an artist. What bothers me is that I'd thought for a long time that he really was a thoughtful and introspective artist who knew when not to perform or release.

Also I'm one of those people who loves Autotune when it's used either invisibly or very bluntly as an instrument (e.g. Cher, Believe, which wasn't Autotune per se but the effect is the same). Tori Amos uses reverb as an instrument, Autotune can be the same. The over-use of it is just "slap some reverb on everything and it'll sound better."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:32 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is another joyful video of West singing "Hey Mama" to his mom. I noticed that in that song he also talks about God sending him an angel, but there he meant his mom, and I wonder if there are other back and forth references between the two songs.

Here's a Billboard interview with Ty Dolla $ign, who sings backup vocals on Only One, about the process of recording a bunch of songs with West, McCartney and Rihanna in Mexico and the recent release of Only One. Asked what he learned from working with West, he said: "Just take my time and really examine what's dope and what's not. He reminds me of myself a lot. [He has] all the homies around, everybody being like 'yes' or 'no' [about a song]. Also, be real critical about what you do, [and] not just let anything go out there."

The more I read about West and listen to his music (I listened to almost all of 808s and Heartbreak last night), the more I really admire him, and I think I want to read more than Wikipedia and random internet articles about his life and his work. So I think I'll go to AskMe.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:39 AM on January 4, 2015


ugh, and McCartney himself should have known at his age that he can't reliably hit a note anymore.

Well luckily Kanye has that issue covered with his studio kit.

But seriously, the references to Paul's age don't sit too well with me (I'm 42) because I think it's great that this much younger rap artist can get inspired making music with a 72 year old. People complain about Mick Jagger still trying to do what he did 45 years ago and looking silly, but here's an example of someone of the same generation who I would guess has thought about 'when not to perform or release', but after the songs were recorded West presumably said 'I like it, let's release.'
posted by colie at 11:13 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I posted an AskMe today looking for substantive articles about West, and am getting some good suggestions FWIW.
posted by onlyconnect at 12:46 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


But seriously, the references to Paul's age don't sit too well with me

I was only referring to his age inasmuch as he has an enormous breadth of experience, which should include knowing when to take a bow. I'm not suggesting he should stop writing or recording, just that maybe enormous live events might not be something he's capable of anymore. No value judgement about his age.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2015


On Snobbery, Kanye & McCartney
posted by naju at 4:55 PM on January 5, 2015


If ever we needed more proof that Paul is dead. Surely this.
posted by humanfont at 7:48 PM on January 5, 2015


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