Nick Jonas Covers Kanye West’s “Only One”February 23, 2015
In what can only be described as a very strange move, Nick Jonas has covered Kanye’s ballad for his mother and daughter, “Only One.”
Artists covering each other’s work can be a weird and wonderful thing. When they’re good they’re really good – think Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” (originally by Dolly Parton) or Britney’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” (originally by Joan Jett) – but when they’re bad they’re awful.
Although having said that, Nick Jonas’s rendition of Kanye’s “Only One” probably falls somewhere in the middle.
The cover deviates very little from the original, using an almost identical track and featuring similarly distorted vocals to the Paul McCartney produced lead single from Yeezy’s new album. Nick’s voice sounds nice, as usual, albeit not particularly strong, but then again neither is Kanye’s really. The main reason this seems like such a strange move is the song’s subject matter.
Written from the point of view of Kanye’s mother who passed away in 2007, the song is a love-letter to Kanye and his daughter North, which means that in someone else’s hands the beautiful track loses a lot of its meaning and impact. Sure Nick pulls it off without embarrassing himself, and the homage is almost certainly meant with the best of intentions, but nonetheless it was an odd decision to make.
On the other hand, Kanye’s newly premiered album-opener with Sia, “Wolves”? That’s a track I’d like to hear Nick take on.
Ah, celebrity covers, where would be without them? Radio One’s Live Lounge would go out of business for one thing… which actually might not be the worst thing in the world.
What do you think of Nick’s take on Kanye’s track? Let us know in Exhale.