One Thread Only: "One Song Only" Podcast Discussion


Not insane at all, I feel the same exact way. All Falls Down doesn’t do it for me, particularly the hook, and Addiction is such an interesting kind of outlier in Kanye’s catalog, production-wise.

The more I’m looking at what’s to come in the bracket, the more I think there’s a real chance not a single Yeezus track makes it out of round 1 in the podcast, and it’s maybe not looking great for TLOP. For me, stuff like Spaceship v. Ultralight Beam or Family Business v. Bound 2 are no brainers, but I’m sensing a lot of College Dropout love. It’d be a shame for those albums to get left out of the discussion in later rounds but the deck sure seems stacked against them.


Yeah I just listened to the new episode:

(Runaway vs Blood on the Leaves Spoilers)

Blood on the Leaves was put in a bad spot. I did appreciate it getting some minutes of talk. Though I’m not buying Art’s contrasting of Blood on the Leaves and Runaway as big vs minimal. Yes the brass part is real loud, but when the piano comes back on top, it mellows the whole beat, and it feels a bit empty the entire time, despite how much is going on. Like, there’s some negative space there. It feels angry, but also a bit hollow? Don’t know if I’m describing it well. Whereas Runaway is a ballad, sure, but an incredibly lavish one. Past the beginning and the small section before the autotune solo, there isn’t really any negative space. Blood on the Leaves feels much more a draft to me than Runaway. Not to put them all on blast or anything, just that statement took me by surprise

But to Austin’s first point, I only listened to Yeezus recently, but after hearing New Slaves (where he alludes to Strange Fruit saying “blood on the leaves” and then seeing the track title Blood on the Leaves had me thinking it was going to be at least a little bit about race and yeah, despite being a realy good honest love song, it probably could have been something more.

I still like it more than Runaway, but I gotta respect how important Runaway is.


I think Austin has said something to the effect of Bound 2 being his favorite Yeezus song, so I’m hopeful there at least.


Kanye being secretly right wing makes Stacey Dash’s role in the All Falls Down video make more sense, at least.


Yea I feel ya about Art framing the production of Blood on the Leaves and Runaway big vs minimal. Runaway definitely sounds kinda simple, but there is some more low key stuff going on in that song that I think gives it more of a, not sure how to put this, complete feeling? For instance, how the low, droning noise that comes in with the drums does a such good job of filling out the empty space. And when later on in the song, most noticeably during the bridge and at end of Pusha’s verse, that droning noise gets pitched up and transforms into this kinda synthy-string sound; to me stuff like that make the song feel like a much more fully formed song when compared to Blood on the Leave.


Any thoughts on the upcoming matchups for this next episode?

Blame Game vs Roses (6th seed vs 11th)
Good Life vs Celebration (3rd seed vs 14th)
The Glory vs Get Em High (7th seed vs 10th)
All of the Lights vs School Spirit (2nd seed vs 15th)


It seems like chalk to me, the higher seed winning every matchup. Roses is a great song and one of the best first-round losers in my personal bracket, but I think I like Blame Game just a tiny bit more. Also excited to get to All of the Lights, which might be able to win the whole thing.


Yeah this seems like a kinda dull part of the bracket, for me the high seed wins easily across the board. The Glory and Get Em High is the only competitive one, but that’s because I don’t really like either song that much.

Not to be the guy who complains about the bracket design, but if I had my way I’d cut all the low seeds except maybe Roses and replace them with some Pablo or Yeezus so those albums would be better represented.


I wouldn’t be surprised if Blame Game loses its matchup. I like the song a good deal, but the Chris Rock/“Yeezy taught me” outro is rough, and considering that it takes up around a third of the song’s playtime, I think it’s a pretty hard thing to gloss over when you’re having a discussion about that song.


As I’ve said above, One Song Only has what has got me listening to Kanye West at all (and definitely a listening choice I feel more mixed on now than I did when the podcast started).

Speaking totally from my own preferences, my winners here would be:

Some of this is purely instinctual and likely won’t track with what the folks on the podcast will take. Being a fresh fan means my tastes are pretty undercooked, which often means under-scoring the tracks that are a little more out there (see: the first listing there).

I think there’s potential for Celebration over Good Life, since there are individually strong parts of it, even if I think the overall package doesn’t work for me.

I think there’s potential for a switch-up on the chalk between The Glory and Get Em High, since I feel like Get Em High is a much more distinctive song. The sample work on The Glory is really good, but there’s also a really well-supported feature from Talib Kweli (the passed-along rhyme always grabs my attention).

I think All of the Lights wins its bracket, although it’s the only Kanye song I personally had a lot of familarity with before listening to the bracket, so it has some overexposure working against it whenever I listen to it (sorry, Ali!). Definitely here for the discussion around it, hopefully School Spirit doesn’t get so walked we get some time with the discussion.


Honestly this might be the weakest chunk of the whole tournament imo. All of the Lights is a classic and might win this whole tournament, but other than that i don’t feel strongly about any of these songs for whatever reason. Good Life never really clicked for me, Blame Game is ruined by the outro, The Glory and Get Em High have never stuck out to me. That being said, I think I’d agree with @robowitch’s picks.


I’d agree with this – when I’ve been listening to the bracket playlist, I’ll often fast forward through most of this.

I’m confident that the podcast will be interesting still, since I feel like there’s a lot of quality contextual talk that I’m missing with all of these tracks.


Yeah. The outro is definitely rough. It hasn’t affected my personal rating much because I’ve been skipping over it for almost eight years now, but pretending that a third of the song doesn’t exist is a cop out so I’m interested in how it affects things.


Oh yeah, for sure. I’m really interested to hear some of the discussion on Roses in particular, considering some of the political observations made in that song compared to Kanye’s more recent turn.


Yeah I’d put All of the Lights in my top 5 and Good Life in my top 15 or so, but other than that a pretty quiet set of matches for me, don’t have much opinion on the other songs.


it is still wild to me that Gone isn’t on this bracket.


New podcast just went up by the way. Fans of Giant Bomb’s Alex Navarro will be excited to hear his Game of the Year discussion catchphrase “I don’t think it hangs here but”


The thing with this bracket is that I love all of these songs, with a few very rare exceptions, and that can be exceptionally hard in places like this where it’s mostly weaker songs.

I just finished listening and I honestly don’t remember which way they went (I’m pretty much just here for the analysis/banter) but I would definitely have to go with Blame Game over Roses if for no other reason than I love when Kanye sings and this is one of my favorite examples of that.

Also I found myself struggling to remember what Celebration sounded like and after putting it on I immediately recognized the feeling that Austin was talking about and it makes me more partial to that song.

Lastly, I wasn’t sure how it would feel listening to this cast in the midst of all the shenanigans going on with Kanye currently, but being slightly removed from some of the worst of it (at least so far) I realized what I appreciate most about this podcast is hearing criticism of Kanye from people who actually appreciate him. I still struggle to accept criticism of Kanye from the “Kanye has always been bad” crowd, but hearing people who have bought into the Kanye West experience in the same way that I have sit and dissect some of the aspects of his life and career that I’ve not really engaged with in a thoughtful way throughout my fandom has been really enlightening.


Weakest match-ups so far, probably the weakest overall, but there were some pleasant surprises in this round for me. “Celebration” was a track I kind of forgot about and I realized I really like it, and as someone who has always struggled to enjoy and connect with Twisted Fantasy, I found some new enjoyment of “All of the Lights.”

The other match-ups are more or less toss-ups for me of what I’m sort-of-enjoying more. “Blame Game” gets by for me because I find “Roses” pretty boring and (as mentioned on the show) the “I’mma shoot a bootlegger” line in the skit just kills me. I really dislike “The Glory” and while the verses on “Get Em High” are sub-par all around, the drums are really great.


Same as most people here, I think that this portion of the Donda region in the bracket is pretty weak.

However, I do have to go to bat for School Spirit and Blame Game. In defense of the Chris Rock skit on Blame Game, like Ali said of Jay’s verse on Monster, you could zone out and listen to the background.

For School Spirit, on its own it barely rises above decent. But when I consider it along with the 2 accompanying skits, it’s just too perfect a post-grad school anthem for me. It’s not something that you’d dance to or get excited to hear on the radio, but it’s one song I never skip on shuffle.