The One by Kodaline

Track: The One
Artist: Kodaline
Album: Coming Up for Air
Genre: indie, pop, rock
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 9/10
Overall:
8/10
Sounds Like: Keane, The Script, Snow Patrol, Train
Interesting Fact: This song has a great backstory.

The One story
Bonus Fact: After knowing this, I can totally relate to this song on a whole other level. My brother and I wrote a song together for my other brother’s wedding. We were throwing ideas back and forth in the van on the way to the wedding, stayed up all night with a guitar and tiny keyboard on an iPad trying to finish it. We literally sang it for the first (and last) time at the wedding. Steve Garrigan, I feel you. Solidarity, bro.
Best thing About this Track: Feel all the feels! But this song is well-written feels. It’s not one of those cheap songs that doesn’t care about artistry and just tries to leech off of your emotions. This song is a poetic expression of the feels you get when you’re in love.
One thing I wish was different: Specificity. This is a niche track. It’s the perfect song for weddings, but it’s specific enough that the overall poetry becomes somewhat less universally relatable. One thing that is so great about any type of art is the unifying and universal aspect that transcends language, customs, and social differences. That is still true with this song, but in a much narrower field than other songs on this album.
Website: Kodaline

So, this is actually not my favorite song on “Coming Up for Air”. That’s not to say that I don’t love this song. I’m writing about it, so duh. I love it. I’m just saying that this album is insane, and it has so much to offer beyond this track. There are several other songs from the album that have much more depth, but there are none that would rate better on the adorbs scale than this one. And it’s Friday, so #lovesongs. On a scale from Hate (I Really Don’t Like You)  to 1, 2, 3, 4 this song comes in at a solid I Love You Will Still Sound the Same. (For those of you keeping score at home, that means it’s off the charts adorbs.)

From a chordal perspective, this song is not that complex. It’s pretty much what you’d expect coming from a pop/rock song. Melodically, however, it’s a whole different animal. Probably a zebra. A baby one. I think that makes the chord progression a puppy. Most likely a golden retriever. It’s fun, cute, wonderful, and entirely adequate but also wholly predictable. Baby zebra though? Now that’s exciting! It’s fairly black and white, which may seem like it will be boring with generic runs and intervals, but the arrangement of simple yet graphic statements tonally makes a beautiful pattern that is universally exciting and interesting.

Also exciting and interesting is the triple kick drum on the verses. It’s kind of my favorite. Really the whole song is extremely rhythmically awesome and unique. Driven by the kick drum and snare, the rhythm section goes in and out of straight beats and a driving triplet-inspired groove starting on the pickup. The bass guitar on this track is pretty minimal, really there to help drive home the melody with a walking bass line over the chord progression.

Of course, I can’t move on without talking about the strings, which might be one of the biggest stars on this track musically. Soaring and ever-present throughout the song, they really set the tone for the lyrics and evoke the sense of peaceful exuberance that this song is centered on. Also, I must say that though the guitar on this track is really kind of in the background, it is so well done. Attention to detail. It has been paid.

Lyrically, the song is an answer to the question asked by commitment-phobes everywhere: how do I know if he/she is the one. Finding the one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with does not guarantee blue skies ahead and smooth sailing from there on out. Finding and being with that person doesn’t actually change the world around you; it changes how you feel about the world. I could keep talking about this, but honestly, I could not do a better job than Steve did. Just read the lyrics and let them speak to your heart.

Did I mention yet how well-written these lyrics are? It’s not just that he found a way to photograph your emotions in textual form to peer back at you from the song but the artistry with which he paints them that really makes this piece so incredible. The assonance in this thing is just out of control in the most insanely purposeful way. How beautiful is that in a song whose message is “You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong”?

These are not perfect rhymes. I mean, sure there are some scattered here and there throughout. There will be bright spots in a relationship that are truly perfect. But this song is about celebrating the everyday wonder in artistry that is not a perfect or exact match, but a beautiful compliment. This song is chockfull of examples and allows the listener to subconsciously exercise appreciating the perfect connection between words and phrases that are not perfect pairs. But as a listener, you don’t hear the imperfection. Or rather, you do hear the imperfection, but it does not sound flawed to you. You hear the beauty with which they fit together. You hear the similarities over the differences. You hear the strengths over the weaknesses. When your soul sees and hears another soul like it hears this song, “That’s how I know you are the one.”

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Lyrics:
Tell me, tell me that you want me
And I’ll be yours completely, for better or for worse
I know, we’ll have our disagreements
Be fighting for no reason, I wouldn’t change it for the world
Cause I knew, the first day that I met you
I was never gonna let you, let you slip away
And I still remember feeling nervous
Trying to find the words to get you here today

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong
That’s how I know that you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one

Life is easy to be scared of
With you I am prepared for what is yet to come
Cause our two hearts will make it easy
Joining up the pieces, together making one

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong
That’s how I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one

When we are together you make me feel like my mind is free
And my dreams are reachable
You know I never ever believed in love or believed one day
That you would come along

Free me.
You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong
That’s how I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one
That’s how I know you are the one

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