Single Review: Ashanti “Only U”

Only U
Album: Concrete Rose
Year: 2004

While she was promoting the movie Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson on TRL, she barely spoke a word. The entire point was to do the stereotypical back-and-forth about how great it was to work together. Here’s a paraphased version of what happened. Jackson: “Ashanti was a wonderful girl to work with.” Ashanti: “Ha ha ha…oh Sam….ha ha ha.” Jackson: “Ashanti could totally beat me at singing.” Ashanti: “Ha ha ha ha…Yeah, I could…ha ha ha”

This continued for five solid minutes. For Ashanti, she laid the down-to-earth girly act – complete with fake, uproarious laughter – on thick. It came across as phony not endearing. If proved if she didn’t have a handler around her, she won’t be able to answer a couple, easy questions.

However, she is able to manage landing an excellent producer every now and then. Aurelius 7, who shaped “Only U” into a brawny, pounding rock beat, gives the single it’s slickness and spice. The single could function without a singer, be remixed in the clubs and no one would be the wiser.

In the single, Ashanti has a crush on a guy. She finds herself always standing by his side or looking for reasons to be close to him. She finds herself acting out of character and falling for him more with each day. She likes how he has her say his name.She’ll go, like, so crazy if he doesn’t date her. (“Oh I can’t wait to get next to you/ Oh I just can’t leave you alone/Boy you got me doing things that I would never do/And I can’t stop the way I’m feelin’ if I wanted to/I’m crazy bout the way you that you could make me say your name/And if I couldn’t have you I would probably go insane cause”).

In the chorus, the guy is only one who makes her feel in love and turned on. (“Only u can make me feel (only you can me make me feel)/And only u can take me there (only u can take me there”).

She’s thinking of him constantly. She likes his mannerisms and how he talks. She’s in love and willing to do anything, no matter the cost to make sure he’s her boyfriend. (“Boy you stay inside my mind ain’t no denyin’ that/And only you could do them things that got me comin’ back/Gotta be the realest thing that I have ever felt/And I’ll do what I gotta do to keep you to myself cause”). She’s really obsessive. If another girl were to just say ‘hello’, she’ll run and pull the girl’s hair out. But the most offensive thing is the non-word and slangy “realest.” The lyric “closest to love that I have ever felt” would’ve fit fine.

In the bridge, she simplifies the lyrics of the entire song in three sentences. She really likes him, has to have him, and will keep him forever. (“crazy/bout the way you (make me) feel/I just gotta have you/here and I/wanna let you/know/I won’t ever let you/go”).

A siren goes off in the background and the listeners are reminded that they are listening to Ashanti, which closes the song.

The beat complements Ashanti’s slight voice It’s the one single so far which has fit right into her range. There isn’t any high-pitched screaming or an excess of “baby’s” for her to sing. “Only U” is Ashanti’s only single worth a listen.


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