Critical Analysis

Daft Punk — One more Time

Length — 5 minutes, 20 seconds

Tempo — 123 BPM

Key — G

Genre — French House

Context — One more Time, by the french house duo Daft Punk was recorded in 1998 and released in 2000 on their album Discovery. This song is comprised of heavy auto-tuned vocals and a catchy house beat that really does make you want to dance. One more Time was written by Thomas Bangalter, Guy- Manuel de Homem-Christo (the Daft Punk duo) and Anthony Moore (aka Romanthony). This song was a commercial success, charting at number 1 on the Syndicat National de l’Edition Phonographique, number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, and is one of the duo’s few charting songs in the United States, reaching number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Era — French house is greatly influenced by the lineage of American dance music from the emergence of disco onwards, maintaining a distinct connection to Euro Disco and the short-lived space disco music style. Space disco was very popular in France, with artists like Cerrone, Space and Shelia B. Devotion during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Daft Punks’ impact on the french house music scene has been considerably large, with many of their songs, including this one peaking in the top 10 on charts such as the Billboard dance Chart and the Aria Charts.

Significance — Staying relevant for the long haul in the always-changing world of dance music is a near-impossible task, but this French dance-pop robot-human-immortals Daft Punk may have found one way to do it–by disappearing a lot. Sounds paradoxical, but by taking nearly a half-decade between each of their albums, and basically keeping totally out of the limelight in between release cycles, they manage to stay outside the trends, existing on a plane of their own, and turning it into an event whenever they actually decide to re-emerge from the shadows and release new music. With One more Time, they managed to impact several games and television shows which gave their song a concrete position. The song is featured in the Wii video game Boogie and PlayStation 3’s SingStar. It also appeared in the MTV animated series Daria in the fifth season episode “Aunt Nauseam” and the UPN/CW television mystery-drama Veronica Mars second season episode “I am God”.

One more Time was intended when written, to be an anthem for dance. With the repetitive lyrics and melody, this song is able to be considered part of the pop genre while still remaining electronica. Although it was never admitted to or written in the liner notes, there have been many accusations made that this track is made from re-sampling clips from the song ‘More Spell on You’, by Eddie jones, here is a really interesting video if you would like to see how many assume it was created.

Timbre —

Space disco can also be described by the virtual landscape it was trying to recreate. Since outer space was the main aesthetic they were going for, the use of large hall reverbs were mostly used for lead synths or even breakdown sections. The use of the large reverb is indicative to the vast and expansive nature of outer space since virtually, a long reverb with a long tail can be associated with a being in a large space. This is apparent in the song One More Time where the melodic nature is stripped back for almost two minutes of a breakdown where there is nothing but a single layer of synth with the vocals, both heavily processed with reverb. This section can also be indicative of the lonely/eerie nature of space since nothing can be found.(“Adib’s Audio Archive”, 2015)

There is often a strong emphasis on extended instrumental solos or jams, typically featuring a heavily distorted lead such as a guitar or synth as the main instrument. Once again this can be directly linked to the 2 minute instrumental break in the song.There’s also a considerable amount of resonance at the ends of the filters. This gives the sweeping sound when the cutoff frequencies are changing rather than just cutting out the frequencies as it passes.(“Adib’s Audio Archive”, 2015)

One More Time starts with the a high passed melodic hook. At the end of every 8th bar the sample is beat-mashed to every quarter beat. A vocal hook of “one more time” is then introduced every four bars which features a heavily autotuned created sound. This is the effect of a vocoder which is carried using a saw lead to create a robotic character of sound. A heavily compressed bass is introduced and is side chained to the four on the floor kick.
The percussions feature the use of a shaker and hi-hats and is also high passed along with the rest of the section. Alongside this, there is also a very metallic white noise sound which could be the after effect of the use of bitcrushing upon the percussions.(“Adib’s Audio Archive”, 2015)

This is the Daft Punk aesthetic: Music made not just by robots, but by well-intentioned robots; robots aware of, and trying to transcend, their robotic limitations. Daft Punk expresses the rhythmic music of production and electronic instrumentation through their use of dependence on digital instruments, loop and sample orientated lyrics, mechanistic beats and glitch sound aesthetics. It is because of the use of robotic synthesized sounds that One more Time appeals so tastefully to a sense of dance. 
Daft Punk have said that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines. Sampling often brought new life into old recordings and with the age of affordable samplers and synths, live studio sessions were not viable for most of the emerging bedroom producers who had a fondness of the genre.

References:
Unterberger, A. (2013). Every Daft Punk Song Ranked: “Get Lucky,” “One More Time” and More. Popdust. Retrieved 20 March 2016, from http://popdust.com/2013/04/26/every-daft-punk-song-ranked-best-to-worst/

Discovering “One More Time” — an analysis • /r/DaftPunk. (2014). reddit. Retrieved 20 March 2016, from https://www.reddit.com/r/DaftPunk/comments/1z8zuk/discovering_one_more_time_an_analysis/

Discovered — Make “One More Time” from “More Spell On You”. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 20 March 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ztzl_VYlX4

Beyond Beatmatching: Visualize The Structure Of Dance Music (How To DJ). (2016). Mixedinkey.com. Retrieved 20 March 2016, from http://www.mixedinkey.com/Book/Visualize-the-Structure-of-Dance-Music

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.