in Obsessong

I wanted to do an obsessong as soon as Colin debuted the feature, then immediately lost my drive. For one, it was writing about music, which I consider myself particularly poor at. But more than that, I wasn’t sure how to pick a song. What are the official criteria? Is it a single song that is so strong that it makes me listen to a whole album just to get to it? A song that I have to listen to over and over? One that I just like way more than I should? But with the release of Random Access Memories and the recent death of Anthony Moore, I thought this gem from Daft Punk was worth discussing.

Song: “One More Time” by Daft Punk
Album: Discovery
Year: 2001
Written By: Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Anthony Moore

My Relationship With This Song

Well, everybody’s heard this at some point, right? The first time I remember hearing “One More Time” was on the Cartoon Network, when they aired the first few songs of Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, the anime film version of Daft Punk’s second, and probably greatest, album Discovery. That was 2003, and “One More Time” was around as a single as early as 2000, so I’m sure I’d have heard it before then. Even though I’ve never been that into Daft Punk, it’s damn hard to not find joy in this song.

Reasons Why I Love This Song

Ahead of Its Time: Romanthony’s memorable vocals on “One More Time” are hella Auto-Tuned, something that was really not cool back then. Hell, it’s really cool now either, but back then Auto-Tune was seen as a damned despicable tool, a crutch for talentless singers. Daft Punk found a way to use it as a tool to let them manipulate singing like any other instrument. T-Pain gets it.

Irresistible Simplicity: What is this song, really? Those vocals, sampled horns, bass, and percussion. Well, there’s the breakdown part with keyboards, too. But it’s not a lot of parts, they’re just all really good. Romanthony’s lyrics are simple, but appealing, it’s hard to resist that “let the good times roll” attitude. The bass and drums are retro and thumpy and irresistible. And those horns sound crazy!

The Unplugged Version: There are a lot of remixes of “One More Time,” but the one you probably need to check out is from Daft Club. This is Romanthony’s stripped down version, just him and a guitar. It’s not particularly good, but I think that helps show how great Daft Punk is at finding what works (Romanthony’s sensuality) and masking what doesn’t. Also, it makes it pretty clear that, in context, “One More Time” is about trying to convince a lady-friend to, uh, have a rematch. And then it ends on a weird note about a robot takeover, which is funny.

That Music Video: You ever see Interstella 5555? Basically the plot is that these blue aliens live on a party planet and play “One More Time” which is so popular the entire world has to tune in to watch them play. This is unfortunate, since it lets alien invaders sneak in and kidnap the band, bringing them to Earth and transforming them into humans. “One More Time” becomes such a hit on Earth it gives the evil human that abducted the band the supernatural power he always craved. I’m just saying, it takes quite the song to make the case that it could be the biggest hit on two different worlds. But maybe “One More Time” is that song.

Why I Will Continue To Love This Song

Did I mention that “One More Time” is maybe the catchiest song I’ve ever heard? Those simple, repeated lyrics, that pounding beat, this song instantly gets me bobbing my head and tapping my toes. And when it ends, it just keeps going on… In my brain. That’s what these Obsessongs are all about, right? Or did I miss the point entirely? I should probably reread the posts Colin wrote one more time.