Twice have always seemed perfectly suited to the Japanese market. Their sugary blend of chirpy vocals and catchphrase-ready hooks echoes much of what has made j-pop successful, and it’s no surprise that they’ve already seen success with re-recordings of hits like Signal and TT. But with One More Time, the girls have gone full tilt saccharine for their first original j-pop single. And while the song is undeniably energetic, it lacks the quirkiness of their best work.
There is very little restraint here, as One More Time goes out of its way to spew catchy pop glitter all over the place. This sonic assault kicks off with the instrumental’s galloping synth, which is soon joined by every manner of electronic squiggle and accent until the production becomes one inescapable wave of unrelenting pep. Whether this lands with applause or a thud depends entirely on your tolerance for musical sugar. Beyond a misguided stab at autotune, One More Time is a well-constructed pop track, but I imagine its single-mindedness will be somewhat polarizing.
As usual when it comes to Twice singles, Time‘s verses are all over the place, pinballing from sing-song melody to cutesy faux hip-hop and ad-libs. They manage to shoehorn in their own name several times, which works in moderation but threatens to sound a bit gimmicky as the song draws to its climax. Still, with releases like One More Time, chorus is king. This time around, the girls are given a more bombastic hook than usual, which lends the track a potent sense of immediacy. Unfortunately, this instant appeal is a double-edged sword, as the melody begins to grate quite early. One More Time may make a splash, but I doubt that it will enjoy the staying power of Twice’s Korean material.
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