Patty and the Ohs Do it Right on “Useless Love”
Your man Patty—from Alabama and Patty and the Oh’s—knows just what he’s doing on the group’s latest single. He and the rest of the gang have put together a jam, a vivacious, toe-tapping, finger-snapping affair entitled “Useless Love”, that does so much in its three minutes and less-than-30 seconds that it’s almost not fair.
For starters, money’s got one heckuva melody on the verses. It’s something birds could sing if they felt so inclined, the sort of thing Frankie Lyman and the Teens could’ve put together in the 50’s (or was that the 60’s?).
His phrasing, his delivery, and the cadence on the tune is fun, free-spirited and, perhaps most of all, kinetic. It’s quick to get you going, but doesn’t necessarily get you going quickly. Dancing to this number would almost certainly involve a partner, or perhaps a longing for a partner, to twist and turn with or simply sway, listening to the lecture Patty’s giving about the nihilistic aspects of love, or quite possibly, that of a specific love in particular.
Moreover, the song writing on this one is worth one’s attention. The tune doesn’t have so much of a hook as it does a refrain, a repetition of the title at the end of every couple of bars or so. There’s a ‘rising action’ of sorts to mix metaphors (though not really), but nothing too much more for you to sing along to in unison but the track’s title.
Everything about the cut is innocuous in a way that’s not quite saccharine. The electric guitars are tame yet effective, especially during the midway point of the second verse when it picks Pat up and somehow never seems to let him go. Most of this stringed work—in addition to the bass and stylophone—is manned by Dune Butler. Charles Wicklander is credited on the Farfisa, whatever that is, though one has a sneaky suspicion that might be the harmonica-like instrument, which alternately sounds like a synth or something to that effect as well, that populates the upbeat portion of the bridge.
And, to top it all off, there’s William Mapp holding it down on the cue sticks. Trust, the way foursome collaborate, that forthcoming album of theirs, Out of Everything, can’t get here quick enough.