‘Obscure Music and Football’ prides itself on not only giving credit to ‘cool’ songs that somehow slipped the net, but also to the ‘uncool’ ones.
‘Call It Love’ by Deuce was never going to be fondly remembered, but it deserves more credit than it is often given.
‘Call It Love’ is certainly bold. The kitsch production immediately grabs the listener’s attention, and the mix of Eurodance and bubblegum pop conveniently complements each other.
It’s also clear, from the onset, which the track plays up to its camp sound, which is an endearing quality.
Lead singer Kelly O’Keefe’s vocals are less restrained than her contributions in their minor hit ‘On the Bible‘, but her confident and dynamic performance suits the tone of the song. It makes it instantly distinctive and appealing.
Just as appealing are the nice touches that ‘Call It Love’ has.
The dramatic piano solo, which is used sparingly in the beginning of the song and during the break, makes the track even more striking.
It is also welcoming to see lyrics that have had some thought put into them, even if they are too repetitive.
These fiery lyrics – which include “You can think what you like/It’s the same every night/You go on and on and on” – are ideal for Deuce’s brash attitude.
It ensured that they were a cut above all of the other manufactured acts in 1995; they had that little bit more maturity and professionalism about them.
Popular manufactured acts at the time – including Boyzone, Take That, East 17 and MN8 – were usually all-male acts.
Mixed sex bands such Optimystic were less popular during this period, and Deuce’s main failing was that their male identity failed to match O’Keefe’s unique style.
The tame vocals from Paul Holmes, during his solo, meant that their verses lacked purpose without O’Keefe’s input.
This severely damages the longevity of this début single. O’Keefe, along with the superb dance-influenced break, was the saving grace of ‘Call It Love’.
Without her star quality, it is highly likely that Deuce would have immediately plummeted to the depths of mediocrity.
‘Call It Love’, nonetheless, remains a fun and catchy slice of camp pop, even if it did nothing more than that.
It doesn’t sound as fresh as it did 1995 and it’s fluffy at times, but it still has bags of charm. It may have even been a minor pop classic if O’Keefe had been marketed as a solo artist.
It sounds crazy enough to have worked.