Under Review

The Submissives

Do You Really Love Me?

Fixture Records; 09/09/2016

If some artists are lovesick, poor Deb Edison is lovedead. The Submissives perform as a six piece, but Deb uses her yearning and heartache to write, play, and record every part. Do You Really Love Me? is pop testimony to what romance can do to a girl.

The instruments sound as pitiful as her exhausted, doubled drone. In “Listen to Them,” she confirms all the rumors, saying, “It’s true all the things that people say / All I do is cry all day.” When she is nearly incapacitated by her feminine heartache, she lets her twangy, slow guitar do the crying for her.

And remember Betty, as in the Betty from “Betty Told Me”? The heroine of The Submissive’s last album? Well, back then we thought she was a kindred spirit, but it turns out that she’s actually a real low-life. Betty deserves the up-tempo, sure call-out she’s given. “I never had a friend named Betty / She took it all away / She took my baby.” She is dead to us. Bye-bye Betty.

At least you know where you stand with other girls. But when it comes to love, the world is a huge and confusing place. On “Forces,” Deb faces the overwhelming helplessness that has driven her wacky. “My head’s a couple inches from the telephone / I keep checking just to see that I have a tone.” This song will be especially relatable for lady-listeners, letting them think, “that’s just like the time I…”*

The boys in Deb’s life can only give love and the absence of love. And the absence of love is sadness. So poor Deb doesn’t even get to be mad at them, she has to go on loving them forever. All she can do is wait around and hope they change their minds. Deb doesn’t blame them — her pure heart is filled only with love. But I will! Screw you guys. At least tell a girl why why you won’t call anymore.

Do You Really Love Me is an album to listen to if you want to hear the real emotions of a real girl.

*For me, it was the time I mailed my ex’s new girlfriend a dead rat. What goes around comes around, Michelle!