Cynthia Rhodes is in a passionless relationship in the frosty “Calling It Love.”
Thoughtful strings open the single, setting an independent tone. Rhodes is cuddled up next to her boyfriend. She’s wide awake, thinking of a proper, painless way to break up with him. She reasons that it will damage his self-esteem if she leaves. In the meantime, it will allow her to compose her speech to him. She’ll pretend that she loves him and will go through the motions.
“I lay here beside you, just thinkin’ all night/I believe that tomorrow would make things all right/It makes you feel good and it buys me some time/I still tell you I love you, that you’re forever mine.”
In the pre-chorus, she says that although she’s been pushing him away, she still wants him in her life.
“If I told I needed you/But I sent you away.”
In the chorus, Rhodes says she considers her coldness as affection. She likes his companionship. She asks him to disregard her iciness and stick around. She says she will end the noncommital responses and forced admiration. She says she’s afraid to fall in love with anyone.
“I’ve been calling it love/Because I want you to stay/Calling it love/Say you’ll stay/Calling it love/’Cause I’m too scared to say/Let’s call it a day.”
She says in her other failed relationships, she knew right away that she loved them with all her heart or loathed them. But with him, she’s not sure if she even cares about him. However, she knows that despite his efforts to reach her, she’s indifferent to him.
” I never questioned my feelings before/I felt what I felt that was it, nothin’ more/But I can’t keep denying the truth in my heart/Oh, the touching and talking but we’re oceans apart.”
After the pre-chorus and chorus, the electric guitar livens up the single and injects some much needed life into the single.
In the bridge, she had convinced herself that he was the one she would marry. However, it was all pretend and now he’s going to get hurt.
“Thinking you’re the one/I’ve been spending my life/
Now I’m holding my lies/And the damage was done.”
The pre-chorus is sung once.
The chorus is sung twice.
The electric guitar has another vivacious solo. Rhodes wails “I’ve been calling it love” over it to end the single.
Rhodes’ selfishness and cruelty is appalling. She strings him along to make herself feel great about herself. Then, she considers dating him a favor and toys with his emotions.
“Calling It Love” takes the low road. Rhodes thinks she’s the catch and she can do better. Unfortunately, her arrogance makes it unsympathetic.
The single also strips away everything that was likeable about the first incarnation of Animotion. The sexually charged vocals and intense synth arrangements are gone. They are replaced with a bland, banal power ballad arrangment and Rhodes’ bitchy vocals.