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Single Review: Ready For The World “Oh Sheila”

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Melvin Riley is in love with a beautiful girl at school in the lascivious “Oh Sheila.”

A macho drum beat opens the single, setting a take charge tone. Riley, in a faux British accent, says Sheila is the type of the woman he deserves.

“Like I always say what’s good for the goose/Is always good for the gander/Oh Sheila.”

A coy synthesizer joins the macho drum beat for a solo.

In the first verse, he wants to have sex with her all the time. He says the other guys can’t do anything for her. She’s one he needs to be with. He asks her if she’s been spending time with any of her guy friends. He cautions her that they are only out for one thing. Every time he sees her walk arm in arm with one of them, his heart sinks.

“Oh baby love me right/Let me love you ’til I get it right, hmm/Can’t you let the others be/’Cause with you is where I got to be/Oh, Sheila, where you been/Hangin’ out with your male friends/Listen, somebody’s going to hurt you/The way you love to keep hurting me, we say.”

In the chorus, he says to wants to sleep with her until the sun rises the next morning. He wants to be with her forever.

“Oh oh Sheila let me love you/Till the morning comes/Oh oh Sheila you know I want/To be the only one.”

In the third verse, he says again that he wants to be with her for a long time. He’s aroused and will think of her while he’s alone. He’s unable to forget her. He can only like her. He feels cursed to never like another girl but her.

“Oh baby, understand that I want/ To be the only man/But it seems though to be getting too hot/Now I think I’m going to start having my own fun/Oh baby, it’s plain to see/That you’re qualified to fill my needs/I think you put an oath on me/Honey, baby, just you wait and see.”

The band says “Oh Sheila.” Riley lets out pulsing grunts. The band says “Oh Sheila” twice and Riley grunts again.

Bits and pieces of the other verses are sung again.

“Oh baby love me right/Let me love you ’til I get it right, hmm/Can’t you let the others be/’Cause with you is where I got to be/Oh baby, understand that I want/ To be the only man/I think you put an oath on me/Honey, baby, just you wait and see.”

A tinny keyboard solo follows.

The chorus is sung twice.

The adolescent sexuality of “Oh Sheila” is both romantic and shallow. He sees her as an object yet he is protective of her. He wants to be her long-term boyfriend but at the same time, he wants nothing but sex. Riley is confused as to what a relationship even is. He just desires the ones he’s seen on television shows and movies.

The single however, is hard to understand due to Riley’s affected vocals. His fake British accent is not the least bit seductive or adult. It looks as though he’s trying to appear grown up, but really isn’t. The music arrangement hardly varies which also makes the chorus indistinguishable from the verses.

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About Pam Avoledo