Patti Rothberg "Ulterior Motives"

Patti Rothberg
"Ulterior Motives"

CD review by Roger Zee (05/08/16)

Patti Rothberg's penchant for picking the wrong man plays right into her singer/songwriting genius. Though it may lead to pain and misery on her part, it produces terrific records! This lo-fi diary of relationship carnage should provide Rothberg with the catharsis necessary to move on to healthier, more positive connections. She laid down all the instruments except the drum machine, programmed by producer Lyle Puente. I just wished Rothberg also played the drums! This beautiful CD package contains her original paintings as well as all the lyrics.

As in all breakups, there's plenty of finger pointing. And a ton of fantastic, catchy tunes. She falls deep in "The Last Thing." "When I look in your eyes I see two black holes. Feels like I'm skiing without any poles. At the end of my rope, you're the last thing I need. You're everything I need." The raw pain of "It's Not Fair" sends shivers down my spine! "I can't believe you don't love me! I can't believe you don't care about me. I don't believe you don't love me. I can't believe it's not there. It's not fair." She performs a dead-on Dylan imitation diatribe on "Join the Ranks." "Went insane from your drug, betrayed by your kiss. How could a mercy fuck turn into this?" Rothberg despairs in "Need an Ocean." "My heart's so broken, it's only dust. Afraid I'm soakin' in wanderlust. As soon as I find it, it disappears... But you'd need an ocean to cry one of these tears." And how about this jibe? "Me and your mother, we're not part of your plans. Me and and your mother, not on your mind. Me and your mother, last on your line."

Not a light-hearted record for sure. But it overflows with great songs. Rothberg smartens and toughens up. In " Brainwash," she declares, "No more long-haired guitar singers. No more tone-deaf think you're singers." On the title track, "Ulterior Motives," "You show me pictures of your conquests. Your dirty thumbprint has been everywhere. Am I supposed to be impressed? Can I bank on you? Should I invest if I can't even address?" She fights back in "Nic of Time." "You couldn't take step one, walking in my shoes. Your turn to learn what it means to lose. You cut me to the quick." She throws in the towel in "Crash." "I'm gonna crash. I don't care if you catch me or not. You see cause I'm there where you want me but I don't think you do. So I gotta crash."

Watching Patti Rothberg perform on my Cable/Internet show, "The Working Musician," I recognized a true, crazy, musical genius. Everything flows effortlessly -- singing, guitar and keyboard playing, song writing. And it never stops. She's already working on her next record. Catch her live whenever you can. I hope she gets her perfect "Hollywood Ending!"

2016 Roger Zee