First Listen – B. Slade’s “Beautiful Catastrophe” Is Anything But


The spirit of Michael Jackson is alive and well in scores of this generation’s talented male artists, from Ne-Yo and Chris Brown to Usher and Jason Derulo. Joining this tribute train is the artist formerly known as Tonex, aka B. Slade, in one of his funkiest tracks yet. On Delorean, a project that is itself a homage to the ‘80s R&B, funk, and roller skating music of that age, if with a decidedly modern production twist, emerges a track that itself references a 2011 B. Slade double-album of the same name, “Beautiful Catastrophe.” Yet, there is nothing catastrophic about this pitch perfect performance and sterling production.

The King of Pop would be proud to hear the various vocal and instrumental production techniques on “Beautiful Catastrophe” that are the hallmarks of MJ’s early ‘80s collaborations with such songwriting producers as Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton. The driven bassline, subtle electronic tambourine, doubling of falsetto vocals in tight harmony, the hushed vocal overlays; so much that was everything Jackson but on a wholly original song that references without being a carbon copy. That it’s flawlessly executed is no surprise for those who’ve been following the ridiculously high output of quality product released with an almost assembly line precision every few months for the last five years by the multi-talented singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist currently known as the indomitable B. Slade. Of all the torchbearers who’ve tried on the King’s glitter glove, Slade’s MJ fit may prove him the fairest—and closest—of them all.

By L. Michael Gipson

B Slade – “Beautiful Catastrophe”

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