Just a little under two years ago, B. Slade™ gave us the understanding that he was going Stealth with his personal operations “until manifesto”. With “Wings”, the opening of My September Issue, B. Slade™ speaks a dedication to the love of his life and uses his full birth name for the first time in a B.Slade™ set–a definite clue that this would be his most confessional set of songs yet. My September Issue takes the listener inside the pain of a breakup as well as sheds light on deep-seated fears from a strict religious upbringing. The tracks , “Wings” and “Hatfield McCoy”, are hot to the touch with hurt and anger. Furthermore in “Wings”, we are taken from one scene of a love growing cold and guarded to another scene in which B. Slade™ references the fear experienced at a young age concerning eschatology, specifically the Pentecostal church teachings surrounding “the mark of the beast” and “the rapture” (as in checking his parents’ room to see if they are still there). We gain more understanding about this later in the album with the track, “Six Years Old”. With “Hatfield” especially, the lyrics reference those emotional cuts to the marrow that only a lover can deal until the breakup is finally a real thing. Through the next three songs, a Middle-Eastern flavored jam titled “Paint”, the moody R&B of “The Transitional Rug”, and the soulful confession of “Audah”, B. Slade™ continues to his side of the story surrounding this parting. In spite of the pain, the song “Hasta Luego” holds out hope for a new beginning for this love.
“Vagabond 2″ is the bluesy roots version of the song that fans were first treated to on 2013′s Stunt B%$@h. The song has a particular resonance on this recording as the precursor to the song, “Six Years Old”, a raw, emotional glimpse of religious intimidation as indoctrination. He references his fear of “Distant Thunder” and “Image of the Beast”, the titles of two films by Russ Doughten depicting “the rapture” and accepting “the mark of the beast”. Seeing them at such a young age caused lasting psychic damage. The song’s title addresses a comment someone made against B. Slade™ about the choices he’s made in life since abandoning the gospel music industry. As if speaking back to that young scared kid he was, B. Slade™ offers the song, “The Children”. However, the track offers little solace as the pain returns with “Tank”. Growing despondent, the subject resorts to economy of sex work to build funds in “Room 622″. The meditation of “Yen & Sorrow” takes in summation the spiritual and physical pain experienced throughout the album. Ending with “The Transition Song”, B. Slade™ concludes the album with a true “man in the mirror” moment.
For this reviewer, My September Issue will be held in a similar regard as George Michael’s album, Older. Both hold an acute pain over the loss of true love though imperfect, loss of innocence, loss of trust, and finally trading idealism over what a relationship should be for the raw, emotional work that love actually is.