Oklahoma singer/songwriter Cade Roberts is a masterful musician, composer, and producer who seems to think permanently outside the box. Case in point: his fabulously dramatic, minor-key version of the epic Beauty and the Beast ballad “Tale As Old As Time.”
From the Desert Rose Franciscan dinnerware to the glowing candles, Roberts presents a scene worthy of the darkest dungeon in the Beast’s castle – if the Beast’s castle was run by Queen doing a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Cue Roberts in a velvet burnout shirt, dark sunglasses, ringed fingers, and distinctive coif of hair.
The song starts out with a simple descending riff in the piano and Roberts’ solo voice. We are then treated to a backlit split screen which brings in Roberts singing all of the harmony a la “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Most of the song is carried by these layers of harmony with some dramatic instrumentals during the bigger moments. Little more than the lyrics of the song are identical to the original.
Whether this version is decidedly tongue-in-cheek or an actual loving rendition of the popular children’s classic is a bit of a gray area. Regardless of the ultimate intent, this is an incredibly smart, inventive, and fun cover by a very interesting new talent.
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