Daniel Caesar’s shows new sound in latest album 

By Asha Burtin 

IT ’S been four years since we’ve heard from Daniel Caesar, with the release of his sophomore album, “Case Study 01” in 2019. The singer of hit R&B songs “Get You” and “Best Part,” featuring singer-songwriter H.E.R., released his third studio album titled “Never Enough,” earlier this month on April 7, 2023. The album features 15 tracks while the bonus version has 18, featuring artists such as Summer Walker, serpentwithfeet, Rick Ross, Ty Dolla $ign, BADBADNOTGOOD and Omar Apollo. 

The album opens up with the song “Ocho Rios” in which Caesar sings about a girl who has appeared to have saved him. Parts of the chorus reads, “Girl I don’t deserve you” and “You’re my saving grace.” In spite of what he has done to the woman he is singing about, Caesar feels that she can still lift him up. The second ver se, however, ends with a question, “And if you’re tired, won’t you let me know (Won’t you let me know)/Has love expired, we be back and forth (Back and forth).” We then transition into to the second song on the album, “Valentina” which sounds like a part two to “Ocho Rios” in which Caesar sings, “Valentina baby/I only need one moment of time/To make you feel a way/From the first time I looked in your eyes.”

As we get further into the album it is clear that Caesar has taken a step away from the more traditional R&B and gospel sounds heard in his debut album “Freudian,” released in 2017. At the halfway point in this album, we are met with the seventh and eighth song, “Cool” and “Disillusioned,” featuring serpentwithfeet. 

“Cool” is a stripped back ballad. A part of Caesar’s lyrics in this song hint to his feelings of loneliness, in the second chorus of the song he sings “Sometimes/I see myself 5-foot-4, playing in my room alone/Sometimes/I see myself amused in thought.” This stripped back piece consisting of what appears to just be piano, strings and Caesar’s stacked vocals tell a story of defeat, in which Caesar is “nodding in agreement” just to get through a day. “Disillusioned” featuring serpentwithfeet, provides us with a different sound than “Cool,” however, the lyrical content is not entirely different, in which it speaks to Caesar’s fears of growing older, as he sings “It weighs upon my shoulders.” 

In a recent Apple Music interview, Caesar states, “I would love to one day be more than human,” in the process of apologizing, after being questioned about a previous controversy in which he defended a white influencer accused of appropriating black culture. The last two songs on the album, titled “Superpowers” and “Unstoppable,” speak to this feeling, with lyrics from “Unstoppable” reading, “Now who’s gon’ stop us?/We’re unstoppable.” 

The album provides listeners with a new sound from Daniel Caesar, it is one that suggests he is taking a new step in his career and leaving behind old values and ideals, while also discussing his personal inner turmoil. 

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