Album Review: Daniel Caesar - Case Study 01

8.5
Album Review: Daniel Caesar - Case Study 01
Artist Name:
Daniel Caesar
Album Name:
Case Study 01
Release Type:
Album
Release Date:
Record Label: Label Location:
Review Author: Review Date:
EM Review Rating:
8.5

At his debut at 24, R&B artist Daniel Caesar already had a stacked resume. His first album Freudian released in 2017 is now certified gold and includes collaborations with H.E.R, Syd, and Kali Uchis. Freudian also won R&B/Soul Recording of the Year in 2018 and his hit song "Best Part" with H.E.R scored Daniel Caesar a Grammy this year for the Best R&B Performance. Diving deeper into understanding him as an artist, Caesar has been transparent about being inspired by multiple music legends. The young Canadian artist has been recognized to draw inspiration from Frank Ocean, The Doors, Kanye West, and Beyonce. His soul and gospel background also helps us to understand why his angelic vocals, when paired with such intimate lyrics, makes him one of the most popular R&B singers and songwriters today. 

Just last week, Daniel informed fans through Instagram that he will be dropping his sophomore album. The time has now come for Case Study 01.

ENTROPY

The 10 track album kicks off with "ENTROPY", a song where Daniel showcases his wide range of vocals over smooth guitar sounds and melodious chords. On this track, Daniel admits how his thought process about him as a person has transformed throughout his lifetime. Hence the following verse:

[Verse 2]

So maybe my ego's out of control

Can that be avoided? I don't know?

I hated myself when I was a boy

Now that I don't, they tryna take my joy

Nevertheless, Daniel explores various thought processes on this song which is very fitting considering the word entropy is defined as a lack of order or predictability.

CYANIDE

It wouldn't be a Daniel Caesar album without a few love songs. On the second track, "CYANIDE", the artist takes intimacy to a whole new level. Not only does Daniel express his attraction to his alluring lover in detail, but, he also hits such high vocals igniting chills when one hears the song for the first time. Daniel Caesar's sensual lyrics accompanied by a sweet melody and heavenly harmonies in the background make "CYANIDE' a standout.

[Verse 2]

You give me your love, it's unrequited

The thought of you gets me excited

I guess I'll come to your crib, uninvited

A few of your favorite vices, girl I know you like it

Girl, you came through like (Lightning)

You light up my life, you're like (Lightning)

Danny be good? That's (Unlikely, likely)

LOVE AGAIN

Immediately after, the artist hits us with another romantic track titled "Love Again" that mirrors the vibes we loved on Daniel Caesar's first album Freudian. And as if the throwback couldn't get any better, the classic R&B singer Brandy has joined Daniel Caesar on this love song. Contrary to the explicitly sensual lyrics on "CYANIDE", Brandy and Caesar address the hardships that come with being in love on this track.

Daniel:

I wake from my slumber 

I wish I could call you up

Miss how'd you put your love on me 

Brandy:

Boy you've got my number 

Wish I could feel your touch 

Wish you could follow up on me

"LOVE AGAIN" puts words to all the emotions we feel when we just can't seem to let go of someone we were once so deeply in love with, even if that special someone has moved on.

FRONTAL LOBE MUZIK

Now, if you are someone who is just confused when it comes to love, Daniel has made a track for you as well and this time it's with Pharrell Williams. Their song "FRONTAL LOBE MUZIK" explores how strong the power of being in love can be to where it creates contradicting emotions for some of us. 

[Chorus: Pharrell Williams]

You know how I feel

I'm in love with you still, yeah

It helps, but it kills

Your lovin', your lovin'

It hurts, it heals

It breaks but it builds, ooh, yeah

Your power and your will

Your lovin', that's your lovin'

[Verse 2: Daniel Caesar]

Wanna feel it, something I can feel

I know the things that I been feelin', they ain't real

Look, my whole life they been beggin' me to chill

Got it weighin' on my conscience just a lil'

I wanna venture into the unknown

Never got sh*t poppin' layin' 'round at home

Never got no p*ssy actin like a p*ssy

Let my nuts hang, God damn, look where that sh*t took me

On this song, Daniel Caesar also explores moments in his life before he gained so much popularity in the music industry. Additionally, Pharell gives us insight into the juxtaposition that exists within his romantic relationships. Ultimately, "FRONTAL LOBE MUZIK" expands on all of the feelings that come with being in love, going through a heartbreak, and achieving celebrity status. 

TOO DEEP TO TURN BACK

As the album progresses, a few songs take a depressing yet surprisingly relatable turn. Caesar's song "TOO DEEP TO TURN BACK" is also a guitar driven track produced by Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett that is sprinkled with high bells to create a comforting sound to the ear. Additionally, later in the song comes haunting back vocals matched with light drums beats. Daniel's lyrics during this song addresses the pressures that come with wanting to achieve greatness. The artist infuses his gospel background into his lyrics as he describes the challenges he has faced in life as well as overcoming such obstacles.

[Verse 4]

Good God, Jehovah, what's this I see?

My mortality's staring back at me

Niggas think I'm scared

Niggas think I'm a bitch

But I ain't come prepared and I ain't know what this is

I've slept like Jacob, a rock for a pillow

Run swift like Elijah, away from the middle

Seen the world, overindulged maybe a little

But now your boy's up, and I'm fit as a fiddle

ARE YOU OK?

The dynamic album ends with the 6-minute song "ARE YOU OK?" that takes listeners on a journey through Daniel's thoughts on a break-up. The track first confronts the "happy mask" one puts on for society even though they may be battling several negative emotions on the inside. Daniel then takes on the perspective of that one person who can see through your mask and knows you are not doing your best. "ARE YOU OK?" also addresses the perspective of people that believe you are doing great for yourself despite your true emotions, hence the lyrics "Me and my n*ggas getting paper. Highly blessed and highly favored. We ain't asking for no favors." The song takes a pause at 4 minutes and then picks back up with Daniels bone-chilling vocals and lyrics that seem to be an apology letter to an old lover. In hindsight, "ARE YOU OK?" is a song full of soul-stirring melodies that explores several feelings that come with relationships, thus making this track ultimately therapeutic.

Daniel Caesar has announced his Case Study 01 Tour that will be touching down in the United States, Canada, and Asia starting in July.

Connect with Daniel Caesar: Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

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