by Jake Knoeller
Originally printed May 3, 2023
R&B artist Daniel Caesar has made his return to the music industry in style. In April 2022, he released a breathtaking single titled “Please Do Not Lean,” featuring BADBADNOTGOOD.
This song was just a reminder of how good Daniel Caesar can be. I personally consider “Freudian,” his first studio album, to be one of the greatest albums of all time. When I found out Caesar had a new album coming out on April 7 of 2023, I had high hopes.
I was not disappointed. The album clocks out at about 54 minutes, which is not too long. I was left in disbelief at how amazing it was.
- “Ocho Rios”
It’s not often that an opener of an album is my favorite song, but this album kicks off with an absolute fiery ballad. This is one of the best songs released this year. The lyrics are some of his most vulnerable to date. The drum patterns mixed with the guitar solo make this track otherworldly.
Caesar gets a bit more smooth on this song. I just know people are calling it “a vibe.” It’s perfect for a sunny day and not sugary enough to be annoying at all. The track just feels like summer.
- “Toronto 2014”
This is what many people would call a comfort song, with some relaxing production and beautiful singing from feature artist Mustafa. “I can hear the bells ringing, reminding us why we’re still here singing,” is a standout line throughout the track.
- “Let Me Go”
Probably the most cathartic song on “NEVER ENOUGH,” with heartfelt lyrics about a relationship that has reached its end. Caesar sings “Baby, won’t you let me go,” on a high-pitched hook that will make you levitate when you sing along to it. This track hurts, but in the best way. Look at Caesar making heartbreak fun again.
- “Do You Like Me?”
Capturing a not-so-unique situation, Caesar doesn’t know if the woman he likes has good intentions. “Guess we’ll find out, guess we’ll wait and see,” Caesar sings over more top tier production.
The typical love song about always being there for someone who you aren’t together with anymore, and the outro will give you goosebumps. It’s just another example of Daniel Caesar making a song that ensures listeners will feel something.
This track is much more quiet, but still gets its point across with an atmospheric sound and a soft piano instrumental.
The second song on the album to bring a feature, and guest artist serpentwithfeet does not disappoint. The song is groovy with an overall good vibe. It’s nice to have a song that just makes you smile on an album with a lot of emotions.
- “Buyer’s Remorse”
This song doesn’t do much for me, even though I love seeing Daniel and Omar Apollo on a song together. It’s hard to describe this song because there’s just not a lot going on, but it’s not bad.
- “Shot My Baby”
Kind of absurd. Caesar decided to write about killing his lover, and as if that wasn’t enough, the man she was cheating with too. He channeled his inner SZA on this one. “I caught my lady being untrue, oh what was I supposed to do,” Daniel sings. Guest vocals from Justin Skye and a strangely muffled guitar solo make this song a fun listen though.
- “Pain Is Inevitable”
I really connected with this one on the first listen of the album. It starts off with quality strings with crisp vocals on a nice beat, but the breakdown is where the song really gets good. The arrangement of noises midway through the song is very hard to explain, but it’s another song that makes you float to outer space. The acoustic ending with the soft vocals adds a nice touch.
The transition into the next song is smoother than Jack Harlow talking to a woman he likes. The name of the song is strange to say the least, but that doesn’t change how catchy it is. Ty Dolla $ign is featured on the track, which is a surefire way to make it even better.
- “Vince Van Gogh” and “Superpowers,”
These are the two songs I consider skips on the album, both being perplexing to listen to both in terms of the production and Caesar’s lyrics.
The final track takes the quality back up again. It feels like a fitting closer to a sensational album.
In my opinion, the album is nearly flawless. If you haven’t given it a listen, I think you should. There’s something for everyone, unless you just don’t have good music taste.
If people weren’t talking about Daniel Caesar alongside modern R&B legends such as Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, now would be the time to start.