Since the sound waves of his astounding EP Pilgrim’s Paradise graced listeners’ ears in 2015, Canadian R&B singer Daniel Caesar has continued to showcase his musicality with jarring verses and ethereal vocals.
Soulful, harmonious and mellow, Caesar encompasses the core of R&B music. Much of his inspiration is attributed to his father Norwill Simmonds, a pastor and gospel singer who raised Caesar listening to soul and gospel. Indeed, his artistry is undeniably a reflection of his personal values, which are interconnected with his religious upbringing.
His most recent creation Never Enough, was released April 7 as his third studio album. Featuring a total of 15 dreamy tracks, the record has fans entranced from the very first beat.
Caesar’s silky vocals are incorporated into each of his sultry lyrics; hearing his voice is a decadent square of chocolate melting at the back of the tongue, his joyous melody tranquilizing the mind.
“Baby, baby,/ There will always be space for you and me,” Caesar reminisces on “Always,” a heart wrenching track reflecting his promise and determination to always have love for his past lover. Twinkling piano chords sprinkled along with tender names of endearment such as “pretty lady” and “baby,” the track encapsulates Caesar’s unconditional, selfless love.
Wrapping up the track, Caesar reaffirms his affection, telling his lover to always count on the immutable nature of his love, “sure as the stars in the sky … as sure that the sun will rise.” Just as the brightening sunlight shines upon the earth, just as the stars never fail to twinkle in the night sky, Caesar paints beautiful imagery of the cycles that take place regardless of storm or rain. Juxtaposing symbols of day and night, Caesar seems to especially emphasize the longevity of his commitment.
As consumed in love as he is, Caesar effortlessly sweeps fans up into his emotional longing. Similar to his past two studio albums, Freudian and Case Study 01, themes present across his works reflect love, loss, change and resilience. Generally, the tracks on Never Enough all have a calmer, lulling presence, although tracks such as “Vince Van Gogh” and “Disillusioned” feature more upbeat, energetic melodies.
Caesar gets experimental in his new album, taking more creative control on production and improving overall sound quality. Tracks are intimate and confessional. While Freudian’s overall theme revolves around sweet, heavenly love, Case Study 01 is an attempt to diversify that musical range. Never Enough falls somewhere in between, playing with new forms while also remaining familiar to long-term fans.
“Valentina,” a track viewers can take comfort in, is highly reminiscent of Freudian themes. “From the first time I looked in your eyes/ I knew that I would find a way to make you mine,” Caesar croons in a line coated with underlying sensual, suggestive themes. Similarly to tracks such as “Get You” and “We Find Love,” Caesar writes about trying to win back a lover that has already moved on.
Finally, one of the more distinct tracks on the album is “Disillusioned,” perfectly suited for summertime rock and blues. Layers of guitar synth and drums play as Caesar laments growing up: “I’m scared of gettin’ older, it weighs upon my shoulders.” But just as the fast-paced drumming beat carries on into the final verses of the song, Caesar inevitably has to grow and mature as well. With introspective tracks such as “Disillusioned” and “Pain Is Inevitable,” Never Enough is doused in themes of fleeting time and youth.
From Caesar’s haunting falsettos to evocative layers of synthesizers, Never Enough is a heavenly culmination of stylistic themes that make Daniel Caesar the artist he is. Navigating heartache, love, loss and youth, the record brings fans along on a surreal journey of growth, sentiment and desire all in just 15 songs.