10 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After Daniel Caesar released his soul-baring debut album, Freudian, tracing his decision to leave home and the church at 17, he became one of R&B’s most promising poets, able to distill spiritual complexities into deceptively simple love songs. Then, he got lost in his own head. “I got pretty depressed,” he tells Apple Music, citing artistic pressure, social media, and the isolation of fame as factors. “For a while, I didn’t want to leave my house.” The thing that ultimately freed him from his creative rut was finding comfort in his own mortality. “Everything dies, everything changes—I had to embrace that,” he says. “To not be so scared of failure.”

CASE STUDY 01, his existential follow-up, is denser, headier, and riskier, confronting ideas like good and evil, life and death, loneliness, and God. “I’m drawn to touchy subjects,” he says. “They’re my favorite.” He found he kept circling back to themes of death and spirituality. “I’d been reading a lot about Judaism and Kabbalah and meditation. And I was raised religious, so it’s like my operating system,” he says. “But I also needed to free myself from that—to live.” Once he’d regained some creative confidence, he drafted a fantasy lineup of artists to work with on the new music—Pharrell, Brandy, John Mayer. “These are my heroes,” he says. “People who I never thought I’d ever collaborate with, until the opportunity came up and it was like, ‘Is this really real?’”

Even more surprising, perhaps, was the degree to which the studio sessions felt like true artistic exchanges. “There were obviously things I admired about these artists,” he says, “but I realized there were also things they admired about me.” Pharrell was drawn to Caesar’s palette of influences—a mix of gospel, R&B, rock, and soul—while Caesar hoped he’d absorb some of Pharrell’s signature playfulness. “I take myself very seriously,” he says, “and there’s something so childlike and fun about his music.” Similarly, Mayer, his all-time favorite artist, was interested in seeing how Caesar pieced lyrics together: “He liked what I say and how I say it.” “SUPERPOSITION” perfectly marries their mutual love of romantic, tuneful melodies and densely layered production. “I wanted a song that could’ve fit on [Mayer's 2006 album] Continuum,” Caesar says. “But, you know, right on the edge.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After Daniel Caesar released his soul-baring debut album, Freudian, tracing his decision to leave home and the church at 17, he became one of R&B’s most promising poets, able to distill spiritual complexities into deceptively simple love songs. Then, he got lost in his own head. “I got pretty depressed,” he tells Apple Music, citing artistic pressure, social media, and the isolation of fame as factors. “For a while, I didn’t want to leave my house.” The thing that ultimately freed him from his creative rut was finding comfort in his own mortality. “Everything dies, everything changes—I had to embrace that,” he says. “To not be so scared of failure.”

CASE STUDY 01, his existential follow-up, is denser, headier, and riskier, confronting ideas like good and evil, life and death, loneliness, and God. “I’m drawn to touchy subjects,” he says. “They’re my favorite.” He found he kept circling back to themes of death and spirituality. “I’d been reading a lot about Judaism and Kabbalah and meditation. And I was raised religious, so it’s like my operating system,” he says. “But I also needed to free myself from that—to live.” Once he’d regained some creative confidence, he drafted a fantasy lineup of artists to work with on the new music—Pharrell, Brandy, John Mayer. “These are my heroes,” he says. “People who I never thought I’d ever collaborate with, until the opportunity came up and it was like, ‘Is this really real?’”

Even more surprising, perhaps, was the degree to which the studio sessions felt like true artistic exchanges. “There were obviously things I admired about these artists,” he says, “but I realized there were also things they admired about me.” Pharrell was drawn to Caesar’s palette of influences—a mix of gospel, R&B, rock, and soul—while Caesar hoped he’d absorb some of Pharrell’s signature playfulness. “I take myself very seriously,” he says, “and there’s something so childlike and fun about his music.” Similarly, Mayer, his all-time favorite artist, was interested in seeing how Caesar pieced lyrics together: “He liked what I say and how I say it.” “SUPERPOSITION” perfectly marries their mutual love of romantic, tuneful melodies and densely layered production. “I wanted a song that could’ve fit on [Mayer's 2006 album] Continuum,” Caesar says. “But, you know, right on the edge.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
110 Ratings

110 Ratings

manmanStar ,

Brandy

Brandy - the vocal bible 🔥🔥🔥

SGT7791 ,

It’s Not Him

I was listening to Freudian and his other releases every single day and fell in love with his style of music and loved every song he put out. He had a very nice mix of R&B with heavy gospel influence however this album I feel completely looses the feeling his old songs had. It ditches the gospel in favor of something more mainstream which leads to every song to blend together. It’s an alright album ig but it’s not what I want from him

akwaning ,

Awful

Freudian was much better.

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