Daniel Caesar panders to surface-level R&B listeners with CASE STUDY 01

Daniel Caesar is a Canadian singer and songwriter who broke onto the scene in 2015 with the luscious EP, Pilgrim’s Paradise. The track “Streetcar” was my introduction to Caesar and I believed that he would be the next great R&B artist as this era is struggling to culminate consistently great R&B artists. While we have Chris Brown and The Weeknd around, they fit more into the pop genre as their sound plays more to the mainstream ear. In 2017, Caesar released his first, full-length project, Freudian. Freudian was short and to the point with memorable tracks such as “Get You” and “Best Part”. The features from H.E.R. and Kali Uchis are sensual and add to the sex appeal of the album. When you listen to a Daniel Caesar album, you expect moodiness that plays to a sexual vibe meant for intimate partners. However, the one problem I have had with Caesar’s music is that he comes off as monotone and lifeless on a majority of his tracks, even the tracks that stand out. Going into CASE STUDY 01, I was anticipating more vocals and instrumentals that set the mood but unfortunately, Caesar comes up short in every way imaginable.

CASE STUDY 01 is a perfect example of pandering to a young audience that listens to R&B music for the sake of a vibe and to get into their “feels”. At best, this new Daniel Caesar project is surface-level with bland instrumentals and the most lifeless version of Caesar that we could get. There is no character to Caesar’s voice. The opening track “ENTROPY” has a solid instrumental but Caesar sounds like he is on the brink of falling asleep. “CYANIDE” is a thoughtful track that explores religion and how one can still go to hell even though he/she is a godly person. “LOVE AGAIN” will most likely be the featured song that people play the most and what you hear over the radio waves. It is your classic R&B song and Brandy’s feature is nice on the ears. After this track, everything else feels so lifeless and way too sweet. Imagine the taste of your coffee after putting way too much sugar in it because that is what three-fourths of this album is. Yes, it may be appealing for a sip or two but it becomes unbearable around the halfway point. This album has a listenable track or two but after that, the album starts sticking to you like the greasiest of greasy lotions. “SUPERPOSITION” and “TOO DEEP TO TURN BACK” are perfectly listenable tracks that you could listen to on a tropical getaway but do not fit in any other setting.

Daniel Caesar may be out of ideas. If this is the route he is trending towards, Caesar may be an R&B bust rather than the next great R&B artist.

Richest Tracks: “LOVE AGAIN”, “SUPERPOSITION”, “TOO DEEP TO TURN BACK”, “CYANIDE”

Worst Tracks: “FRONTAL LOBE MUZIK”, “COMPLEXITIES”

Rating: 5/10

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