[Album Review] Daniel Caesar- Freudian
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Release Date: August 25th, 2017
Label: Golden Child Recordings
Two years after his 2015 EP Pilgrim’s Paradise, Toronto’s Daniel Caesar has finally released his first LP Freudian, on August 25, 2017. The sounds on this album are undeniably infectious, and are reminiscent of something like Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, but with the twist of gospel influences. This gospel theme separates Freudian from his 2015 release, which had a heavier R&B feel.

One thing that hasn’t changed between then and now is Daniel Caesar’s impressive vocals. The vocals are clearly one major highlight on this album, and his voice feels more at home than it did in his earlier work. Caesar has a history of singing gospel, and has proved his knowledge of the style on this release.

The album features a handful of guests including Kali Uchis, H.E.R., The Internet’s Syd, and fellow Torontonian Charlotte Day Wilson. These artists perfectly melt into Caesar’s style, and add beautiful layers of texture to the tracks they complete. Interestingly, Charlotte Day Wilson fills in the low end of “Transform”, while Caesar takes the higher range with his feathery falsettos. “Take Me Away” features Syd, who is known both for her solo career and her vocals in the Los Angeles-based band The Internet. This track calls on the soulful R&B style of The Internet, and Caesar mirrors vocals that are somewhat of a trademark for Syd with his impressive range. This clever reference is a suitable introduction to Syd’s solo, and sounds like it could have been a track by The Internet themselves.

The instrumentation is just as pleasing as the vocals. The emotion-filled, piano-driven tracks such as “Blessed”, and “We Find Love” have that gospel-like sound, with the combination of keys and choirs. “Loose” is a synth-heavy tune, but features an intimate piano solo that could be mistaken for a raw recording of Caesar playing around on his piano at home. The groovy bass lines in “Get You”, “Neu Roses (Transgressor’s Song)”, and “Take Me Away” are warm and playful, and they give the album an R&B heartbeat that welcomes foot-tapping and head-bobbing.

Caesar ends off with the ten-minute title track “Freudian”. It is a contrast between a montage of gooey electric guitars, and a soulful voice and synth solo, separated by a minute-long pause. The second half of this track is raw and transient, with the mechanics of the synth keys becoming part of the music – it adds a human touch to the album, which is something that many people admire, and miss, about music.