Caesar’s ‘Fruedian’ introspection

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Kimberly Stelly, kstelly@lmcexperience.com

Daniel Caesar is riding the alternative R&B wave with his debut album “Freudian.” On this album, the 21-year-old Canadian singer finds inspiration with a mix of smooth R&B vibes and classic gospel goodness.

The album’s strengths are contained in its features. Former Odd Future member Syd provides her light, ethereal vocals to the song “Take Me Away,” a sensual track about the appreciation one has for their lover.

Canadian songstress Charlotte Day Wilson and Colombian artist Kali Uchis contribute the same sensuality on songs like “Get You” and “Transform.” Each singer has their own unique vocal style, but contribute the same kind of gentle harmonies to each song. Caesar and Uchis sing about past and new relationships on “Get You.”

On the song “Transform” featuring Wilson, both singers talk about change, human nature and willpower. The dreamy track isn’t the standout on the album, but Wilson’s deep and slightly husky voice gives the song its edge. The best feature on the album however, is the opening track “Best Part,” a duet with singer H.E.R.

It’s clear Caesar didn’t spring for singers who had the most powerful voices for his album, but instead picked people whose voices would compliment his and “Best Part” is a prime example of this. This song makes a case for falling in love. It’s full of metaphors and similes comparing a significant other to the best parts of life.

The album ends with a self-titled track “Freudian” but unless you’ve taken a break from the album, this song doesn’t contribute much in the way of excitement mostly because it’s a slow-paced, ten-minute song.

Still if you do take the time to listen, the song is part love song, part silent interlude and after the six-minutes mark, the song becomes an introspective, gospel infused journey in which Caesar waxes poetic about the infinite nature of the universe to an organ-heavy instrumental.

The same mid to slow tempo paces throughout the album. So unless you’re in for a night of studying, daydreaming or spending time with a lover, I’d advise you to cleanse your palette with something upbeat every couple of songs.

With this album, Caesar joins the ranks of other upcoming R&B artists like Khalid and SZA. In fact, he cemented his place in the world of contemporary R&B with his 2015 seven-song EP Pilgrim’s Paradise with songs like “Violet” and “Japanese Denim.” “Freudian” may not have songs you can dance to but it’s the perfect album dedicated to self-reflection and being in love.