Daniel Caesar Tackles the Psychoanalysis of Emotion in Sophomore Album 'Freudian'
Darryan Miller | Contributing Writer
On his sophomore album entitled “Freudian,” Daniel Caesar takes us on the rollercoaster of love and life. The heights of which this coaster stops at before dropping are unrequited love, religion, loss, the idea of soulmates, romance and transcendence. Making it very clear that you can’t have one without the other, Caesar croons tranquility all while expressing matters of the heart.
“Freudian” is similar to the other works of Caesar such as his EP “Praise Break,” dropped in 2014 followed by his debut album, “Pilgrim’s Paradise” in 2015. This album, however, will strike a chord specifically in the lovesick and heartbroken. The Toronto native seems to perfectly convey rhythm and blues, with the likes of electric guitars, piano keys and soulful lyrics.
This album is very candid in the sense that it follows new love, delves deeper into what it means to be monogamous and works its way through separation. It’s almost as if we are taking a look at the journal of Caesar’s life. In a letter to Fader Magazine, he writes, “I’ve never been as proud about anything I’ve created in my whole life. This body of work is about examining my most complex feelings and thoughts directly. I’m more exposed than ever on this album. It’s like I’m in therapy, but it’s also on display. And I got to make this with my friends. It’s just us, no label, so it makes it that much more special.”
“Freudian” is influenced by the art of gospel music as well as R&B. The singer/songwriter conveys the connection between religion and love, and how they relate to the ambiguous idea of finding the “one.” The album’s transcendence from that new, overwhelming, stouthearted love to forgetting where all that starts, only to finding it all again, is nothing short of poetic.
In the visual for both singles “We Find Love” and “Blessed” combined, Caesar sings about finding love while in a difficult spot in a relationship. It appears as if the video is shot on 35 mm film, giving us that old-school visual film crackling. The “We Find Love” / “Blessed” visual definitely set the precedence for the entire album, perfectly unveiling the softer and heavier aesthetic of love.
“Best Part” featuring up and coming artist H.E.R, depicts the first initial reactions to getting to know someone on a deeper level. The duo sings, “You’re the coffee that I need in the morning / you’re my sunshine in the rain when it’s pouring / won’t you give yourself to me? / Give it all / I just want to see / I just want to see how beautiful you are.” The song ends with Caesar preaching and the soft vocals of H.E.R overlapping the statement, “If you love me, won’t you say something?”
In “Loose,” while talking about the wavering of being in love, Caesar trills “If you ever start to wonder / why all the rain and all the thunder / follows her around / you better cut that girl loose.” This track is relatable in the sense that the downfall of intimacy is when a couple becomes too complacent in their relationship, making the communication of love stagnant and difficult. The song shifts from a third person perspective of his own feelings, to how the other person in the relationship is feeling.
Caesar is intrepid in his lyrics, and somber in his tone. This album will compel you to slow down, feel and reflect on the ups and downs of characters in love. Allow yourself to go through the motions involving pain and pleasure with the eloquent sounds of “Freudian.”