Daniel Caesar’s Freudian: Lovely, sad, and smooth

STORY BY JOHN CARTER JR

Sincere and soulful, Daniel Caesar’s Freudian makes for a great relaxing album filled with love and emotional catharsis. Nominated for Grammy Awards in the R&B category, this album exemplifies the talent and skill Caesar has in his vocalization and is delivery of beautiful soulful notes. This album contains many references to listings of intimacy and romance, moreover, they are an expression of Daniel Caesar’s personal experiences with love, sex, intimacy, and other various themes.

Like mentioned before, the album is emotionally cathartic, in that, although these experiences sound incredibly personal to the singer — conveyed in his vocalizations — the emotion act as a way to get on the same wavelength or emphasize with the music. It makes for a wonderful combination in both sympathy and empathy. This album can go from rough and raw in its ideas concerning the physical aspects of loving expression to the sheer emotional pain that we all relate to when it comes to having to let someone go or someone not being in love with another anymore.

It is relevant, mindful, and most importantly genuine in the purest form of the word. Daniel Caesar’s Freudian is almost literally a love letter to a very specific person. The album shows the heights and depths of relationships and that’s what makes it have so much impact. Let’s take a look at the highlights tracks of this wonderful work.

“Get You”

This piece is the start of this album and it just seemed to start like a lot of young intimate relationships happen to play out. It is the expression of physical and sexual release in a relationship. It speaks to Caesar’s personal experience, justly and purposefully superficial in terms of its level of love. It acts as a simple yet beautiful expression of what he wants to do with his partner. Now, this can be a new partner or partner that anyone has had for a long time. this is what makes this song particularly interesting in that sex in a relationship isn’t everything but this basic/necessary human function can connect people in a way that becomes emotionally profound. That isn’t to say that this is the only way to achieve emotional connection two others at such a height but it is in a different way. He doesn’t make the sexual act disgusting sounding or vulgar but rather alluring and calming is the emotion that is elicited. Also, Kali Uchis is Fabulous with her accompanying vocals.

Lyrics like…

“And when we’re making love

Your cries they can be heard from far and wide

It’s only the two of us

Everything I need’s between those thighs

Every time I look into your eyes I see it

You’re all I need”

… are simply blatant in there obvious physical/sexual nature — and it works!

“Loose”

For someone in a relationship, letting go of someone you know you’re in love with can be hard. This song is almost a conversation within Caesar’s head — a sort of argument as to whether or not he should let a girl go. It’s a short song, but it’s is emotionally touching in that it can be hard to let go. For Caesar, if this person brings bad times around and or he’s hurting them then he needs to set them free. Even calling himself a coward, Caesar knows that he needs to let his partner go and must go as far to convince himself by saying that it’s for her own good. Eventually, he must come to an acceptance of this, or at least that’s his way of looking at it.

The following lyrics are an example of this.

“What are you, a coward?

Who are you helping?

You got the power

Then do what you said you can

And do it for her

You better cut that girl loose, ah

Set it free

Let it be”

“Blessed”

This song particularly speaks to a major problem and place for improvement or growth in individuals who are in a relationship. Commenting on the emotional dependence one might have in a partner in a relationship that develops and not hating that dependence is a theme in this song. Because it isn’t entirely an emotional dependence but, furthermore, it is the desire for that person in your life. The song seems to go back and forth between these concepts and an emotional need versus an emotional want.

In “Blessed” Caesar makes a pointed comment on the unhealthy aspect of being overly dependent on a partner and the fact that sometimes two partners become so intertwined in terms of their dependents that they can’t be by themselves. On that same token, he feels “Blessed” to be stuck in the situation or to need his partner. He expresses that he loves needing them and wants to. It’s not an uncommon thing to develop in relationships and this song sounds like the umpteenth apology.

Lyrics like…

“Everywhere that I go, everywhere that I be

If you are not surrounding me with your energy

I don’t wanna be there, don’t wanna be anywhere

Any place that I can’t feel you, I just wanna be near you”

…represent these ideas very clearly.

“Freudian”

The last and longest song on the album is the titular track, “Blessed,” which has many things going for it, and it sticks out as a point of development for Caesar over the course of the album. At this point he is actively recognized in his own successes but he is understanding that without the support of the person that he loves and is talking to in this song, he wouldn’t have made it or he simply wouldn’t have even been alive. Caesar knows that he has treated this person wrongly and he apologizes for that, but he also recognizes that this person deserves better and has gotten there thanks and their friendships. It is similar to Troye Sivan’s “The Good Side” in that it shows that this person who is singing the song is successful but they are actively validating and recognizing that they wouldn’t have accomplished it or be at the level of happiness that they are without the person they’re singing to. It is very validating and wonderful to have this recognized in a popular song because it is a very real circumstance. Someone can treat their partner wrong and hurt them and leave them, still without any repercussion, and then can turn around and apologize because they know what they’ve done it’s messed up and that they deserve better. The following lyrics show that.

“I just want to thank you for saving my life, yes

I just want to thank you for all your advice

You are the reason, the reason I’m alive

I must bring you honour

If I don’t, I’d die

I know I brought shame

Put a mock on your name

But you got your thanks too, better believe it I”

I give this album a 9.5 out of 10 for its excellent composition, vocalization, and delicious lyrics.

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