Never Enough Review: Daniel Caesar Releases New Album

Never Enough Review: Daniel Caesar Releases New Album
Zoe Chrisostomides
Staff Writer
Apr. 8, 2023

After being on our toes for years, Daniel Caesar finally released NEVER ENOUGH, his first album since 2019’s CASE STUDY 01. NEVER ENOUGH has Caesar push relentlessly into a new phase of his music, leaving behind the gospel-tinged arrangements of Freudian and the reflective slow burns of CASE STUDY 01.

NEVER ENOUGH a tremendously cutting-edge R&B record that never really loses momentum or appeal. Almost all of his songs have engaging melodies, while Ocho Rios, Disillusioned, Shot My Baby, and other songs all have excellent production. Even though they are few and far between, the features are valuable contributions to the CD.

Do You Like Me?, “Let Me Go,” and “Valentina,” the album’s top three singles, created a confident excitement as artist Caesar explored a new level of belief in his style following the success of his previous albums Freudian which earned him his first Grammy for a personal favorite, “Best Part.”

Alex Gonzalez conducted an interview with Caesar, uncovering the story behind Valentina. “The chorus part, “Valentina baby,” Zachary (Caesar’s younger brother) wrote and produced that whole beat himself, and he wrote that part himself. So that’s his story about this girl that he had a crush on…I wrote the verse, and I took the song and dwelled on it. Obviously, we’re cut from the same cloth, so I’ve experienced feelings like that, and I just applied my own life to it.”

Most of the album digs deeply into Caesar’s problems, finishing ‘Pain Is Inevitable’ with the lyric, “I miss trusting people,” despite the most of the album seeing Caesar navigating love and grief on their surface levels.

Mustafa isn’t the only single with amazing collaborations. Hit single “Homiesexual” is a upbeat R&B cut that only makes sense to include Ty Dolla $ign, who delivers his expected autotuned verse, boosting the song. “Buyer’s Remorse” adds excellent vocals from Omar Apollo and serves as a soothing contemplative part.

The piano-heavy “Cool” and the humming “Always” abruptly interrupt the flow of the record; both follow fairly conventional song forms but fall short of the impact they aim for.

Evidently, Caesar’s newest album took a different path than the two most previous albums Freudian and CASE STUDY 01. Daniel Caesar states “…I would go into the studio, and just pick up the guitar and make a chord progression or something. And then the lyrics might come after the melody. So the order in which I would make the songs was different because I was also in charge of recording the actual instruments.” (Interview with Alex Gonzalez)

Caesar is one of the most intelligent and gifted musicians in today’s continuously evolving R&B culture, and NEVER ENOUGH is a unified show of genre experimentation that solidifies Caesar’s position in that hierarchy.