Freudian

by: Daniel Caesar

Among the rising artists who arrived during the mid-2010s with an alternative to commercial R&B, Daniel Caesar follows a set of introductory singles, an EP, and featured appearances with this promising, independently released debut full-length. Caesar's sound still prompts a mix of comparisons and distinctions: Frank Ocean with concision, Miguel without sleaze, a less extroverted BJ the Chicago Kid, a sanctified (if still occasionally expletive) Internet. Factor all of that in, and there's still a uniqueness to Freudian. The album teems with deeply felt emotion yet is just as suited for half-awake cloud-gazing, with atmosphere emphasized as much as composition. The whole thing has a dialogic quality, as Caesar surrounds himself with women -- one assist each from Kali Uchis, H.E.R., the Internet's Syd, and Charlotte Day Wilson, plus the regular presence of the trio Cadaro Tribe. All the supplemental voices complement Caesar's sensitive and expressive voice as he sings of gratitude, redemption, solace, and escape. ~ Andy Kellman

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