After a four-year hiatus, singer Daniel Caesar returned with a lot of romance and reflections. His highly-anticipated album “NEVER ENOUGH,” which was released on Friday, captures the uncertainty of emotions in the past three years. Since the peak of COVID-19, Caesar dedicated his time to creating an R&B musical masterpiece, during a moment of synchronicity for the artist.
For his third album release, Caesar took a different approach and stepped up to a producer role– something he has wanted to do for many years now– along with Raphael Saadiq and Dylan Wiggins.
Caesar begins the album with “Ocho Rios,” which is about a woman that was in his life. He sings “In the nick of time, that’s when you appeared / Girl, I was lost, ’til you found me here / My hair was long, but my head was low / And now I’m here, ’cause you made it so.” Throughout the song, he also repeats “you’re my saving grace.” Caesar expresses his appreciation for the love she has given him, despite his treatment of her. He proceeds to say he doesn’t deserve her and looks back at the love they shared.
The next song, “Valentina,” paints a vivid picture and shares a relatable story. Caesar sings “I know you got a man / But please understand / Baby he won’t / Love you like I do.” Caesar’s younger brother Zackery wrote and produced the chorus while dealing with a complicated crush.
The third track dives into “Toronto 2014” and features singer Mustafa. The song is a reflection of the time Caesar spent rediscovering who he is. The long introduction has only acoustic guitar, which gives listeners the nostalgic impression of searching for yourself — ultimately a creative touch to the album.
“Let Me Go” captures the lack of certainty about how to move on from a relationship. “You’re lying when you tell me that you won’t be fine / I’m not leadin’ you on, I’m leavin’ you behind,” he sings. This track reveals a down-tempo soundscape behind lyrics, adding intensity to the true emotions Caesar is feeling about a past relationship.
In “Do You Like Me?,” Caesar presents the ugly side of love and gets straight to the point: “Do you really like me? / Yeah, we’re still young, but for how many moons?” He wants to find true love, and he owns up to his past mistakes.
“Always,” a personal favorite of mine, tells an alluring, melancholic love story about how a relationship has evolved, but the love is clearly there no matter what. The lyrics portray Caesar’s internal conflict of overcoming the sadness of a breakup.
He sings “And I don’t care / If you’re with somebody else / I’ll give you time and space / Just know I’m not a phase.” He knows the other party is with someone else now, but has hope to see her again. This track shares the deep feelings after a breakup, something many people can relate to.
Confidence is a consistent battle and theme portrayed throughout the album. “Cool” reveals a lack of confidence that constantly exists in relationships while “Superpowers” brings listeners into Caesar’s way of building up his own confidence. “Vince Van Gogh” presents the battles of self-comparison and staying relevant. On the more upbeat side, “Homiesexual” with Ty Dolla $ign delivers R&B tunes while still searching for confidence.
Fittingly, Caesar ends the album with “Unstoppable,” where he reveals his own confidence in his music career. “And who’s gon’ stop me? / I’m unstoppable,” he sings throughout the chorus.
Although it was a long-anticipated album, Caesar delivered a masterpiece. These personal reflections help listeners like myself understand what Caesar has been internally going through and he expresses it efficiently. After the 15 tracks of “Never Enough,” it’s clear to say that Caesar created a beautiful, romantic, slow-burning track filled with intense emotions, and it’s a must-listen.
Featured photo courtesy of Ralph PH, Wikipedia