Daniel Caesar - CASE STUDY 01

4.5/10

Favorite Track: "Restore The Feeling (Feat. Sean Leon & Jacob Collier)"

Least Favorite Track: "Are You OK"


As I have stated before I am rather bias in reviewing R&B albums. It generally just isn’t a genre I can find interesting due to it’s consistently slow tempos and generally simple song structure. However there are exceptions to the rule, and Daniel Caesar has always been one. I’ve always found his instrumentals cute while his lyricism was sharp, witty, and sensual ; a mix of ideas that any music fan would find intriguing. I thought Freudian was certainly an interesting project that I perceived mostly positive. Especially because of the unique concept which isn’t something that many of Daniel's contemporaries in the genre are focussing on. Sadly I can’t really say the same for his new album CASE STUDY 01. This project has an extreme identity crisis as the whole project fails to string together enough memorable moments to give it any kind of real distinguishing identity. It’s lack of identity generally makes the album boring and a failed attempt at conveying genuine emotion to the listener. Throughout this whole project the energy and tempo of the tracks is all most un-altered to the point where this thing could genuinely be one very long song. Every song is delivered with the same sappy energy, mood, and bland lyrics. This guy can sing (but we knew that already). What’s more intriguing about his vocals on this album is how he alters them every now and again. If CASE STUDY 01 proves anything positive, it’s that Daniel Caesar is not only a talented singer but a versatile one as well. Weather its his flying falsettos all over the project or when he alters his voice to make it almost sound ethnic on tracks like “CYANIDE”, he has proven that he isn’t limited to one sound vocally. Unfortunately that’s one of the few positives I can give this project and really one of the only real things I have to note about it. The lyricsm is incredibly bland as he talks about nothing more than sex interest with various woman and insecurities on this project. You could literally pick one of those two lyrical themes out of almost every single track here. The minimalist instrumentals do nothing but make this much more noticeable as you find yourself not getting any satisfaction through the sounds on this album your mind drifts toward what he’s saying and you find that it isn’t much better. The album is simply so repetitive and there's no getting around it. Some of the only moments that have any character are songs like the intro ; “ENTROPY”. Some of the flows on the track aren’t terrible nor are the performances. I also think the subtle electric guitar that shadows the vocal melodies was one of the more creative production choices on this thing. “RESTORE THE FEELING” also adds a tiny bit of instrumentation into the mix. The way the acoustic fades into the intro is pretty noteable and a decent way to build tension. The momentum carries through the track well and makes it an admirable listen. It is also the only real hook we get on the album that is anything close to memorable. Outside of those two tracks the only other one that even has anything about it worth mentioning is “Superposition”. John Mayer's guitar work on the track adds some more interesting instrumentals for Daniel to layer his falsetto on top of but it still sounds decently similar to everything else on this thing despite being one of the more interesting instrumentals here. CASE STUDY 01 isn’t unlistenable by any stretch of the imagination. Daniel Caesar's voice is consistently sweet and very rarely does it become anything but enjoyable, but that’s all this album is. CASE STUDY 01 falls into a pit of boring ideas rather than bad performances.

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