‘Freudian’ by Daniel Caesar

The second hand on your clock ticks slowly, the setting sun lingers greedily on the horizon, the receding pools of daylight cling to existence; all the while Daniel Caesar’s Freudian spins, plays, reverberates in the background.

An album that seems to extend effortlessly into eternity, Freudian barely ever exceeds walking pace- yet it feels so good to linger with Caesar in his eternal moment of clarity. The 45 minutes he treats us to instead feel like 45 long years shared with the one person that makes each fractional integer of time worthwhile- lasting forever, but gone in a desolating heartbeat.

From the moment ‘Get You’ teases you with its spiralling vocal line, you are lifted into an ethereal realm of succulent R&B soul, sustained there by sugar coated vocal melodies, ravishing ensembles, and beats as viscous as honey until album closer ‘Freudian’ rejects your application to heaven and leaves you in the cold with a particularly bad case of toothache. The memory of this all-too temporary divinity remains clear, however. Caesar’s spiritual voice is like hot, liquid chocolate dripping down the crevices of your spine, sending goosebumps rippling down your arms with its transfixing emotional power. It has that infectious, playful Chance the Rapper-esque quality, unique in its own right, only slightly leaning towards its intrinsic soul elements.

While maintaining this distinct sound throughout Freudian, Caesar manages to keep his project varied with incorporations of gospel and neo-soul elements. Each harmony slips naturally into being, touching an irrepressible chord within you, and lighting an inextinguishable fire deep somewhere hidden within your core. The pinnacle of this sensation is ‘We Find Love’, undoubtedly the song that keeps you coming back to this album time and time again. Slapped at the album’s intersection, ‘We Find Love’ overawes you in its simplicity; a simplicity that only makes its beauty even clearer. It would take a particularly cold heart not to give in to its candid exploration of human relationships.

Listening to Freudian is like listening to a secret uttered in a barely audible whisper by a forbidden lover. It’s like stepping out of dehydration-induced mirage and falling into sea of lost tranquillity. It’s like living every prolonged second of heartache in slow-motion.

It’s gorgeous.

Robert Cairns