Daniel Caesar

Daniel Caesar, Freudian

Daniel Caesar’s Freudian is a fully realized and deeply felt exchange between the sacred and secular.

Church is more than just a building. It’s an attitude. What’s-His-Face knew the score; church isn’t just a place, it’s a state of mind. Daniel Caesar didn’t just grow up in the church he grew up in church, in a culture of reverence for divine beauty and faith in a higher power. That shit leaves a mark.

Freudian is a sacred hymnal steeped in gospel tradition, R&B sophistication, and devout adoration of the female form. Caesar’s full-length debut wrestles with temptations of the flesh and revels in urban spirituality in equal measures. Caesar’s as comfortable crooning “Yes I’m a mess but I’m blessed to be stuck with you,” on “Blessed” as he is declaring to the world that “When we’re making love / Your cries they can be heard from far and wide,” on the luscious “Get You”. A choir of female collaborators (featuring chanteuse of the moment Charlotte Day Wilson, Kali Uchis, and H.E.R.) provides Freudian a symmetry of voices and a refreshing change from his R&B brethren’s hypermasculinity. Don’t get me wrong, Caesar’s no saint, but you get the sense that for him, sexual fulfillment is as much a mental as physical exercise.

If Caesar’s 2014 EP Praise Break was a musical baptism, Freudian is his first communion, a fully realized and deeply felt exchange between the sacred and secular worlds, and confirms Daniel Caesar’s arrival as a fully formed preacher/performer.

Jim Di Gioia

CoFounder at
Jim started the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006. In 2016, he ended it. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim's served on the Polaris Music Prize jury since 2009 (always a jurist, never a grand jurist), and the Prism Prize since 2013. He never says no to poutine. Like ever.

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