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.