Daniel Caesar’s “NEVER ENOUGH” was officially released April 7, 2023.

Starting his career in the mid 2010s, Daniel Caesar released two independent EPs entitled “Praise Break” and “Paradise Lost” in 2014 and 2015 respectively. 

The success of these songs allowed Caesar to create his first studio album “Freudian” in 2017, which was when I first discovered his music. Subsequently, “Case Study 01” was released in 2019, making it his most recent project before “NEVER ENOUGH” in 2023.

Juxtaposing soul-wrenching ballads with rhythmic, electronic beats, Caesar’s “NEVER ENOUGH” offers an aesthetic experience for listeners.

For example, “Disillusioned,” one of the faster paced songs on the album, showcases Caesar’s cynical outlook on both romantic relationships and life more broadly. A five-piece drum grounds the song and pushes it forward, as Caesar pursues mellow harmonies in his chorus. 

Confronted with the fragility of human existence, Caesar then presents his romantic relationship as a remedy for despair. Critiquing the modern phenomena of situationships, the pair can combat loneliness and experience the joys that life has to offer, but first they must be vulnerable and open to change by officially becoming a couple.  

Meanwhile, “Always” takes a slower, more laid back approach to love by comparing Caesar’s devotion to the inevitability of the natural world. 

Fading in gradually, the gospel-influenced track gradually builds until erupting during the bridge. Here, Caesar announces his unending love for an ex-partner to the world, as he clings to the broken relationship. 

Caesar got his start singing in church choirs during his childhood, and the Canadian artist often incorporates aspects of gospel into his R&B tracks — not only mirroring his own development as a musician but also tracing the historical lineage of the genre. 

In the complete opposite direction, “Let Me Go” depicts Caesar’s struggle to escape what he views as a toxic relationship. Right out of the gates, his full-throated pleas for freedom dominate the aural space.

The music video almost exclusively features Caesar as he runs through mountains, possibly serving as inspiration for the album art. 

Switching between his falsetto and chest voice, Caesar masterfully navigates the highs and lows of relationships with his extensive vocal range. 

My favorite song on the album, “Vince Van Gogh,” paints a picture of the difficulties of life as a lonely artist. The work heavily incorporates electronic sounds to produce psychedelic waves, really standing out from the rest of the tracks. 

A voice heavily distorted by autotune in the middle and end sections of the song creates a chilling and almost demonic presence, as it seemingly captures Caesar’s innermost dialogue, thoughts and anxieties and then abruptly ends.

“Superpowers,” the penultimate track, mimics levitation to make the audience feel as empowered as the artist’s lover. The lyric video features Caesar’s transcendence, as he slowly floats into the frame and moves toward heaven.  

Flowing choral harmonies blend together to produce a wall of sound behind Caesar’s lyrics that highlight his lover’s superhuman capabilities while also minimizing his own importance. The sounds are dissonant at first and then resolve quite nicely.   

Opening with jarring static, “Unstoppable,” the final song on the album, continues this theme of power by demonstrating Caesar and his lover’s invincibility. 

As an artist of Jamaican and Barbadian descent, Caesar returns to his roots once again with this Reggae-inspired track. 

The song is a fitting conclusion to the stellar album, as it essentially combines the message of “Always” and “Superpowers” by focusing on the romantic pair’s indomitability and devotion to one another. 

Despite the extended time needed to compile the album, the four years required to craft “NEVER ENOUGH” were well worth the wait, and I eagerly look forward to Daniel Caesar’s next project. 

Opinion Editor

Luke Morgan is the opinion editor at the Daily Athenaeum. He is a junior English major from Charleston, WV.