My Favorite’s of All Time #12: Daniel Caesar’s ‘Freudian’

I actually have zero idea how I found out about Daniel Caesar’s music. I do remember at some point I watch the video for “Get You” and fell in love with it and Daniel’s voice almost immediately. I think that was around the February before he released the Freudian (2017). The production, Daniel’s voice…it really all is just A LOT to handle.

‘Cause you’re my everything
Babe, I know I fucked up
Fucked with some empty cups
But you got your friends too

Better believe in it
Truth I’m up on my luck
Can’t stop runnin’ amok
But you got your friends too

You are the reason
The reason I sing
I have to preserve you

I think for me as a whole, Freudian is one of those albums that comes around once in a lifetime. I don’t think that will ever get another album like that to be honest. Every song on there evokes such strong emotion, is so beautifully mixed and produced, showcases Daniel’s voice so amazingly. From beginning to end, every song pierces you straight through the heart, and you can’t help but get goosebumps and chills and all those super amazing feelings that you get when you listen to good music. And just like every other project I’ve talked about on here, my feelings around this project were made even stronger because I was having a very strong crush on someone at the time LOL. I’m pretty sure that I’m talked about this crush before on here (I did! the M.F.O.A.T. for “Sooner or Later;” it was one of the strongest and most devastatingly ridiculous crushes I’ve ever had on anybody in my life. There was something about having such a strong like for someone, especially as an adult, and seeing so much of myself in that person (at least what I thought I was seeing in that person because he ended up being real trash LOL ) that made me feel like this was going to be a crush that actually ended up working out. It was even more difficult because there was some semblance of reciprocity in it, too. And so it wasn’t just me being in my brain about things lol. And I remember sitting in a room with one of my closest friends, and my crush was sitting on the other side of the room listening to Freudian. It took everything out of me to not lose my shit LOL. Just being in that space and sharing that moment with somebody that I held so dearly while listening to Daniel give voice to those feelings and a stage for them to be on…I really just didn’t know what to do with myself.

So a lot of my relationship with this particular album coincides with my feelings for this person, and so it’s not only sonic attachment that I have with this project, its also an emotional attachment (which is the most dangerous to have with a project like this). They’re not always super dangerous; I mentioned that Tyler the Creator’s Flower Boy (2017) is one that I’m super emotionally attached to because of some other stuff that was going on around the same time. And so having that project to lean on and use to express to myself what I was feeling was such a blessing and reassurance. But with Freudian, it’s an emotional attachment that ends up being strong in some more…difficult ways. Which doesn’t affect how much I love the project, but it will always be in the back of my head when I press play.

There’s some songs on here that I can’t help but get chills from; “Transform” is one of those songs that I can listen to over and over and over again and it continues to feel like the first time I ever heard it. It’s just an absolutely beautiful song; Charlotte Day Wilson and Daniel’s voices come together in such a perfect way. There is a moment in the song where Charlotte’s turn on the hook moves into the bridge of the song, where Daniel takes back over – it’s the you’re my “violet in the sun” part of the song – and from that moment to the end of the song…it’s just…it’s a lot. “Take Me Away” with Syd is also an amazing song. I love Syd so much; it’s unfortunate that I haven’t talked about her more on thursday email. She just makes every song she’s on so much better, and she’s really just such an underutilized and underappreciated musical resource; I wish that she got her flowers a lot more than she does. “Best Part” with H.E.R. is also a fantastic song. H.E.R. has a voice on her!!! She is so talented; I need to listen to her music more. “Freudian” is also one of those songs that immediately throws me into a garden of flowers and rainbows and tears. It’s just musically such a HUGE song; it just feels larger than life. The way the choir in the background is layered with the production backing Daniel’s voice is godly. It’s one of those songs that if I’m not careful, if I listen to it when I’m really in my feelings, I might end up crying for a long time LOL.

I just….I could talk about this album forever. I just really love it. And, like I said, it’s such a unique and one-of-a-kind album!! I remember being really excited for Daniel to come out with CASE STUDY 01 (2019). I was hoping it would be another moment of musical genius, but I don’t think he really got there on the project. It wasn’t bad, but I think having Freudian as something that he had to surpass in a way, made it a difficult second album to make public reception-wise. I also think my feelings towards Daniel Caesar soured a little bit after he went on a ridiculous rant while drunk on Instagram Live. So I have to kind of give him a side eye to the side from now on because of that, but I still was hopeful that CASE STUDY 01 would be a decent project. I listened to it on the train, too; that was the perfect time for this project to really HIT. But like I said Freudian is just such a remarkable project, especially for it having been one of his first; he was able to do something that a lot of people aren’t able to do in a lifetime, and it’s hard to do that twice. So on one hand, it’s an album that people will talk about for a really long time; folks will be playing it at their weddings for years to come lol. On the other hand, for Daniel, anything that he ever makes from now on will always be compared to Freudian. So, if he’s not careful and allows critical and public response to dictate who and what he makes, it could be a difficult road for him.

Anyway, in closing, I love Freudian, Daniel Caesar will receive a side-eye from me from now on, and I’m also kinda excited to see what he does next.


here’s something else you might like:

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