By Bailei Burgess-Simmons
Daniel Caesar returned to the world of alternative R&B with the release of his third studio album, “Never Enough,” on April 7. The album is an exploration of his life.
The tracks tell tales of love, desire and feelings so immense that they’re better told through the music. Each single as an individual work attributes to the greater value of the entire piece.
“Never Enough" is the third installment on Daniel Caesar’s discography and arguably his best. Here is my take on the album, ordered from my least to most favorite songs on the project.
15. “Vincent Van Gogh”
No words. Didn’t like it. The title deceived me into very high expectations, and yet, there was nothing incredibly remarkable about the song.
14. “Buyer’s Remorse” feat. Omar Apollo
Harmonies to compete with the Black church and a choppy bridge make this a fun tune. However, it feels unfinished in the sense that it’s been stripped down to merely vocals and very few percussion tracks. It’d be magical if it was an intro or an interlude, but it still feels like it’s missing something.
13. “Disillusioned” feat. Serpentwithfeet
While this wasn’t my favorite song on the album, the perfect vocals and an unforgettable outro make it a perfect song for the album and a fun alternative to some of the more melancholic vibes.
12. “Ocho Rios”
Nothing quite hits like a warped guitar with angel-like vocals sensually layered over one another. This song kicks off the album and sets the mood for what turns out to be the rom-com soundtrack of 2023.
11. “Let Me Go”
A blue ballad. So emotionally rich and relatable. Caesar discusses what it’s like to be ready for a relationship to end despite his partner still holding on to him. His tone expresses the emotional discomfort in ways that words could never.
Oh, to be Valentina and be wooed through this song. It speaks of an unrequited love — one where Caesar would love to be with Valentina despite her having a boyfriend. Romantic and yet not sad, despite a typically sad situation.
9. “Do you even like me?”
As the first single on the album, we’ve had some time to familiarize ourselves with this one, and it’s still as good as it was when it was released in February. Again, a fun and relatable tune. The song explores those feelings in a new relationship when you’re really enjoying a person and you’re wondering whether they’re as invested in you as you are them. The song is beautifully performed, with a light summery feel to it.
8. “Pain is Inevitable”
I almost hated this song, but the last minute and a half of guitars, sampled vocals and Caesar’s harmonies made this a hit. The questionable chorus was revived by the ethereal and artful collection of string instruments featured throughout the song.
Simply put, Daniel Caesar is gonna love you and who’s gonna stop him? That’s all a girl needs in this life of sin.
Caesar has superpowers indeed. His ability to add percussion to beat-less songs and keep the generally soft edge is truly unmatched.
5. “Toronto 2014” feat. Mustafa
Featuring Mustafa, this song is more in the Fashion of Caesar. Just better. As the title suggests, it’s a nostalgic work that discusses some of what Caesar describes to be the best days of his life.
Swooning at this beautiful ballad — it speaks of love and what it means to lose a lover, but more importantly, a friend. You’ll want the best for them always. A tasteful display of some John Mayer influence makes this one of my favorite songs on the album
3. “Homiesexual” Feat. Ty Dolla $ign
Imagine your girlfriend leaving you for her best friend. Well, this song is all the imagining you’ll need. It’s fun, sexy and more than anything a choppy and almost satirical reflection of Caesar’s relationship with a woman who had probably never truly been interested in him.
Violins, Frank Ocean's flow on the bridge and an innate ability to explain very human experiences in magical ways. This song emulates what it feels like when you just want everyone around you to be comfortable and accepting of you. Just play it cool.
1. “Shot my baby”
If SZA can sing about killing her ex, so can Daniel Caesar. This song expresses the rage and grief that ensues after learning that your partner has been unfaithful. With the perfect inclusion of a woman’s adlib (performed by Justine Skye), the song borders between anger and grief and a complete dissociation from feelings in attempts to numb pain. The ideal revenge song.