New Music with Nick: ‘NEVER ENOUGH’ by Daniel Caesar

April 27, 2023, 7:17 p.m.

Welcome to “New Music with Nick.” In this column, I will be reviewing some of the most notable new album releases across various genres, focusing on hip-hop, R&B and pop music. Join me in exploring the ever-shifting landscape of the streaming era. 

Daniel Caesar: “NEVER ENOUGH (April 7, 2023)

The long-awaited return of Daniel Caesar has finally arrived. Almost four years following the release of “Case Study 01,” Caesar has come back with his third full-length LP. 

A string of phenomenal EP releases — namely “Pilgrim’s Paradise” and “Praise Break” — began Caesar’s career in 2014 and 2015. His first big break came a few years later with his debut full-length album, “Freudian.” The 2017 release quickly gained cultish popularity and mainstream praise. The debut immediately cemented Caesar as one of the premier R&B/Neo-Soul talents to watch. 

However, Caesar’s follow-up album, “Case Study 01,” was not nearly to the level of quality that “Freudian” presented. It put Caesar’s trajectory as an artist into a bit of a flux.

Around that time, music wasn’t the only issue in question for Caesar. Social turmoil arose as a result of Caesar’s highly controversial comments about the Black community and race relations. Many on the internet “canceled” him and vowed to never listen to his music again. Ever since then, Caesar has been incredibly quiet. The rollout for “NEVER ENOUGH” was the first time that he began to open up to the world again, after finally apologizing for his past comments.

I really was not sure what to expect during the rollout. The 2022 loose single “Please Do Not Lean” was fantastic and recalled Caesar’s pre-“Case Study 01” success. It quickly became clear that Caesar was once again harnessing his potential. “Do You Like Me?” gave the rollout a solid start, which was then carried forward by “Let Me Go” and concluded by “Valentina” and “Unstoppable.” These tracks were a promising preview of what was to come on April 7.

The album proved that Caesar’s artistic comeback would only continue. Caesar built an extremely consistent track list that hardly wavered at all in its quality. There were some small moments where the songs went from excellent to good, but few moments were weak.

“Shot My Baby” arguably provided the climax of the album. The incredibly passionate track features some of the most exciting production and captivating deliveries on the track list. “Cool” is another highlight, with a gorgeous arrangement and beautiful storytelling. Caesar’s gentle vocals excel, and the varying vocal deliveries transport the listener through Caesar’s life phases and emotions with precision and depth. “Always” provided another heartfelt performance with captivating vocals, songwriting and arrangement. “Let Me Go” was arguably the strongest of all of the singles, and it sounded even better within the context of the album.

I thought nearly every aspect of the album’s construction was beautiful and well-executed. The songwriting was sharp, original and poignant, and I think the lyrics have only become more captivating with each listen. The production is fairly minimalistic at times, but that does not mean it’s without crisp detail and precision. The sonic atmosphere supporting Caesar’s vocals is impressive and very appropriate. 

Caesar also experimented with vocal delivery, which gave the album and many of its songs a refreshing boost. HItting a variety of notes, flows, voices and cadences, the album portrays many emotions and ideas with effortless cohesion. The album is light on features, but the guest artists he does bring on are effective.

“NEVER ENOUGH” is some of Daniel Caesar’s best work. “Freudian” is always going to be a tough album to match, but I think that “NEVER ENOUGH” is a close second. Although it might lack the highest highs of “Freudian,” it makes up for that in its consistent themes and cohesion. It’s certainly a major improvement from “Case Study 01” and puts Daniel Caesar back on the artistic trajectory and positioning that his talent warrants. “NEVER ENOUGH” is a great album that was well worth the wait.

Favorite Songs: “Shot My Baby,” “Cool,” “Let Me Go,” “Always,” “Pain Is Inevitable,” “Ocho Rios”

Album Score: 86/100

Check out this Spotify Playlist and like it to follow along with some of my favorite songs of 2023 so far.

Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective opinions, thoughts and critiques.

Nick Sligh is a Senior from Athens, Georgia, studying Economics and Psychology. Nick is always open to discuss anything relating to music, NBA basketball, and movies/TV. As somebody with a deep interest in hip-hop/rap, r&b, and pop music, he primarily covers these genres through his articles. Feel free to contact him at nsligh ‘at’

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