Local singer, Daniel Caesar, supplies his fans with Case Study 1 – a catalogue of serenade-worthy songs with lessons of life’s complexities entwined in his lyrics.
Caesar’s song “Love Again” featuring Brandy was nominated for a 2019 Grammy in best R&B performance category contending with:
H.E.R featuring Bryson Tiller “Could’ve Been”
Lizzo featuring Gucci Mane “Exactly How I Feel”
Lucky Daye “Roll Some Mo”
Anderson Paak featuring André “Come Home”
Similar to his Grammy-Award winning debut album, Freudian, which traces his decision to leave home and the church at 17, the Oshawa Ontario native, Ashton Simmonds, who performs under the name Daniel Caesar, proves he can tap into his own philosophies and life experiences to produce great music.
His second album, Case Study 1, totally defies the beliefs of his upbringing and questions his mortality.
This 10-track album is deeper, spicier, and riskier than Caesar’s past work.
The most obvious lyricized difference from his last album is the fact the three-time Grammy-nominated artist is more provocative and sexier than in any song from Freudian, which was released in 2017.
“Entropy,” the opening song on Case Study 1, is the start of Caesar’s refreshing journey from the boy who left his religious upbringing and now has some real-life experiences to cite through his songs.
“I finally found peace/I am a dog who’s found me a bone/only forwards, never backwards.”
These lyrics express a true telling of Caesar’s crossing over to where he is in his voyage.
Track two, “Cyanide,” features an intro from Toronto rapper Kardinal Official.
“You make me weak, make me thirsty for release/Sweet melody wine your body pon me.”
Caesar embraces his roots with a Jamaican accent. With his smooth soprano range, it works and takes the listeners to a sensual fantasy island.
With love in the mix, space always exists and he surveys the space between two individuals, arousing music lovers with desirable chords, arrangements and gentle tempos.
Case Study 1 is filled with a treasure of strong features: a charmingly light gem from Pharrell, deep harmonies from YouTube sensation Jacob Collier, a classic duet with superstar Brandy, and a remarkable acoustic guitar from John Mayer.
Track three, “Love Again,” featuring Brandy is reminiscent of the 1998 duet “The Boy is Mine,” by Brandy – Monica.
I wake from my slumber
I wish I could call you up
Miss how you put your love on me
Boy, you’ve got my number
Wish I could feel your touch
Wish you could follow up on me
‘The Boy is Mine’
Brandy: You can say what you wanna say
What we have you can’t take
From the truth you can’t escape
I can tell the real from the fake
Monica: When will you get the picture?
You’re the past, I’m the future
Get away, it’s my time to shine
If you didn’t know the boy is mine
The song is a conversation between two pleading hearts for a second chance at love whereas the Brandy – Monica duet is a conversation between two girls talking about a boy.
Caesar proves he has more than just vocal and lyrical songwriting talent but also knows how to combine this with the right relationships.
Case Study 1 has magnificent moments and philosophical messages. The only flaw the album has is its 10-track limit.