Album Review: NEVER ENOUGH
By Nimra Amir, May 2 2023 —
After nearly four years since the release of his last studio album CASE STUDY 01, Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar has returned with the release of his third studio album NEVER ENOUGH this April 7 through Republic Records. Appropriately so, NEVER ENOUGH follows Caesar through a relatable capsule of maturing as he reflects on his life and his success since we last heard him.
In “Toronto 2014” and in “Cool,” Caesar reminisces on his life before his success as a simpler time when the “future was alluring” because he was not yet “stuck in the Matrix” with the pressure of his every next move needing to fit expectations of him. Both light songs with soft vocals hit on the relatable nostalgia that comes with the blissful nature of youth powered by ambition for the future that when you achieve is not as fun as you imagined it because of responsibilities in adulthood. But in “Toronto 2014,” Caesar with fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Mustafa the Poet, decides that his “misery is boring.”
In “Pain Is Inevitable,” “Superpowers” and “Unstoppable,” the theme of acceptance continues. In “Pain Is Inevitable,” although Caesar describes that his youth is fading away in a powerful outro with deeper vocals, he decides that he cannot avoid the pain that he must face in adulthood but he can choose how to deal with the pain because “misery’s a choice.”
The stand-out songs from NEVER ENOUGH, much the stand-out song from any Caesar album, happen to be the staple love ballads. In “Disillusioned,” Caesar follows the earlier themes with romantic lyrics like “And I, I’m scared of gettin’ older, it weighs upon my shoulders // And you, you’re scared of it too // So we, maybe should get together // We’ll take it all on better.” Yet in “Always,” Caesar on a catchy beat reflects on feelings of always wanting that one person, even if it is wrong. But in “Always” from NEVER ENOUGH (Bonus Version), Caesar with Walker arguably better introduces these feelings with a contrasting but complementary voice.
The range of songs from NEVER ENOUGH continue as in “Do You Like Me?” and “Homiesexual,” Caesar reflects on his insecurities in relationships. In “Shot My Baby,” Caesar, like SZA in “Kill Bill,” reflects on betrayal in relationships with lyrics that describe him as an antihero committing a crime of passion but over distorted electric guitar.
NEVER ENOUGH is a classic Caesar album. Although Caesar experiments with newer sounds, he produces a body of work that still consistently showcases his own sound through an introspective reflection on his life, and his success, as he matures.