Let’s pretend for a moment that I ran my own major label, Nathan S. Records. (Not a very original name, but what can I say? I‘m narcissistic). And then let’s pretend that I was looking to add a young, male r&b singer to my roster of Grammy Award winning artists. What would I look for? Well, since Nathan S. Records is careful to balance artistic and commercial interests, I’d want someone with a foundation in pure r&b but who was comfortable in hip-hop, someone with an ear for the radio but a penchant for originality, …
Fans can also check out Jason Caesar's previous albums: Jason Caesar - The Musical
DJBooth Album Review
While pedigree is no guarantee (just look at Julian Lennon), it also wouldn’t hurt that Caesar’s aunt is the legendary gospel singer Shirley Caesar, but ultimately it’s all about the music, or in this case, Musical. You might have great abs, or be able to dance like a MJ in his prime, but history has shown that if you can’t actually make good music, your future in the game is not looking bright (anyone remember Pretty Ricky?). So while I have no idea about Jason’s abdominal abilities, I do know that he can deliver one hell of a song, and that’s all I really need to know.
Bold claims, I know, but luckily Jason has the material to back me up, starting with the title track The Musical. While Jason is far from the first artist to use the music-as-sexual-metaphor concept, Mario’s Music for Love comes to mind, I feel comfortable saying he’s the first singer in r&b history to tell a girl he’ll “beat it up like a timpani”. It’s the hallmark of a talented singer, however, that they can transform what would be slap-worthy lines if simply spoken into beautifully romantic sentiments, and by the time the last notes of Musical has faded into the night there’s no doubt the candles will have been light and the champagne poured. While not nearly as love-inducing, on a musical level the Eleanor Rigby-inspired Misery Loves Company is far more impressive, especially when it comes to Jason’s skills as a singer as he manages to convey a sense of real pain throughout Misery while still somehow making the record enjoyable. Suffering you can dance to – it’s the essence of classic r&b. The indirect tribute to pregnancy Hats Off, which I will make it my mission in life to ensure my daughter never hears, the more up-tempo Room 269, the catchy International, all songs that demonstrate Ceasar’s versatility. The man’s got a hit record in him. I’m telling you.
Of course Caesar isn’t completely ready to step into the spotlight, and while actual record labels are too broke to actually invest in artist development, my imaginary label has all the time and money in the world. We’d start by getting the man some better guest features. Now I’m on record as a Stanza fan, the man’s suicidal verse on the aforementioned Misery simply makes the record too dark, and while hearing Ma$e may invoke a sense of nostalgia in ’80s babies like myself, the man hasn’t had a hit in over a decade, and his slowly mumbled verse on Taking You Home won’t be his triumphant return to the charts. Second, no more records like Beyonce (Lucly). While some guys might thank Caesar for the rejoinder to Beyonce, women, who make or break r&b singers’ careers, won’t enjoy hearing that they’re a b**tch who can’t do better than him, and Lucky’s an off-putting moment of aggression in a project full of seduction and sweet nothings. That doesn’t mean Caesar can never kick a girl out of his house, he just needs to be a little wiser about how he does it.
Still, these are relatively minor, and more importantly easily fixable, speed bumps for the Ferrari that is Jason Caesar and The Musical. So while at the moment the only signing bonus I could offer is a foot long at Subway, if Nathan S. Records ever comes into fruition, and Caesar miraculously hasn’t already been snatched up, I promise I’d be pushing a pen and a contract towards him in a second. We’ll see if anyone with deeper pockets is smart enough to do so first.
DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 09/22/10
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