Some records are made for late nights in dimly lit rooms, sultry soundtracks for caresses that last forever. Yet when you revisit those records in daylight, you find words filled with hurt and longing.
Sensational is one of those slow and sexy albums that is so much more than slow and sexy. Dig deep and the lyrics explore the countless challenges of finding love. Sure, some of the songs are seductive (“Friendly” gave me chills), but more often than not, de Casier sings about longing and selfish partners and the aftermath of not feeling those butterflies when you kinda wish you did.
It takes enormous courage to create an album that surrenders to a single mood. Producer Natal Zaks and de Casier embrace this courage, from the opening guitar notes of “Drama” to the electronic fadeout of “Call Me Anytime.” The songs stand as individual works, but they flow sensually together and create that mood of late-night connections in dimly lit rooms.
(I’m delighted to see de Casier is signed to 4AD. Although Sensational is marketed as an R&B record, like so many artists on the label, this transcends genres.)
Released: May 21, 2021