Boomkat Product Review:
Utterly sublime post-Sade R&B slickness from Portuguese-Danish wunderkind Erika De Casier. Whisper-soft pop that's injected with the lurching club-adjacent snap of Timbaland, Neptunes, Teddy Riley, MJ Cole and Sunship > jaw on the floor, tear in the eye.
When Erika de Casier's debut album "Essentials" dropped in 2019, it felt like a hidden gem - it was only a matter of time before her luscious silken bedroom soul was shuttled further into the mainstream. So it's hardly a surprise to see the followup on 4AD - and it's the best record the label's released in years. de Casier makes music that sounds private, lo-fi and intimate, but has the earworm-y bombast of Brandy, Destiny's Child or Amerie. Her influence comes from her early teens, where as a mixed race kid at school in a small Danish village she submerged herself in MTV R&B to nourish her spirit and remind herself that Black people and Black culture existed.
This sensual escapism is the beating heart of "Sensational", as de Casier whispers her emotional platitudes over neo-retro beats that sound like early Sade instrumentals stripped to the bone and assembled into new forms by a supergroup comprised of MJ Cole, Timbaland and Sunship. There's a garage-flecked clubwise swing that speaks to de Casier's European roots, but the songs have more sugared hooks than a library of '90s MTV soul full-lengths. Trust us, leave this one on repeat for a few spins and you'll be humming songs like 'Drama', 'Someone to Chill With' and 'No Butterflies, No Nothing' for the rest of the week.
It's rare to find a pop record with such subtle humanity that strikes a perfect balance between the bedroom and the lavish studio. With "Sensational" Erika de Casier has perfected her formula, and juxtaposed innocent nostalgia with genre-flipping innovation without losing any momentum at all. Awe-inspiring, honestly.