A soft-spoken sensation
Erika de Casier’s second solo album, Sensational, is a soft pop dream in the form of an enchanting whisper. It’s clear that Casier takes inspiration from a specific gentle ’90s sound, similar to that of Sade. The pillowy guitar riffs and pop elements drift together, creating a soothing summertime rhythm. Casier’s vocals remain in a spellbinding hush throughout the whole album, but the volume of her vocals does not measure her vocal talent. She has an enthralling voice that goes perfectly with the velvety beats of each tune.
Upon first listen, “Drama” sounds a bit different than the rest of the songs that follow it. It features a fast-paced electronic backing beat but still keeps Casier’s angelic, gentle vocals. The lyrics “I don’t mean to cause any drama” will get stuck in the listener’s head, creating a sweet and syrupy flow of beats and tones to follow. “Polite” sounds strikingly like Sade, with its subtle island drum beats, but with a different vibe entirely of Casier’s own. Her relaxed yet speedy talk-singing is reminiscent of ’90s R&B, and her lyrics are some of the most politely cheeky—but never going above a whisper, of course: “You can’t touch before you say please… if you wanna be my type, you better start being polite.”
“All You Talk About” begins with a sultry piano but leads into the gentlest electronic beat as Casier’s lyrics call out a materialistic and shallow person. The chorus, “all you talk about is Versace/ Fendi yeah” and “I love diamonds but you can’t buy my love,” are particularly striking. “No Butterflies, No Nothing” has a light electronic beat and small vocalizations that sound almost bird-like amongst a scattered piano. It sounds like a walk through a sun-soaked garden with the harp in the background. “Someone To Chill With” also uses strings, introducing the song with a quick and romantic acoustic guitar riff. The guitar riff works its way throughout the entire song, creating the sound of a beachy, island getaway, while Casier adamantly proclaims, “I don’t want anybody, just someone to chill with… I’m not looking for the one and only.” “Friendly” is a sensual, slower track but still keeping in line with the rest of the album. It ends off with the soft, ambient sounds of crickets and a breath of night wind.
As the album comes to a close, “Busy” appears, switching it up just a bit. The electronic beat on this track is similar to the first track. It’s fuller, less slow, but still just as chilled out like the others. What appears to be a harpsichord is used within the song, adding an interesting use of instruments. “Busy” is a wonderful track reminding listeners to remember to take some time for self-care and that sometimes being busy is a form of that. The album ends off with “Call Me Anytime,” which has a really fascinating use of electronic beats, creating almost a space-like type of sound. It’s sweet and supportive in its lyrics, reminding the listener that Casier will always be a friend.
Sensational is a perfect, beachy summer breeze. Its elements come together beautifully, and each song envelops the listener in a warm sheen but with bold and witty lyrics. Don’t be fooled by the gentleness of the vocals and beats—Erika de Casier’s style and energy are a force to be reckoned with.