Albums to watch

Cocoa Sugar

Young Fathers

Cocoa Sugar

Third full-length album from the Edinburgh-based Mercury Prize-winning trio

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  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Cocoa Sugar slaps sugary boy band choruses against tongue-twister rap, via surreal imagery borrowed from the Bible and a sprinkling of the kind of idioms your nan might use. It’s a potent mix, and their best album yet
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  2. 10.0 |   The Observer

    It feels just as estranged of pop’s traditional structures and strictures as they’ve always been. It feels exhilarating; it feels like freedom
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  3. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    Cocoa Sugar is an invigorating listen from beginning to end, and it's hard to imagine any other band making a musical work of art that's as visceral this year
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  4. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    This is a far more stripped down, stream-lined record that remains just as essential and urgent as all their output so far with little to no compromise
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  5. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    This is a fluid expression of both jarring and accessible concepts that hit you square in the jaw. And like the two previous albums, these Scots still sound like nothing else out there
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  6. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    Cocoa Sugar is an album that retains an enigmatic quality. Provocative when it needs to be, it steers well clear of addressing current world issues explicitly. This album will resonate for years to come
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  7. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Across their studio records, genres such as Krautrock often sit comfortably with gospel, soul and hip-hop. One could even argue that if the true spirit of “punk” is to provoke, dissent and agitate, then the three-piece could easily be defined as one of Britain's finest punk bands
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  8. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    With this record Young Fathers have managed a perfect synthesis between what they are saying and how they choose to present that sonically. Yes, this is a highly political and experimental record, but it is also a brilliant pop album
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  9. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    Cocoa Sugar is a rare achievement; a record that simplifies a band's sound without diluting it. Somehow, Young Fathers have made their most accessible record yet but also their most introspective and necessary. It serves as further proof that they are one of the U.K.'s very best bands
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  10. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    This is another dispatch from the post-genre space Young Fathers have claimed for their own, blasting out triumphant, sincere, and deeply humanistic sound collages that beg for you to join them there
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  11. 8.0 |   All Music

    Cocoa Sugar mystifies before it gratifies, but it reflects a modern global chaos as much as it does a personal one
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  12. 8.0 |   NME

    There’s no sugar-coating the Mercury Prize- winning trio on their third LP, which attacks power-holders and evil no-gooders
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  13. 8.0 |   Clash

    ‘Cocoa Sugar’ is a record that merits mass appeal recognition, a timely offering educing the moral panic fever reigning over our everyday existence
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  14. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Cocoa Sugar is sharper, more lucid and generally less …bogged down than 2016’s still-mostly-great post-Mercury rebound White Men are Black Men Too
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  15. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Young Fathers’ vulnerability is laid bare throughout
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  16. 8.0 |   The Music

    Young Fathers have patiently developed a sound and songcraft that is entirely and unmistakably their own
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  17. 8.0 |   Uncut

    They demonstrate a unique approach, building unsteady sonic sculptures from bizarre beatboxing and sped-up samples and bringing them to life with rapturous soul testifying. Print edition only

  18. 8.0 |   Mojo

    An audacious high-wire act which captures them at a potent peak. Print edition only

  19. 8.0 |   Q

    For all the more accessible moments, there still lurks a heart of darkness inside. Print edition only. Print edition only

  20. 8.0 |   DIY

    In dodging expectations once again, they continue to triumph
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  21. 8.0 |   The Independent

    A fascinating, multifaceted work which strives to find its own unique space in a crowded musical world, forever mindful of its limitations, but soldiering on with good humour
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  22. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Warp-speed rapping, electronic drones, and lyrics about foie gras manufacture: nothing is too esoteric for the impressive Mercury prize winners
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  23. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Their latest album marks a bold change in direction, the band creating their most cohesive, accessible sound to date
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  24. 8.0 |   The FT

    The Mercury Prize-winning trio’s latest album fuses art-rock, punk and gospel — and draws on their African connections
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  25. 7.5 |   The 405

    Every song on Cocoa Sugar has more layers than most average rap and R&B releases put together
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  26. 7.3 |   Pitchfork

    The latest from the experimental rap trio is chaotic but sleek, a streamlined presentation of the singular style Young Fathers have crafted
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  27. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Young Fathers are somehow able to make a song swell, to aim for the sky and bring on goose bumps without going all Chris Martin on us
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  28. 6.3 |   Earbuddy

    You can’t fault Young Fathers for at least doing something different. But if they could do it better, they may justify all the hype surrounding them
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