Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2018 Ratings: #37 / 841
Year End Rank: #34
User Score
Based on 821 ratings
2018 Ratings: #131
Liked by 16 people
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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.

The Observer

Cocoa Sugar bursts with the weird warmth of an ice burn, a sizzling stew of Tricky-covers-the-Fall garage rap.

The Line of Best Fit

Although on initial listen, Cocoa Sugar appears a somewhat sparse and restrained affair, there is in fact little restraint to be found in the record’s emotional depth; and its ability to explore and convey a plethora of intangible human experiences.


With Cocoa Sugar, Young Fathers are still pushing the envelope and thinking outside the box, but more importantly they are doing all of this within pop's limitations. This is a fluid expression of both jarring and accessible concepts that hit you square in the jaw.


New album, Cocoa Sugar, is, without doubt, the bands most accessible to date but don't think for a moment that they have compromised their sound in pursuit of mainstream success. For every hook or vocal melody, there is a contrasting, experimental noise, as if the band are at pains to scuff up the sound if things become too comfortable. It's this juxtaposition that makes the album such a thrilling listen.

Drowned in Sound
Ultimately, Young Fathers continue to prove their worth as an outlier in UK art-pop. Their very specific melting pot of identities continue to be one of the most exciting things coming out of not only Scotland (which they very much are) but in the world, today, facing an increasingly divisive political sphere of which the band's music is in constant conversation with.
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.


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.

Under The Radar
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.
A.V. Club
Ultimately ... 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.
Northern Transmissions
Oscillating between anger, fear, joy, sadness and disgust – the five primary emotional reactions – the band articulates its own collective response to personal dilemmas and wider social issues across 12 infectious tracks.
The Independent

It all adds up to 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.

The Guardian
The end result is fascinating and forbidding in equal measure, and there’s clearly an argument that it’s also very timely.

Young Fathers haven’t done what was expected of them on ‘Cocoa Sugar’ but in dodging expectations once again, they continue to triumph.

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

As always, it’s a physical experience; visceral grunts, shrieks, exclamations, flailing to the heavens; naked emotion as well as walloping catharsis encompass Cocoa Sugar.

‘Cocoa Sugar’ isn’t a filtered version of what came before. Instead, it cements their status as riled-up oddballs determined to reinvent the wheel.
Spectrum Culture

Despite holding the hookiest moments the trio has ever crafted, Cocoa Sugar is also their strangest album yet, pulling at their own sound like Play-Doh and alternating between giggling and sobbing with unsettling ease.


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


The perfect meeting point between 808s-era-Kanye production value and humble, anglo-centric vocals, they deliver every track with an urgency that forces you to listen. The result? ‘Cocoa Sugar’ is a highly intoxicating blend.

The 405

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


The latest from the experimental rap trio is chaotic but sleek, a streamlined presentation of the singular style Young Fathers have crafted.

Loud and Quiet
Labels aside, Young Fathers are making intelligent, politically-driven pop which sounds beautiful, and that should be cherished.
The Needle Drop

Cocoa Sugar is one of Young Fathers' milder releases.

Fantastic. Took time to get used to the sound but it really grew on me. It is an album that feels like it transports you to another world. Any album with that kind of power is fantastic in my eyes
Classic Fantano

Looking over fantastic albums

Only to slap it in the face with a 6
Wooooo this album is great. With their latest LP ""Cocoa Sugar"" the trio was able to manage to craft a fusion of genres such as rnb, hip-hop, gospel, neo-soul and others to reaching success. What is impressive with this record is how distinctive it is. If I have critic this album, I would say the second half of this record is way more stronger than the first. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see young fathers evolving in the right direction.

Fav Tracks: Border girl, In my view, ... read more
Far from the already-abstract hip hop that Young Fathers put out years ago, Cocoa Sugar can simply be described as glamorous. The lush production paired with well-written verses and painfully strong singing makes for the best album of this year so far, giving me something I really think will only get better with time.

fav tracks: In My View (standout), Tremolo, Border Girl
Space Vacation
*First Review*

Nice Dark-Gospel R&B vibe throughout the record.
I wanna listen to this sheltered away in a Church basement.
Very vibrant and boisterous at times but always soulful.
Catchy. Colourful. Dogmatic.
This is the first record 2018 will be remembered for.

Congratulations to Young Fathers! Now go listen!

*Second Review*
I don't think I've ever given individual ratings to each track of an album before but I feel like adding on to my review and kinda confirming with myself how much ... read more
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Added on: January 17, 2018