Sugar at the Gate

TOPS - Sugar at the Gate
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2017 Ratings: #363 / 721
User Score
Based on 64 ratings
2017 Ratings: #202
June 2, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Arbutus / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

84
Northern Transmissions

Overall, Sugar At The Gate is the most accomplished album in the TOPS discography to date. With anticipation high after Picture You Staring, TOPS surpasses all expectations here and have clearly evolved from their early Montreal roots.

80
AllMusic

If a touch weightier in tone, the album returns a distinctive palette and home-recorded finish to a heavy-heartedness firmly established on 2014's Picture You Staring, so fans and sentimentalists may take heart.

80
Exclaim!
Their music is undeniably beautiful and, for all its subtleties, often immediately rewarding.
80
NOW Magazine
As on their previous two records, the rewards here are in the refinement, the well-wrought voices and the sublimely subtle performances.
75
The Line of Best Fit

After making quite the impression with Picture You Staring and charming us with their previous releases, TOPS seems to have taken the liberty to just have fun with Sugar at the Gate and talk about their deeper, real-time desires.

74
Pitchfork

If anything, Sugar at the Gate represents the perfection of a formula; TOPS are workmanlike in their insistent repetition. It’s hard to distinguish one song from the next, and instead they flow into each other like syrup falling from a glass bottle.

70
Clash

Never deviating from course, ‘Sugar At The Gate’ adds one more stitch to the tightly-wrapped DNA that makes TOPS so immersive and enjoyable, its ten glossy songs bearing all the marks of a band that has taken yet another step toward mastering their craft.

60
DIY
Unfortunately, although that slight detachment feels pretty good in the midst of listening, much like tucking into an ice cream cone with more than a few sprinkles, you might get brain freeze trying to recall some of the tunes afterwards.
60
God Is in the TV
There’s a difference between ambition and taking yourself very seriously, and unfortunately a lot of these tunes are at best, slightly bummed out breezy 8am-on-a-cloudy-Sunday-morning mood music, at worst slightly bland Fleetwood Mac wallpaper.
holsgr
45
☆½ ~ Exiguous and forgettable music.
82
Fav tracks: Further, Petals, Dayglow Bimbo, Cutlass Cruiser
85
Solid album, hope I get to see them live when they come through the Cities.
NR
splendid album, understated gems magnificently crafted
EMR
65
While Picturing You Staring offered quite a handful of sweet, sugary, toe-tipping indie-pop songs, Sugar at the Gate tends to follow the same language, with the usual sour vocals and dreamy atmosphere, while reducing the groovy quality of their songwriting and betting on this very smooth and warm aesthetic. A few songs are still really catchy and pleasant (Petals, Second Erase), but the album is undeniably less consistent then their previous effort.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#3/Gorilla vs. Bear
#44/BLARE

Track List

  1. Cloudy Skies
  2. Further
  3. Petals
  4. Dayglow Bimbo
  5. Marigold & Gray
  6. Cutlass Cruiser
  7. Hours Between
  8. I Just Wanna Make You Real
  9. Seconds Erase
  10. Topless
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Added on: March 10, 2017