This is an awesome album.
by David Kennedy
Young Fathers, an Edinburgh band that defies classification, just put out another album that takes cheap sounding instrumentation and turns it into something grand and exultant. They’ve been active for ten years now, and this is their 5th full length album. Filled with frantic, persistent percussion, lo-fi, electronic instrumentation, and vocals that go from raspy hip-hop to reverential soul, this album manages to make its arrangements sound busy and chaotic in spite of their catchy simplicity.
Cocoa Sugar is decidedly darker than Young Fathers’ last album White Men are Black Men Too. The album kicks off with, “Fee Fi” a tribal, percussive track full of subdued violence, followed by the brooding and melodramatic “In My View.” The quick and constant beat on the song “Toy” towards the end of the album sounds like drum-and-bass by way of a metronome with a low, eerie hook between frantically rapped verses.
The album still makes room for transcendent moments with low rhythms, like on the gospel inflected song “Lord” or the marching drums and church organs on the final track, “Picking You.” The song “Holy Ghost” is an onslaught of vocal hooks over the wonkiest beat on the whole album. Young Fathers have an unbelievable talent for taking a song that sounds like it was made on one man’s computer and turning it towards holiness. I couldn’t say if it’s an improvement on their last album, but it is something new.
Favorite Track: “Holy Ghost”