On their third studio album Young Fathers prove that they can write incredibly even more catchy and danceable tunes without compromising their unique songwriting sensibility. On paper that sounds like a departure from the previous low-fi and incredibly diverse set of sounds, Young Fathers have previously released. However, the trio manage to stay true to the group’s musical ethos while creating a more accessible album.

Since the release of Tape One, Young Fathers' debut EP release, the trio have managed to avoid categorization, refusing to be confined by a single genre. Instead, they have dipped their twos into Hip-Hop, Electronic, Gospel, Punk and crafted a wholly original mix of sounds. Throughout Tape One and Two showcasing a small fraction of the bands ambitious. Though it was in the group’s first album Dead! that truly showed the possible reach of this approach to music, scoring the album critical acclaim and even a Mercury Prize in 2014 to the upset of Damon Albarn, Bombay’s Bicycle Club’s final album and FKA Twigs’ LP1.

Dead! elevated what were almost experiments on their EPs into something to cling onto. The album seemed to be very much rooted in rap and spinning into an unconventional delivery and intensity. However, it was their second album White People are Black People Too that showed their true diversity. An album that took every sound in Young Fathers' arsenal and injected it with a low-fi, muddy sound that on any other set of songs may have become unlistenable, but on White Men are Black Men Too it increased the poignancy and impact of the eclectic soundboard.

On Cocoa Sugar a lot of this low-fi sense is swapped out for a glossy, beat-driven formula, which allows for an incredibly euphoric atmosphere throughout the album. Starting from the low-key mood driven 'See How' the album builds and builds into a crescendo of almost dance songs that lose none of Young Fathers' trademark bite. The album deals with modern masculinity in a way that no other rap or hip hop oriented group has. From point one painting images of “Brave men filled with tears.” These words are sung over a slow crawling beat with high piano stings that sound like a warped Michael Jackson anthem. This gives the song a sincere campiness that allows Kayus’ soulful vocal style to shine. This style continues onto the next track 'Fee Fi' and flows through the album. In fact, the trio’s (Kayus, Alloysious, Graham) differing vocal styles are more appropriate than ever playing out like 3 distinct examples of a modern man and showing that masculinity can and should take many forms.

This driving statement is underpinned by the groups most gospel-driven project to date, religion infuses into the lyrics, instrumentals and backing vocals of almost every track on the album. The most overt example of this, of course, being the lead single 'Lord' which begins with a soft piano and a pleading refrain, “Lord don’t pay me no mind” backed by faint chorus-like vocals. It is unclear the form the deity takes in this song and even if the Lord referred to is one associated with God or just a plea to some sort of Heaven on earth. The subject matter just adds to the track perhaps being the rawest emotional ballad the band has achieved since the Dead! track 'Am I Not Your Boy'.

Though the albums highest points are the incredible infectious tracks that sit close the end. 'Border Girl' being possibly the most melancholic joyful experience I have had from the band. Melodic pop is sung over a funk-infused scratchy baseline. The track tracks bridge, becomes a transcendental prayer before revoking cathartically back into the driving groove. Which immediately bursts into the quirky rapped intro of 'Holy Ghost'. A very simple quiet synth moves the song into one of the albums most effective and catchy choruses. “I’ve got the Holy Ghost fire in me, dancing in Hell you can call it blasphemy.” Which drives home the two-sided coin that perfectly captures the album. The glorious gospel light of the Holy Ghost, dancing in the grungy beat driven hell that each song creates.

Though even at this point the album hasn’t reached its most energetic as the third single 'Toy' is still to come. 'Toy' starts with a fast, electronic rhythm drums but somehow keeps this incredible momentum throughout its length.

Every song on Cocoa Sugar has more layers than most average rap and R&B releases put together. The album isn’t perfect, the track list doesn’t flow as smooth as the acts previous release and some of the songs feel incomplete because of a slightly short track length. Songs like 'Wire' and 'Wow' still offering an interesting instrumental but failing to escalate to whole tracks. However, this just gives the effect of them being much like developed interludes.

Though all of it is more than made up for in by far of some of the bands most interesting songs that, without comprising an inch of integrity, manage to contain catchy hooks and an accessibility the band hadn’t previously achieved. Though it is clear that you can make comparisons to albums by acts like Massive Attack, TV on the Radio and experimental rap outfits. None of these influences are worn on Young Fathers' sleeves and Cocoa Sugar is further proof that when the band puts something out that you can prepare for a unique, engaging listen.