Hudson Mohawke's third album, like his first two, is an excessive, bombastic set of maximalist compositions veering from disjointed trap mutations to unironic fist-pumpers. This time out, providing motivational music for the end times seems to be his goal. His most elaborately designed work to date, Cry Sugar incorporates grandiose strings, gospel choirs, and soulful wails into its fractured, chest-rattling beatscapes. Channeling the highs of formative clubgoing experiences, the best tracks on the record feature giddy synth melodies and overloaded drum patterns, along with ecstatic vocals. "Intentions" is a prime example, with a glimmering synth riff, a distorted, shaking beat, and the choppy exclamation "I'm just searching for freedom when I call out your name." The supremely fun "Bicstan" obscures a desperate vocal cry in a sparkling fusion of happy hardcore and acid, and "Is It Supposed" is an uplifting, piano-driven rave epic. "Dance Forever" inserts kaleidoscopic rave synths and the buzzing noise of some sort of appliance into its already anxious beat, and "Rain Shadow" largely consists of euphoric, cascading trance melodies. "Tincture" sets flickering vocals to a brisk, knocking garage shuffle, and "Come a Little Closer" is a particularly fizzy blend of trap and pop. Diverting from the party are tracks like "Stump," a cinematic fanfare riddled with swarms of nervous glitches, and weird, sludgy experiments like the frightening "KPIPE." While not as effective as the club jams, even the more abstract selections contribute to the album's all-encompassing emotional overload.
Cry Sugar Review
by Paul Simpson