Music preview: Cornershop

Five years removed from their last album, London group Cornershop are back, Indian style, with "Handcream for a Generation."

By Ewald Christians
Published April 8, 2002 7:38PM (EDT)

"Handcream for a Generation"

Wiiija/Beggars Group
Release date: April 23, 2002

Cornershop's Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres have a penchant for cross-genre explorations. Much like their 1997 effort, "When I Was Born for the 7th Time," their new album comfortably accommodates diverse ingredients, including dance beats, sitar, a children's choir and vocal samples. More impressive, however, is the surprising warmth and inclusiveness of the sound on these 13 songs, all of which were written and produced by Singh.

Happily juggling musical styles, Cornershop follow up a wacky reggae cut, "Motion the 11" (listen to this song below), with a disco number and jazzy sample collages reminiscent of DJ Kid Koala (Gorillaz, Lovage), and Japanese sound whirler Yoshinori Sunahara.

The supporting cast features soul singer Otis Clay on the funky opener "Heavy Soup," and turntablist extraordinaire Rob Swift of the X-ecutioners, who delivers first-rate scratches on "Wogs Will Walk" and "Slip the Drummer One." The Brit-rocky "Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III" features former Oasis bassist Paul McGuigan, and current Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher makes an appearance on the 14-minute, sitar-soaked epic "Spectral Mornings." Even while revisiting genre after genre, Cornershop avoid merely replaying old tunes -- whatever they touch instantly mutates.

Ewald Christians

MORE FROM Ewald Christians

Related Topics ------------------------------------------