8 September 2013

8th September - Cornershop's When I Was Born for the 7th Time

Artist – Album: Cornershop – When I Was Born for the 7th Time
Released:  8th September 1997
Sounds Like: A brimful of Brimful of Asha

Why had no one else thought of this? True, western pop had flirted with Indian music in the past, with the Beatles and Ravi Shankar enjoying something of a love-in back in the Sixties, but since then East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. Until, that is, the middle of Britpop era, when Cornershop exploded onto the scene with a sound that was as British as chicken tikka masala, the nation’s favourite dish.

Everyone knows the classic hit ‘Brimful of Asha’ – actually, everyone knows the Fatboy Slim remixed version. The slower album version initially sounds alien and weird, but its hypnotic rhythms soon win you over, and once the “77,000 orchestra set” kicks in with spine tingling strings it feels almost like an epiphany – but Cornershop are no one trick pony. Whereas ‘Sleep on the Left Side’ is another pop gem, ‘Good to be on the Road Back Home Again’ is pleasingly countrified, ‘Candyman’ is backed by hip hop beats and the record is interspersed with funky instrumentals. The album closes with the inspired Punjab-song ‘Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)’, reclaiming the song as their own and completing the Beatles-Indian cycle.

In between, lead singer Tjider Singh casually dispenses life-affirming messages like a mop-topped mystic, spouting such pearls of wisdom as “some sounds some burdens can release”, “good shit’s all round, it’s all about” and the immortal “everybody needs a bosom for a pillow”.


Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1.       Sleep on the Left Side – 4:06
2.       Brimful of Asha – 5:17
3.       Butter the Soul – 3:19
4.       Chocolat – 1:24
5.       We’re in Yr Corner – 5:47
6.       Funky Days Are Back Again – 3:41
7.       What Is Happening? – 2:15
8.       When the Light Appears Boy – 2:41
9.       Coming Up – 1:03
10.   Good Shit – 4:40
11.   Good to Be on the Road Back Home Again – 5:45
12.   It’s Indian Tobacco My Friend – 4:51
13.   Candyman – 3:49
14.   State Troopers – 3:07
15.   Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – 2:27

Listen to ‘Sleep on the Left Side’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbf_ZPWRN6c

Also released on 8th September:
1992: Tom Waits – Bone Machine

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