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Classic Album Review: Cornershop | Handcream For A Generation

The Indian Britpop outfit's fourth musical melting pot is too much of a good thing.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Sometimes you gotta suffer for art. And it’s almost worth suffering through MuchMusic to see the video for Cornershop’s Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III — a parody of Almost Famous that perfectly suits the choogling, Stonesy guitar-rock of the song.

Pity all music vids couldn’t be as crafty as that clip. And pity the rest of this album couldn’t be as tight and rockin’ as that tune. Which is not to suggest that Handcream For A Generation — the fourth full-length from Tjinder Singh’s Indian-Britpop outfit — is a dud. No way. As usual, Singh’s songs are a magical musical melting pot, deftly swirling live instruments and samples — Britpop, hip-hop, soul, ska and reggae, synth-funk, Indian instruments and melodies — into smart, supremely dancable grooves. Trouble is, he never knows when to stop. Like Singh’s other albums, Handcream has way too much filler: Aimless flights of style over substance, an unnecessary remake of People Power, and, worst of all, a 14-minute sitar-rock jam with Noel Gallagher. Nobody needs to suffer through that.