While their post-modern bricolage mirrors Beck’s appropriation skills, Tjinder Singh and his mates craft an album of multi-cultural rhythms, textures and lyrical references.The one-world/one-groove outlook anticipates the 21st century with a glee born of spiritual and physical contentment, rather than Beck’s new-pollution dourness.
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“WHEN I WAS BORN FOR THE 7TH TIME, the third album by Cornershop, is like a smiling, sun-lit reprieve amidst the pre-millennium tensions of most cutting-edge, Western pop of the end of the century.
Personnel: Tjinder Singh (vocals, guitar, dholki, scratches); Lourdes Belart, Paula Frazer (vocals); Justin Warfield (rap vocals); Ben Ayres (guitar, tamboura, keyboards); Anthony Saffery (sitar, harmonium, keyboards); Grace Winder, Robert Buller, E. (flute); Nick Simms (drums); Peter Bengry (percussion). Cornershop: Tjinder Singh (vocals, guitar, dholki, DJ); Ben Ayres (guitar, keyboards, tamboura); Anthony Saffery (sitar, harmonium, keyboards); Nick Simms (drums); Peter Bengry (percussion).
Recording information: 657 Holloway Road, London, England; Eastcote Studios, London, England; Sun Plantation, San Francisco, CA; West Organge Studios, Preston. Additional personnel: Paula Frazer, Lourdes Belart (vocals); Justin Warfield (rap vocals); Allen Ginsberg (spoken vocals); Robert Buller, E. Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.66) – Included in Rolling Stone’s “Essential Recordings of the 90’s.” Rolling Stone (8/21/97, pp.106-108) – 4 Stars (out of 5) – “…a cohesive, finely crafted LP in which the last album’s low-fi funk expands into low, fat grooves, and Singh’s pancultural, anti-racist lyrics become more sophisticated but no less impassioned…” Spin (9/99, p.136) – Ranked #34 in Spin Magazine’s “90 Greatest Albums of the ’90s.” Spin (1/98, p.86) – Ranked #1 on Spin’s list of the “Top 20 Albums Of The Year .” Spin (9/97, p.153) – 9 (out of 10) – “…Turning away from the ragged indie rock that dominated Cornership’s previous music, Singh now lets the groove be his guide.
But,” she adds, “Erin portrays herself as the victim and him as the evil aggressor.
From what I witnessed, she was the aggressor.” Everly, in turn, denies striking Rose.
A third of the tracks here are Mo’Wax–worthy instrumentals–melting pots of chunky beats, Asian drones, oddball samples, and Singh’s own turntable doodles…” Entertainment Weekly (9/26/97, p.78) – “…Their third album mixes up hip-hop beats, rock guitar, sitars, scratching, alt-country, and Allen Ginsberg, and few bands make this musical Cuisinart so playful, accessible, and friendly…” – Rating: B Q (6/00, p.65) – Ranked #68 in Q’s “100 Greatest British Albums” – “…[An] opus of sardonic neo-Asian disco/rock/hip hop, blending chugging guitars, lazy beats, sitars and lyrics about Bollywood and masturbation…” Magnet (11-12/97, p.64) – “…The best music nowadays tends to be sound-inclusive, and Cornershop has ‘cornered’ the market with its percussive/sample-heavy, ethno-global-indie bag that’s as fresh as papadum dipped in mint chutney…” Option (11-12/97, p.89) – “…a sprawling work that, with it’s laidback beats, ear-catching samples and pleasingly anachronistic synth squiggles, sounds more than a little like Beck’s ODELAY….a fun, funny and funky good time for all.” Melody Maker (12/20-27/97, pp.66-67) – Ranked #11 on Melody Maker’s list of 1997’s “Albums Of The Year.” Melody Maker (9/6/97, p.42) – “…The breadth of vision on WHEN I WAS BORN is astonishing.
It’s a record you can listen to time and time again, one where you’ll forever be discovering hidden nuances, more delights.” Village Voice (2/24/98) – Ranked #3 in the Village Voice’s 1997 Pazz & Jop Critics’ Poll.
A sampled voice on “What Is Happening” asks the titular question of the situation in the world’s capitals while the beat set up by tablas and handclaps suggests a midnight bonfire rally.
Singh and the band focus on memories and emotions any listener could identify with, and then personalize and globalize them in one fell swoop.” Live Recording Producers: Tjinder Singh, Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, Daddy Rappaport.
Even more than the relic-hunting Scrooge Mc Duck, Baloo comes across like an animated Indiana Jones — nimble in a fight and ready for adventure.