1997 – Cornershop – When I Was Born for the 7th Time

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You might not remember Cornershop, but you’ve probably heard them. Their album is an eclectic sampling of influences from around the world, and Spin magazine called it album of the year in 1998. It’s easy to see why, it’s addicting.

American audiences (with their new found love of Hindi-films on Netflix) may only just be beginning to understand some of the references, but that won’t stop you from nodding your head along with catchy drumming, easy vocals, and myriad of instruments. But the opening two tracks, for most people, are probably the most memorable. Sleep on the Left Side and Brimful of Asha hook you right in to the album. Brimful… is also known as “Bosom for a Pillow” because of the refrain “everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom.”

Candyman has a funky sound you can’t help but love, and while you keep expecting some form of contemporary rap to appear on top of the song (which eventually and only briefly arrives), it remains, for the most part, an instrumental only piece. The nearly 4 minute song is very light on lyrical influence, letting the drums and bass guitar do most of the work. You can say the same for a track called State Troopers. Track 11, however, takes what you’re used to and expecting, and swaps it for a American style country-music-influenced song entitled Good to be Back on the Road Again, which includes lines such as “It’s good to be on the trail / from where my heart set sail / put an anchor down for friends, and good beer.”

The entire album really takes what you expect from a pop album, and mixes in more of what we’re seeing from current generation Psychadellic-Funk-Indie-Rockers. If people ask me about albums I’ve been listening to for well over a decade, standards that I keep in my collection and I always go back to, When I Was Born for the 7th Time is at the top of that list.

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