Wiija – 2002 – 60 minutes

Five years ago the album 'When I Was Born For The 7th Time' heralded a deluge of critical kudos for London-based Cornershop; while in early 1998 a Norman Cook remix of their song 'Brimful Of Asha' gave the band a British number one single and one of the most popular songs of the year. Then, they retreated. Uncomfortable with the attention that came with having a smash hit, Cornershop lynchpins Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayers spent the next four years djing and experimenting with a side project, Clinton. It was, it seems, time well spent.

'Handcream For A Generation' is awash with musical swagger, variety and downright cool. 'Staging The Plaguing Of The Raised Platform' starts off sounding like a mix of the Velvet Underground and Badly Drawn Boy, before a children's chorus lends the track a gentle air of summer innocence. 'Lessons Learned From Rocky I To Rocky III' keeps the conventional rock candle burning, 'Motion The 11' offers roots reggae while 'Sounds Super Recordings' continues Cornershop’s signature Punjabi musical influence.

Although it flags somewhat in the latter stages, 'Handcream For A Generation' remains an album for slackers, movers, chillers and groovers – and that just about covers everyone. A fine return.

Tom Grealis

Tracklisting: Heavy Soup – Staging The Plaguing Of The Raised Platform – Music Plus 1 – Lessons Learned From Rocky I To Rocky III – Wogs Will Walk – Motion The 11 – People Power – Sounds Super Recordings – The London Radar – Spectral Mornings – Slip The Drummer One – Heavy Soup (Outro) – Bonus Track