Cornershop - Handcream For A Generation

The mixed up funny old world of Tjinder Singh where Noel Gallagher mixes it up with choreographed dance routines based around the wacky world of air flight attendants. Strange, but totally true and if you view "Handcream For A Generation" in this abstract manner its all starts to makes sense. Like 1997's "When I Was Born For The 7th Time" the album is essentially the perfect compilation album with 13 potential singles flying the flag from classic rock of the "Lesson Learned......" single through to funky soul with Otis Clay on the albums opener "Heavy Soup". With a four year gap between albums (not including the Clinton side project) this is everything we could ever have wanted and more.

While the 14 minute Epic "Spectral Mornings" featuring Noel Gallagher is perhaps the centre piece of the album, its probably the least focused track on the album and merely meanders when it should fly. A little more inventive than Noel's previous collaborations with the Chemical Brothers you just get the nagging feeling that had they brought maybe Johnny Marr or Jason Pierce in they really could have pushed the boundaries. On the flipside of the coin Guigsy comes in a delivers a simple, but effective, bass line for the "Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Ricky III" single.

"Motion The 11" follows on from a ideology on the Clinton album in which Tjinder nods back to the 60s dance crazes like The Chicken. Looking set to be the biggest summer reggae smash since Chaka Demus and Pliers, it should see Ben and Tjinder following on from the Clinton dance "The Aeroplane Wheel". Also worth mentioning is the best use of children since Pink Floyds "The Wall" with the playground chants on "Staging The Plaguing Of The Raised Platform".

"Handcream For A Generation" is an essential album and with everything from filtered disco ("Music Plus 1") to old skool funk (Wogs Will Walk") it takes you through a walk of musical history and pushes the boundaries a little further. If you think the band hit an all time high with the Norman Cook remix of "Brimful Of Asher" then they've just gone and surpassed all expectations.

Alex McCann

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