Consumer Guide Album
Cornershop: When I Was Born for the Seventh Time [Luaka Bop/Warner Bros., 1997]
What's so disarming, and confusing, about Tjinder Singh is that he doesn't have a lot to say. Here he is realizing a historical inevitability a decade or three in the making--namely, an international pop so seamless that its fusion of Anglo-American alt-rock, Indian melody, international hip hop, and what-all is subsumed into its own song-based catchiness right up to the time Singh reclaims "Norwegian Wood" for the land of the sitar. And indeed, his lyrics vaguely express the proper liberal attitudes toward the weighty social issues his achievement implies. But there's no sense of mission, just a handsome dilettante enjoying his easy tunes and found beats; he's not even trying to go pop, especially. Which is why he has at least the potential to become a naturalizing force.