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Woman's Gotta Have It

Cornershop

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Album Review

Tjinder Singh's Cornershop has created the perfect hybrid of Western indie rock and swirling Eastern traditional music: Hindi-pop. It's not like what the Beatles did with sitars nor is it classifiable as worldbeat: Cornershop is unique. "Jullandar Shere" opens and closes the album on an Eastern note but with a hip-hop twist. It's an adventure in lo-fi noise pop with the drone of tamboura, native percussion, and processed vocal sung in Punjabi providing the rhythm. "Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu" conveys indignation through its angry guitar and spit-sung lyrics. "Call All Destroyer" has Singh leading on funky bass like old-school political rockers Gang of Four. The anti-melodies are similar to stock indie rock, but the sonic dissonance created on dholki, harmonium, and flute separates Cornershop from the pack as they reclaim a racial stereotype (that every Asian in Great Britain tends a corner shop) while creating their very own roots music with a message.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

It may have taken Cornershop a few years to perfect their innovative hybrid of Indian music, British indie rock, and contemporary dance, but with the release of a third full-length album, When I Was Born for the 7th Time, the group's multicultural fusions made it an instant critics' darling. Taking their name from a common stereotype of Indians in England — that they all own small, corner grocery shops — Cornershop were formed by singer/songwriter, guitarist, and dholki player Tjinder...
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Woman's Gotta Have It, Cornershop
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