Released on April 1,2002, this is Cornershop's first movement for four years - when When I Was Born For the 7th Time was released. That was the album that had da 'shop's first number one on (Brimful of Asha), something they have made clear they did not enjoy.

The Tracks: 1. Heavy Soup; 2. Staging The Plaguing Of The Raised Platform; 3. Music Plus 1; 4. Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III; 5. Wogs Will Walk; 6. Motion The 11; 7. People Power; 8. Sounds Super Recordings; 9. The London Radar; 10. Spectral Mornings; 11. Slip The Drummer One; 12. Heavy Soup (Outro); 13. Bonus Track

In terms of genre, Cornershop have always been difficult. Reviewers have always praised their superb and individual mix of Oriental instrumentation and Western pop tunes, but the amount of varied musical sounds in Handcream... still has me dazed with awe. Cornershop "manage to locate the secret connections between funk, hip-hop turntablism, boogie rock, roots reggae, French house, Punjabi folk, heavy psychedelia and, yes, good old-fashioned indie-pop," to quote the Amazon reviewer. Hip-hop turntablism ... How could I not quote that phrase? To make things clear for you though, I will say that Cornershop sit ultimately in the indie-pop group of today's British music scene.

I will not go into each song as I don't feel I could describe them well enough, but will just mention a few details that may be of interest.
The first and so far only single released off Handcream... has been Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III, which has been described as similar to "Sticky Fingers era Rolling Stones". It has not been received incredibly well in the pop world, but is the only song of its kind on the album, with little style experimentation.
Track three, Music Plus One, has been noted for its similarity to the French Disco-House band Daft Punk, who have a not-so-varying but incredibly individual sound. It is a take off but a very good one, and i'm sure no one could have done Daft Punk such justice as this wonderful band.
My last note is that the track Spectral Mornings is a (roughly) 15 minute guitar/sitar jam with Noel Gallagher. Just in case you were wondering.

Lyrically, Cornershop are again difficult to place or explain. To me, not having ever looked up any lyrics, the majority of songs on Handcream... have no discernable meaning. However, one can admire the way that interesting sounding phrases are slipped in to songs which, combined with Singh's voice, add to the music's air of greatness. An example on Handcream... being "Against the 17 winds and the 2 twin 12's/All the goodness that the west of world held," which apparently is about 11th September...?
There are definite exceptions to the lyrical elusiveness on the album however: People Power is clearly, whether seriously or not, advocating the youth of this "Disco Hour" to get "onto the streets," after all "disco is half way to full discontent," Grrreat! The single (Lessons Learned...) is apparently a critique of the record industry, though this isn't spelt out with incredible clarity.

Handcream... develops to an incomprehensible, infinite level the beauty I find on When I Was Born... and weaves in a huge catalogue of extra ideas seen rarely from Da 'shop before: I’m talking about house, reggae, rock, sampling, and definitely some quality hip-hop turntablism.

The commercial success of the album can't yet be told, but I see it as an album that could be popular, rather than a set of singles. The broadsheet reviewers here are certainly wetting themselves over it, whether (to take the cynical view) because Cornershop & Handcream... are simply a picture of what these journos tend to like, or because the album is just superb pop perfection!

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