Singh a Simple Song

Cornershop's boundary-busting new album recolonizes Brit pop.

Yet, it's just when we realize the above--right at the end of "Coming Up" (track 9)--that Asian fire starts to seem a little predictable. When Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori shows up for a vocal pitter-patter on the next track, "Good Shit," it smacks of something prescribed. Heading down the home stretch, Singh's record needs a little lift, and he knows it. So he ups the ante again and post-George Harrison becomes neo-George Jones as East-meets-West becomes East-goes-Western.

That's the long way of saying that Singh does country. "Good To Be On the Road Back Home," a duet with Tarnation's Paula Frazer, is a genuine jewel--a feedback-soaked, mildly groovy, fairly hokey rewrite of both "By the Time I Get To Phoenix" and John Denver's "Back Home Again." It might just be the grooviest, blackest honky-tonk song ever written. Somewhere Charlie Pride is smiling. And somewhere under the dark English soil, George Harrison is rolling in his grave. He is the dead one, right?

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