England is a Garden

England is a Garden


This is my New Music Review of ‘England is a Garden’, Cornershop’s ninth album.  If I’m honest, I have only clicked on this because the week’s releases seem a bit rubbish and Cornershop’s late 90s release enters my consciousness frequently; ‘Brimful of Asha’ (Norman Cook’s remix, at any rate), was such an amazing record in and around 1997 and the vibrancy, joy, and colour of this song never leaves me (we of course hail the great John Peel for the breakthrough).

Still, with the Indian indie vibe, Cornershop is nicely on the money for me here.  The outstanding opening track, ‘St Marie Under Canon’ is jumpy and engaging, with cracking drums, a sitar riff to put you on point and a wandering guitar intro to push you into the album.  The rather trippy distorted second track (‘Slingshot’) points to a coming weird vibe later in the album. To say the music style is eclectic would be an understatement, I think with ‘No Rock Save in Roll’ is the Stones’ “Start Me Up” with Sitars, it’s great though, whilst ‘I’m a Wooden Soldier’ is just T Rex all over and so the album continues with a late 60s psychedelic chilled vibe.

I’m really thinking this is a very cool record and then slightly awkwardly, another interesting track with bags of rhythm comes along, ‘Everywhere That Wog Army Roam’.   Cornershop has been quite political in its time, with their left-leaning post-Britpop credentials (see the Guardian interview with songwriter and guitarist Tjinder Singh) and this track doesn’t hold back: “Everywhere That Wog Army Roam/Policemen Follow Them” (sadly, I can’t seem to locate the full lyrics to this track).  Maybe this is a nod to the immigration debate of the last ten years?  The track itself has a backward glance at ‘Brimful’ as does the opening of ‘Cash Money’ rather blatantly.

Overall, this is a rather good album, varied and cheerful, interesting and thoughtful.  I like it, I’ve downloaded it so that’s a big tick.


England is a Garden

St Marie Under Canon – Single

Track Listing

St Marie Under Canon ***** 5/5
Slingshot ***
No Rock Save in Roll ****
Everywhere That Wog Army Roam ***** 5/5
King Kongs ***
Highly Amplified ***
England is a Garden ****
Cash Money ***
Morning Ben –
I’m a Wooden Soldier ***** 5/5
One Careful Lady Owner  ****
The Holy Name  ****


Album – England is a Garden
Artist – Cornershop
Label – Ample Play Records
Released – 6 March 2020
Download These At Least – St Marie Under Canon, Everywhere That Wog Army Roam, I’m a Wooden Soldier, One Careful Lady Owner. (and then download Norman Cook’s version of Brimful of Asha (it’s bouncier), for the sake of it!)

Source – Tidal
Player – Naim NAC-N 272
Amplification – NAP 250
Output – Paradigm Persona 3F
Cables – Vertere & Atlas Mavros speaker cable

Tracks – 12 (11 really)
Time – 48′ 25″
My Rating – (3.9 out of 5) A good score from me – Groovey man


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