(6 out of 10)
It’s been seven years since Cornershop’s last album, and 13 since the group’s classic When I Was Born for the 7th Time set was released. In the interim, the idea of global-minded, electro-infused indie pop has become far less of a novelty, so it’s not much of a surprise that Judy Sucks A Lemon for Breakfastfinds Cornershop very nearly abandoning the funky, sitar-tinged grooves of their most well-known work for a sound that lines up much more neatly with the tropes of classic British rock.
The sitars and dhols that make their way into tracks like “Soul School” and “Who Fingered Rock ‘n’ Roll” feel much more like the touristic dabbling of ‘60s acid-pop bands than the sweetly political cross-cultural pop of a couple of kids from Leicester flexing the muscles of their Punjabi heritage. The focus here is, instead, on loping and playful pop, and the full-throated harmonies, wandering bassline, and lazy clarinet parts in the title track are a much more declarative statement of intent than the Bollywood references of, say, “Brimful of Asha.”
Although a couple of tracks here find Cornershop remembering their electronica history (whether the bashed-up groove of “Chamchu” or the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it funk of “Shut Southall Down”), for the most part, Judy is about the joys of jangling open chords and pre-disco dance-rock. “Free Love” is the most direct homage to Cornershop’s “old” sound, but it’s on the rambling, R&B-infused jam session of “The Turned On Truth” that the band most effectively taps into their past, slipping the melody of “6 a.m. Jullander Shere” into a 16-minute gospel groove.
Standout Tracks: “Who Fingered Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Free Love”
First appeared April 23 at Blurt Online.