This endlessly inventive third release from the trailblazing Indo-British quintet explores all that's best about today's genre-blending pop music: wondrously varied instrumentation that mixes sitar, dholki, harmonium and turntable scratching with the usual electric guitar and keyboards; an ear-pleasing fusion of American pop, Asian Indian dirge, lively reggae and danceable funk; and eccentric lyrics that include the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" sung in Punjabi.
If this all sounds painfully high-concept, don't worry: These boys rock. With its throbbing bass and driving drum beats, "Candyman" will coax the most stubborn wallflower onto the dance floor. And the swirling sitar on "We're in Yr Corner" should hip-notize even the most jaded party guest. Worldly, wise and original, When I Was Born is the best and brightest invention since Beck's Odelay. (Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.)