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Shonen Knife’s 18th studio album was released just a few days before the birth of my first child. Good timing, too, because its 10 tracks contain plenty of life lessons I intend to pass on to my beautiful baby girl.

The title track is a paean to pop (as indeed is Shonen Knife’s entire 31-year career), and its life-affirming message about the value of music is a good place to start. “No need for anxiety, no need for politicians / All you need is pop!” squeals founding member Naoko Yamano, her guitar jangling a crude — but no less infectious — punk-lite arrangement.

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