WWith the previous five years spent on hiatus, pursuing the real-life topics reflected in the album's title (careers, family, and side band projects), Imperial Teen are back where they belong: in the studio, with knob-guru Steve McDonald of Redd Kross (along with wife Anna Waronker of That Dog) back at the helm, creating smart and sassy, hook-heavy garage pop. The collection kicks off with a stunning Phil Specter-inspired number setting the tone. “Everything” has glassy tambourines, a huge, live drum sound, and breezy vocals — with a heavenly boy/girl chorus — in the background. The album slides into full shimmy-shake pop mode with the bubbly “Do it Better” and then revs up a notch with the Breeders-like, guitar-driven, “Shim Sham,” a wink at the clubbing life. By the time the exhilarating “One Two” winds down, you’re ready for the more introspective side of the band, shown best here on “Room With a View” (funny how going to the gym might supplant smashing one’s guitars for kicks at a certain age), and the fabulously Beatles-esque “Fallen Idol.” The naughty, roaring “Sweet Potato” will have you shaking it again, this time with a giggle. The gorgeous closer (perhaps our favorite track here), “What You Do,” glides along on a simple, repetitive piano line dressed up with atmospheric guitar notes, calling to mind the reflective, personal pop of indie rock statesmen Yo La Tengo.