Chicks on Speed rage on in Cutting the Edge, an eclectic embodiment of feisty femalehood.

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It’s been four years since their last release (and one slight lineup change, with Kiki Moorse departing in 2006), but leave it to the Chicks to come back with a vengeance. Spread over 23 tracks and two CDs, this album is a noise-pop powerhouse filled with the bratty wit this Munich group has made so iconic. Debbie Gibson–ish dance anthem “Art Rules” jabs at the art world (“Where are all the women?/They’re underneath the men!”), while “Vibrator” channels the B-52s so perfectly, the Chicks persuaded Fred Schneider to collaborate on the track via Skype (seriously). Even the most out-there songs, such as the industrial-influenced “Sewing Machine” and spoken-word “How to Build a High-Heeled Shoe Guitar,” glisten with self-referential humor, like disclaimers letting us know that they’re not taking themselves too seriously. New and groundbreaking for the Chicks? Not really. Totally awesome anyway? You bet.

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